Monday, 5 November 2012

and Raw Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake

and a cake you don't bake
Raw Vegan Blueberry Cheesecake

Over the weekend was my nieces 1st birthday party and I made my first raw vegan cake flying solo. I have helped my sister in the past create a couple, but this one was left entirely up to me. Although she did help me find the recipe. The most important piece of equipment required for a raw vegan cake is a really powerful blender, food processor etc. It must be able to pulverise anything in its path. I was lucky enough to get one for my birthday this year from my family.

Raw Blueberry Cake Recipe:

Before you get started, read though the whole recipe and work out what needs to happen first. I didn't. The blueberry filling requires 1 and a half cups of cashews to be soaked for two hours. If you don't have the time chop up the cashews then soak them. This will allow the water to penetrate faster and the cashews to become soggier quicker.

Blueberries, and lots of them. I must have used an extra cup or two. I ran out near the end so I headed off to the shops for another small punnet. But if you like, you can just pile some up in the middle, make a ring around the outside or scatter them across the top. Up to you.

Crust Ingredients:
3/4 cup well packed soft dates, chopped
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. vanilla
Pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 cup ground almonds or almond flour
1/2 cup dried coconut
1/2 cup cashews

Crust Directions:
Blend the dates in a food processor until a smooth paste forms. If the dates turn into a hard block, add a tablespoon of water and continue blending until it is smooth. Add more water if required. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.

Put the crust mixture in the bottom of a springform pan and put it in the freezer until you are ready to assemble. I lined the springform tin with baking paper, just to be sure. To hold it in place, I sprayed a little vegetable oil onto the tin before lining.

Vanilla Cream Ingredients:
1 cup cashews, (soaked for a few hours and drained)
1 cup fresh coconut milk (or blend 1 part dried coconut with 3 parts water)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil
1 Tbsp. lecithin granules, finely processed into powder
extra blueberries to scatter though the mixture when assembling

Vanilla Cream Directions:
Put all the ingredients except the coconut oil and lecithin in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the last two ingredients and make sure they are incorporated fully.

The finer the lecithin the easier and faster it will combine into the mixture. I brought granules and mortar and pestled it finer. If the mixture looks like it is coagulating or not coming together, don't worry, keep processing it and it will soon become smooth.

Put the vanilla mixture aside.

Blueberry Cake Filling Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cashews (soaked 2 hours and drained)
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup agave nectar (or a bit more, to taste)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup raw coconut oil
1 Tbsp. lecithin powder

Blueberry Filling Directions:
To make the filling, blend all the ingredients except the coconut oil and lecithin. When well combined and smooth, add the oil and lecithin until combined and very smooth. Set aside until you're ready to assemble.

To Assemble Your Raw Blueberry Cheesecake:
Remove your tin with the base from the freezer.
Pour half of the blueberry filling mixture on top and set it in the freezer for about an hour on a level surface.
Top the first blueberry layer with half of the vanilla cream and then scatter with blueberries. Spoon over the rest of the vanilla mixture and return to the freezer.
Once the first two layers are set, around 2 hours, pour in the remaining blueberry filling, cover the top with more blueberries (decoration) and return to freezer until ready to serve.

I removed the cake a few hours before serving to defrost a little.

Recipe adapted from Vegan Nutritionista.

It was a hit. Even the non vegans enjoyed it. I don't think they would have even guessed if I hadn't told them. The base was so soft and fudgy and it was lovely and smooth. I am very proud of my non sugar, butter, chocolate cake.

Love, love Elle.

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