13 June, 2011

Raw Lemon Cashew Cheesecake

Are friendships worth to put at stake for a piece of cake? Well, this is what I did. After I made this raw lemon cheesecake for the first time, I was so blown away by its flavors and textures, that I big-mouthedly promised sample pieces to neighbors and friends. They never reached their destination. Apart from one piece that I gave my husband to try, I had the whole cake by myself. It keeps very well in the fridge for a week.
I still hesitate to call this a healthy cake. It's simply too good to be true. It's too delicious. But let's get down to the facts: It's vegan, gluten-free and grain-free. And it is made with natural raw ingredients only. It might have a little bit too much of everything, but it is without a doubt nutritious. The ingredients list is so incredibly simple. You might, in fact, have all of them in your pantry and could start making this cake right away. Perfect in the summer months, as the oven is not needed to make it. A piece of this cake with a drizzle of raspberry coulis (Ok ... this one is not as healthy and includes some stove top action), and you'll be nutritiously and deliciously in heaven.
I hope, my friends and neighbors will forgive me. I will spend the rest of the day finding a suitable excuse. Or instead, just make another cake.
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RAW LEMON CASHEW CHEESECAKE


Crust
1 cup raw whole almonds
3/4 cup dried dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/4 cup desiccated coconut flakes
1 tablespoon water (or as needed)

Filling
1 1/2 cups raw cashew nuts
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup agave syrup or raw honey (not vegan), or  maple syrup (not raw)

RASPBERRY COULIS (NOT RAW)
adapted from Food Network

1/2 cup palm sugar
1/2 cup water

2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

Serves 8
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Soak the cashew nuts in cold water for 4 hours. Rinse and drain. Set aside.

For the crust, combine whole almonds, dried dates and coconut flakes in a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and crumbly. It should stick together when pressed between two fingers. Add a tablespoon of water if it doesn't stick and blend again. Repeat if necessary. Make sure the dough doesn't get too wet.
With your fingers, press the crust mixture into bottom and sides of a cake pan with removable bottom. Make sure it is evenly covered. Set aside.

Combine drained cashews with lemon juice, coconut oil and syrup in the food processor and blend until it becomes smooth and creamy. Transfer mixture onto the crust in the cake pan. Spread evenly and smooth the top.

Put the cake in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until firm. Remove from freezer, and cut into slices while still frozen. Then keep in refrigerator for 1 hour to defrost or 20 minutes on counter top before serving.
Serve with fresh berries and a drizzle of raspberry coulis.

Raspberry Coulis

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour the syrup into a container and refrigerate until completely cold, about 45 minutes. The syrup can be stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

For the coulis: Bring the raspberries, syrup, and lemon juice to a simmer in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the berries are very soft, about 8 minutes.
Sprinkle the cornstarch over 2 teaspoons cold water and stir to dissolve. Pour into the simmering raspberry mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; discard the seeds. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Freeze any leftover coulis in a plastic container for up to 1 month.

Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets   Ani's Raw Food Essentials: Recipes and Techniques for Mastering the Art of Live Food   Going Raw: Everything You Need to Start Your Own Raw Food Diet and Lifestyle Revolution at Home

16 comments:

  1. wow! this sounds incredible!

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  2. Wow anja!
    This sounds soooooo good!

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  3. Mmm, that look so good. I've been wanting to make a raw cheesecake for quite some time now :D The raspberry coulis looks beautiful on it.

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  4. Omg I just realized I posted almost the same comment as "simply life" without reading hers...
    Honest response to the recipe! That's how good it is

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  5. Anja, this is gorgeous! And I am just in love with the ingredient list. I would definately diss a few friends in order to keep this cake. ;)

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  6. Very nice! I made something very similar to this a couple of weeks ago, but with a carrot cake crust! I LOVE raw cheesecake!

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  7. My aunt would love this recipe. Especially since it is raw.

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  8. Looks great Anja!

    Glad I was able to help with the crust =)

    I'm definitely going to try this one.

    Jen

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  9. Jen,
    try it! I just made a mini version for my friend and gave it to her. I wish I had a piece for myself now. A brilliant cake. Thanks again for the crust recipe. I will use it again for another cake that will be dessert at a (my first ever) dinner party.

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  10. Sounds good but of course, maple syrup is boiled on a high heat. Everyone knows that right? This is not a 100% raw recipe. :)

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  11. Thanks for pointing that out. I will change the recipe accordingly.

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  12. Cheesecake ???
    where is the cheese ?
    ;-)

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  13. Yum, this sounds perfect! I've really been getting into raw foods lately. Especially loving blended cashews in recipes, so creamy :-)

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  14. This looks amazing! Is this made in a 9" pan? Also, (you said it kept well in the fridge) is it possible to keep in the freezer for about 4 days, and then cut and thaw to eat?

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  15. @ Mary
    yes, it's a 8 or 9 inch pan ( I am not 100% sure). I am sure it will keep in the freezer for 4 days. I just wouldn't freeze and defrost it several times.

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  16. I just made this, but I used almonds instead of cashews and a little less than 2 Tbsp. coconut nectar as a sweetener. It came out great! I skipped the crust and used melted chocolate in the base of mini-cupcake holders, and then I put the cheesecake on top.

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