By Chef: Ella Leché
Posted: May 5, 2016
To put it simply: this Raspberry Raw Vegan Cheesecake is insanely delicious!! The flavours are so wild – we’ve got raspberries, strawberries and cranberries happening here! And the creaminess factor is perfection – cashews make a mean cheesecake texture and flavour – yet it’s so much healthier and actually good for you. There’s even a swirl action happening in the cheesecake. Basically amazingness on every level! This would be the perfect vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free Mother’s Day dessert this weekend.
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup dried cranberries (sulphite free)
- up to 3 tablespoons hot water
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2 hour in hot water (or for 4 or more in the fridge /or overnight)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
- add in : 1 cup fresh strawberries (stems removed)
- add in : 1 cup frozen or fresh whole raspberries
- First, soak the cashews for 4 hours or more in the refrigerator, or overnight. (If you’re really pressed for time, I have cut the time for just 1 hour if I soak them in hot water at room temperature. But be careful, these really need to be used right away or else they become rancid quickly.)
- Line an 8 x 8′ pan with parchment paper, be sure to use a larger sheet so the paper sticks up all around. This will make it easier to remove the cheesecake when it’s done.
How to make the easy cheesecake crust
- In a food processor, pulse all the nuts until a fine grind. Add in the cranberries and continue mixing until crumbs form. Add water (one tablespoon at a time) and continue mixing until the mixture starts to stick. Turn off mixer, and scoop onto the bottom of the pan, pressing firmly and evenly. Set aside. Wipe the food processor with a paper towel so it’s ready for the filling ingredients.
To make the cheesecake filling
- Rinse and strain the cashews and place them into the food processor. Pulse until fine crumbs form.
- Add in melted coconut oil, lemon juice, sweetener and continue processing on high until a very smooth mixture forms. Scoop about 2/3 of this mixture on top of the crust.
- Add the fresh strawberries to the remaining filling mixture and process on high until completely pureed. Pour over the white layer.
- Sprinkle the frozen raspberries on top evenly and press them into the cashew cheesecake so they sink into the middle of the cheesecake.
- Place into the freezer to set for at least 2-3 hours or until almost ready to serve.
- About 30 minutes before serving: Remove the cheesecake from the pan by lifting the parchment paper on opposite sides. Place on a flat surface, that’s safe to cut on. Using a large knife, slice the cheesecake into desired serving sizes while still frozen*. Allow to defrost for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator and 15 minutes at room temperature so give them enough time to soften slightly before serving.
NOTE: *You need to slice the cheesecake while still fully frozen. This way, you’re able to cut through the raspberries and the cut is nice and straight. Otherwise, the cheesecake will soften and the raspberries will move when you slice resulting in a very messy looking slice. I chose to make small rectangles, to make smaller servings as part of a large sweet table, but larger squares would be lovely too. This dessert is great to make far in advance and just store in the freezer. When needed, it’s so quick to thaw and serve. (keeps frozen, for up to 3 months, just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap once already frozen, then before thawing remove the wrap and slice when still frozen.) If you’re wondering why the cheesecake is actually strawberry and not raspberry is that strawberries blend better into a smooth texture. Still gorgeously pink and delicious and compliment the raspberry burst from the berries – but the texture is nice and smooth. No little seeds getting in the way of the smoothness 😉