Raw vegan cheesecakes are some of the easiest desserts to make, even considering I have cultured my own cream cheese for this one. Don’t be frightened! It really is not a fancy foodie thing- it just sounds and looks it! The ‘cheese’ part requires a little bit of planning, but each stage only takes minutes. I like to use my own quinoa rejuvelac as the probiotic, recipe here, but if that is a little too much prep work then probiotic powder works just fine. Once you have the cream cheese made, it is just a matter of blending the base and then the filling, a bit of time in the freezer and you have a wonderful rich chocolate dessert with a glorious coffee aftertaste. I use coffee essence as previous attempts at using actual coffee did not work well and made the filling too thin. Coffee essence also gives a better and stronger coffee taste. I only wanted a hint of coffee taste to this, so if you want the coffee to be the dominant flavour, add a little more. I added a little at a time until I had it just right, use my measurements as a guide here.
I have made 2 x 3 1/2 half inch mini cheesecakes because there are only 3 of us and unless I am having people for dinner, a full 9 inch round cheesecake is just too much. This recipe could also be used to make tiny cupcake sized cheesecakes, as it is very rich that would be ideal. We actually share one of these mini cheesecakes because we can’t quite manage an entire one!
My favourite nut for the base of cheesecakes is pecan, but really any will do. As cashews are used for the filling I think its nice to use something different for the base. Both almond and walnut are good alternatives here.
The earlier version of this recipe used coconut oil, but those who have been following me will know I am adapting recipes to be oil free. In my other cheesecakes I have been replacing coconut oil with coconut butter with pretty much the exact same result. Just make sure you get 100% dried coconut flesh, they blend it into butter and it turns solid. Its important that nothing is taken away or added, just the whole flesh is used. It changes the texture slightly, as the fibre is retained, but it is barely noticeable.
It only takes about an hour in the freezer until it is set enough to pop in the fridge. I usually prepare the cheesecake in the morning or even the day before I want to serve it. I really like serving these at room temperature, so it’s lovely and soft. Leave them out for half an hour before you serve for best results.
Preparation Time: 3 days for cheese to culture
Preparation Time for Cheesecake: 30 minutes
Freezer Time: 1-2 hours or overnight.
Makes 2 X 3 1/2 inch cheesecake
Keeping Time: kept in the freezer these will keep well for about a month, or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- 3/4 cup cashew nuts
- 1/4 cup rejuvelac ( or 1/4 cup water plus 2 probiotic capsules, powder emptied )
- 100g Pecans
- 100g medjool dates
- 1/4 cup vegan date syrup
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of melted ( and cooled ) coconut butter*
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1/4 teaspoon coffee essence
- Soak the cashews in filtered water for 24 hours.
- Drain nuts, blend with rejuvelac ( or water/powder mix ) and salt until well combined.
- Drain in a nut bag or similar, I suspend over a large jug by tying the end of the nut bag to the handle. Cover with a plate and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
- Then remove cheese from bag and place in refrigerator for another 24 hours.
- Blend pecans and medjool dates in blender or food processor and press into the two small tins or ring moulds.
- Place in freezer while you make the filling.
- Blend the cultured cashew nuts, date syrup, cooled, softened coconut butter, cacao powder and coffee essence in a high speed blender until smooth. You may need to stop and start to push the mix around a bit.
- Take the bases from the freezer and pour the filling into them evenly.
- Freeze for at least 1-2 hours or overnight so it is nice and firm. I place into the fridge after this point unless I am ready to serve, in which case I allow to unfreeze and get to room temperature.