Posted by Jordan St. Clair-Jackson
This raw cheesecake is much lighter and fresher-tasting than a dairy cheesecake and the cashew topping is such a good medium for color and decoration. Even though it looks stunning as a whole cake, we sometimes make individual ones in a silicone muffin tray.
It makes a fantastic light dessert, or, with a bit of imaginative decoration it makes a tastefully subtle celebration cake too—with a bit of planning needed for the freezing time. Freeze-dried raspberry powder may seem like a futuristic ingredient, but it is well worth having in your pantry as it has so many uses. Try stirring it into oatmeal and adding to your smoothies.
Recipe and photos from Super Loaves and Simple Treats: Modern Baking for Healthier Living by Melissa Sharp © 2018, Avery Publishing. Reprinted by permission.
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Makes: 1 large cheesecake or 12 mini cheesecakes
Equipment: 8-inch springform pan or 12-cup silicone muffin mold, food processor, and high-speed blender
For the base
- 1 1⁄4 cups unsalted cashews
- Generous 1 cup pitted dates
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon maca powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling
- Scant 2 cups unsalted cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours but preferably overnight
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1⁄2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 3⁄4 cups whole coconut milk
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons freeze-dried raspberry powder
- Fresh raspberries, for topping
Grease a 8-inch springform pan or a 12-cup silicone muffin mold with a neutral oil such as sunflower oil. Do not use coconut oil as this will freeze solid and will not have a lubricating effect.
To make the base, blend the cashews in a food processor to the texture of coarse sand. Add the dates, oil, and maca, and continue to blend until the mixture comes together as a smooth mass. Pour the mixture into the springform pan or divide evenly among the muffin cups and press down well. Place in the freezer as you make the filling.
To make the filling, drain the cashews and rinse under running water. Put them in a high- speed blender along with all the other filling ingredients, apart from the raspberry powder. Blitz well on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Pour the mixture straight into the springform pan or muffin mold cups, to halfway up the side—you should have about half the cashew mix left. Return the mold to the freezer for 20 minutes. In the meantime, add the raspberry powder to the mixture left in the blender and blitz again, until the raspberry is spread evenly throughout.
After 20 minutes take the tray out the freezer and pour the raspberry cashew mix on top of the vanilla, right to the top of the pan or cups. Return the mold to the freezer for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.
Take the mold out of the freezer 20 minutes before you want to serve them, and top with the fresh raspberries.