Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Raw Cashew Dreamcake
I’ve worked with cashew cream before, mostly in savory applications (like alfredo sauce or butternut squash sauce with pasta), so it was high time I used it in desserts. The best-known example of this is vegan cheesecake, the kind that doesn’t use tofu.
This recipe is from My New Roots; the cheesecake is raw, vegan, gluten-free and low in sugar, and… mind-blowing. As in, omg-where-have-you-been-all-my-life fantastic! Okay, so you do need a pretty powerful blender or food processor to make it (and I can’t recommend my Vita-Mix enough), and I also had to buy a special 7-inch springform pan, but every penny was worth it. The flavoring on the top layer is raspberry, but you could change that up. The Engineer doesn’t like raspberry, but he did say that he liked the texture and concept of this cake, and that if it had been lemon-flavored, he would have been all over it. It would be great with blueberries, I think, but next time, I’m making a chocolate version!
For the crust
½ cup raw almonds (pecan or walnuts will also work)
½ cup soft Medjool dates
¼ tsp. sea salt
For the filling
1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours (overnight is best)
juice of 2 lemons
the seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean (or 1 tsp. alcohol-free vanilla extract; I used vanilla bean paste)
1/3 cup raw coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup raw honey (or agave nectar; I used pasteurized honey)
1 cup raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen; see note above)
Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness. Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands: if the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. Scoop out crust mixture in a 7-inch springform pan (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a small pie plate lined with plastic wrap), and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. (Rinse food processor well if you are using it in the next step.)
Warm coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.
In the most powerful food processor / blender you own (decide which one has the most torque – if you have a Vita-Mix, absolutely use it), place all filling ingredients, except raspberries, and blend on high until very smooth (this make take a few minutes, so be patient).
Pour about 2/3 of the mixture (just eyeball it) out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Add the raspberries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. Place in freezer until solid.
To serve, remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit. Store leftovers in the freezer. (Since the mold is small, it does make for itty-bitty servings, but with some self-control, you could expect around 6 servings. I have to admit that with no self-control, I would have eaten about half of it the first night!)