Monday, 24 March 2014

Cherry "Cheescake"


Cherry cheesecake titles

Happy #MeatFreeMonday of #MeatFreeWeek!

Monday 24th of March until Sunday 30th of March is Meat free week! 

OK OK so for me every week is meat free! - Only I quite like the idea, the challenge if you will for people to try and give up meat. If only for a week.

The most common thing I hear from people when they ask me about veganism is 
"I could never give up meat/cheese/milk etc"
I think most people would surprise themselves at how easy it is. . . mainly because there are so many awesome (if not awesome-er) alternatives!

This cheesecake is totally inspired by two things.
1. Bakewell tarts - almonds. cherries. childhood
2. Mango cheesecake I saw on instagram one day (If I can find the link I will link it here)

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One of my New Years resolutions was to stop or at least significantly reduce my refined sugar intake. I discovered that dates were awesome and their versatility is totally suited for making 'biscuit' bases for cheesecakes.

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Obviously there is no cheese here! Cashews are used to make the cheese, and I love this technique, the first time I tried it I didn't think it was ever going to get smooth, but the minute you add in a tiny bit of coconut oil, it smoothes immediately. I used my magic bullet (BEST GADGET EVER!!) which you may know doesn't run for a very long time, so quick pulses were plenty to make this smooth cashew nut cream.

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This is a must try recipe! 

The quantities I specified only makes two 4" cakes (which my family and I cut in half, to make four servings - my brother doesn't do fruit!! so it was all we needed!)



Recipe :
For the crust
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup dates
1/8 cup dried cherries (approx 4!)
(see notes)

For the "cheese"

1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight (see notes)
1/2 cup fresh cherries (frozen is OK too!)
1/8 tsp Almond essence
2 tbsp coconut oil
1. Place the cashews into a food processor and pulse until a biscuit crumb texture is reached.
2. Add the dates and cherries into the processor with the cashews and continue to pulse. Don't worry if the mixture doesn't appear to be sticking together.
3. Tip the mixture into two 4" cake tins (see notes) and press together. Place in the fridge to set a little whilst you prepare the cheese mixture.
4. In the food processor, blitz the drained, soaked cashews. They more than likely will not become smooth on the first process, don't worry.
5. Place the cherries and almond essence into the processor and puree together with the cashews.
6. Add the coconut oil and continue to process until smooth.
7. Pour the cheese mixture onto the base, return to the fridge for a couple of hours.
8. Before serving, loosen around the edge with a knife and remove from the tins.




Substitutions :
Cherries - Really any fruit will work, unlike some traditional cheesecakes set with gelatine, the enzymes in some fruit (such as mango) won't prevent the cake from setting.

Cashews - I'm not sure if any other nuts will soak like cashews do, other than walnuts

Coconut oil - I have seen some people use nut butters to set cheesecakes, however I know a lot of nut butters, are really quite liquid at room temperature, some people do keep these cakes in the freezer, but I prefer them somewhat warmer!!


Notes :


The tins I used were actually not tins, but rings, that is why they are placed on the baking sheet. If you use traditional tins, I suggest either line the bottom with greaseproof paper, or use a loose bottom tin.

Stay in touch with me, either on twitter or by email! I'll always be ready to talk.

#AccidentalVegan #SuperSimpleVegan 

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