No Bake Cashew Cheesecake

This “cheesecake” is dairy and gluten free and I like it as it is just so nutritionally rich made as it is with nuts packed with protein and all manner of minerals and vitamins and being low in sugar. I also love that it has a lush, luxurious mouth feel and tastes delicious; in fact it has become my “go to” cheesecake recipe.  It involves no actual cooking merely blending and for those who like such labels would fall into the category of “raw vegan”. The one negative is that the ingredients are a little pricey but as it is rather rich, small slivers suffice.  

The recipe adapts well to mini cheesecakes made in muffin tins (although a little fiddly) and when the mercury rises it is fun to freeze and serve as a cheesecake ice cream.  Toppings you can let your imagination run riot: In Spring I like strawberries and basil, then apricot and thyme compote, then blueberries, then raspberries and mint, and now in September plums roasted with red wine and rosemary. 

Ingredients for a 20cm cheesecake

Base

1 cup packed (200 g) pitted dates* (curmale) soaked in enough boiling water just to cover 

1 cup (120 g) raw walnuts (nuci)

Filling

1 1/2 cups (180-200 g) raw cashews, quick soaked*(caju)

1 large lemon, juiced (1/4 cup or 50 ml) (suc de lamaie)

1/3 cup (80 g) coconut oil (unt de cocos)

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (150 ml) full fat coconut milk (lapte de cocos cel mai cremos)

1/2 cup (100 ml) agave nectar or maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)(sirop de agave sau miere)

How To

Crust

Process walnuts in a blender to a fine meal. Remove. In the same blender bowl add dates and blend to a smooth paste. Now add the walnut meal and blend until a loose dough forms – it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it’s too dry, add a few more dates, if too wet, add more almond or walnut meal. 

Place baking paper over the removable base of the tin. Close the tin. Scoop in the base mixture and press down with your fingers. You can lightly oil the sides of the tin if you are worried about the cheesecake sticking – I generally do not. Chill in the fridge until the filling mixture is ready. 

Filling

Blend the cashew nuts to a meal first. (I find doing this as a first stage just helps a really creamy texture). Add the rest of the ingredients and continue blending until the filling is a creamy paste. 

Pour the paste over the base and place in the fridge overnight. To set the cheesecake faster put it in the freezer.  It usually just takes 1-2 hours to set.

If serving frozen (which is rather nice) then take out of the freezer 20 minutes before serving. 

 

Lazy leftovers cake…a cake for all times

A gloriously laissez faire affaire full of bonhomie and warmth. It has its roots in the frugality of Nana’s war time fruit cake when eggs, butter and sugar were scarce. This was simply what you did for the generation that believed throwing away food was “the work of the devil”. Fast forward to these food sensitive times and we have a right on “recycled vegan low GI GF  gateau” oh trendy dears. Whatever its name..it is a cake for all times in every sense – judging by the number of second helpings this Easter and enthusiasm from the marauding feline contingent too.

 

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Zingy Miso Ginger Dressing

Ginger, carrots, miso, mirin – Engage taste buds and lets go

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I like my dressings with salad. I like salad leaves glistening with oil.  I dip bread in olive oil for breakfast.  The only thing more revolting to me than low fat dressing is low fat yoghurt. But this dressing works for me.  Its based on a traditional Japanese dressing that can also be made completely fat free.  I prefer  unsurprisingly a version with oil – but good oil – here I’ve used hemp oil but flax or sunflower oil is great. Olive il is not a great flavour in this particular dressing tho – avoid.

If you cannot find white Miso then use brown – the sauce wont be quite as bright but it will have that “umami” taste. Failing any miso then blitz up dried porcini or shitajke mushrooms with a little soya sauce. Ive put in quite a lot of substitutes so dont be put off…have a go..its a great dressing. 

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