Raw Vegan Maqui Berry Cheese Cake
Last weekend I had special friends for dinner who combined, created quite the challenge in the menu planning stakes. Vegetarian, vegan, non fish eater, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, only raw diet...and on it went. Nothing we can't handle here at the THI HQ though for we are armed for every intolerance, dietary preference, allergy, moral compass, cultural persuasion dot dot dot...that you can possibly imagine ;-) In the end I decided to create an entirely vegan feast and a feast it was! It kicked off with a delicious pea hummus and our Thai inspired Raw Crackers and carrots. Then came a spicy eggplant curry with spicy quinoa and papadums. And THEN came THIS - the easiest, most scrumptious and prettiest raw cheesecake I've made in yonks.
You will need:
For the Crust:
1 cup of almonds (or half almonds, half pistachios)
3/4 cup fresh dates, pitted and chopped
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 heaped tablespoon coconut oil, softened
1/2 cup cacao nibs
For the Filling:
3 cups chopped cashews, soaked in filtered water for at least 3 hours
1 cup of blueberries (if using frozen defrost them first)
1 cup strawberries (fresh is best)
1/2 cup of coconut nectar (or maple syrup or rice malt syrup)
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of Maqui Berry Powder*
1 teaspoon vanilla
Lightly grease a 20cm (8 inch) spring-form cake tin (using coconut oil) and line the bottom of the tin with baking paper.
To make the crust, add almonds, dates, shredded coconut, coconut oil and cacao nibs into a food processor and blend until well combined. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the cake tin and place in the fridge.
To make the filling, drain the cashews of excess water and rinse. Place into the food processor with coconut oil, coconut nectar, lemon juice and vanilla. Blend until silky smooth.
Remove half of the mixture from the food processor and set aside in a bowl.
Add the strawberries to the mixture in the food processor and combine. Pour the strawberry layer onto the crust. Lightly tap the tin on a firm surface to remove any small air bubbles. Place in the freezer for an hour until firm. The firmer the layer the more defined the layering so be patient.
Place the other half of the mixture with the blueberries and maqui berry into the food processor and combine until smooth. Pour on top of the strawberry layer. Lightly tap to remove any bubble as above.
Place in the freezer until firm. Remove the whole cake from the pan while frozen and place on a serving platter. Defrost in the refrigerator or for an hour on the bench prior to serving.
Moving into summer we will be creating some more fresh raw food dishes. Any ideas? I'm thinking raw Pad Thai is next, what do you think?