Tag Archives: vanilla

Cinnamon Raspberry Cheesecake (Raw Vegan)

raw vegan raspberry swirl cheesecake

Happy Holidays! This year for Christmas, my mom put in a special request for me to bring a dessert over to the house. I asked her if she had anything special in mind, and she said she was hoping for one of my cheesecakes (she knows they are raw vegan and tries to avoid dairy and refined sugars). I asked if there was any particular flavor she wanted, and she said raspberry. My family members all seem to be crazy about raspberries. It must be genetic. 😉

raw vegan raspberry swirl cheesecakeraw vegan raspberry swirl cheesecake

This was my first real dessert project since finishing my raw cuisine courses with Matthew Kenney Culinary, so I thought it would be a fun way to put my skills to work. I was feeling pretty confident with my recently acquired knowledge about flavor balancing, food styling, and creating textures with good and authentic mouthfeel, so I set to work! I was able to put this recipe together surprisingly quick, and very please with the sampling of the different components along the way.

raw vegan raspberry swirl cheesecake

This raw vegan cheesecake is comprised of three parts: a crust, a cheesecake base recipe, and a raspberry sauce that I swirled in. The crust is a blend of dried fruit, nuts, coconut, and a pinch of cinnamon. It was dough-y and stuck together just like a good crust should. The main batter is cashew based and has a perfectly creamy texture with just the right balance of sweet and tangy, and a hit of vanilla. It really tasted like an actual cheesecake batter. The raspberry sauce was sweet and fruity. I added a pinch of cinnamon to that too, to tie it all together. The raspberry sauce was then swirled into the batter. Oh, it was so divine!

raw vegan raspberry swirl cheesecake

Dried date and pecan crust pressed into the bottom of the spring form pan.

This went over really well with my omnivorous relatives and received really good reviews. I was informed that my parents were keeping the remaining half of the cheesecake after dessert. I hope you enjoy this as much as they did. 🙂

Cinnamon Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake - Raw Vegan
A smooth and creamy raw vegan cheesecake with a cinnamon nut crust and an infusion of sweet and tangy raspberry sauce.
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Equipment
  1. 6 inch springform pan
  2. blender
  3. food processor (optional)
Crust Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup pecans
  2. 1/2 cup dates
  3. 1/4 cup dried coconut flakes
  4. 1/4 tsp sea salt
  5. pinch of cinnamon
Base Cheesecake Ingredients
  1. 2 cups cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight
  2. 1/2 cup agave syrup
  3. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  4. 1/4 cup water or nut milk
  5. 2 TB coconut oil
  6. 1 TB vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
Raspberry Sauce Ingredients
  1. 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  2. 1/4 cup agave syrup
  3. 1 tsp lemon juice
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Combine crust ingredients in either a blender or food small processor until well combined and the consistency of a sticky dough.
  2. Spread crust mixture in the bottom of a 6" springform pan and pat down evenly and firmly. You can get it very flat and even with the smooth bottom of a drinking glass.
  3. Blend all base cheesecake ingredients until perfectly smooth and creamy. It should look like a cake batter. You may need to use a tamper if your blender has one.
  4. Pour the batter into the springform pan.
  5. Blend the raspberry sauce ingredients together until smooth. You can either mix the sauce into the cheesecake batter or reserve it to spoon on top of the plain cheesecake after it has set.
  6. Put the cheesecake into the freezer to firm overnight. Remove it 1-2 hours before you'd like to serve it so it can thaw a bit.
  7. Plate with extra raspberries and a light dusting of cinnamon.
Notes
  1. It is very important to soak the cashews for 4-6 hours before using them. This reduces the phytic acid content to make them more digestible and contributes to the smooth and creamy texture of the finished cheesecake. I can't promise that the texture will be the same if you do not soak the nuts!
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Week 4

raw vegan chocolate walnut cake

Week 4 of Advanced Raw Cuisine was particularly exciting. We finished a few more pastry projects, made a few savory dishes, and got to work toward our final project, which for this class had some practical business applications. 

First, one of the final two pastry projects… raw vegan cupcakes! I always wondered if this was possible, and it sure is! They even had a nice little “bounce” from the Irish moss. We had creative freedom to make a flavor of our choosing, and since it was fall when I took the class, I made pumpkin spice with a vanilla frosting and some chocolate shavings.

Yes, I’m one of those people. Pumpkin spice all of the things! =D

raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes raw vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes

We also started to learn about costing out ingredients so that we could calculate prices for dishes the way restaurants do. This was a very useful lesson for those with entrepreneurial aspirations. We made this dish of cacao corn chips and guacamole, calculated the cost of all of the ingredients, then the cost of the whole dish, and finally, added on a markup to ensure we were paid for our time and resources used. This was a really beneficial exercise. The guacamole was tasty too. It’s one of my favorite foods. 🙂

raw vegan cacao corn chips and guacamole w/sunflower mole raw vegan cacao corn chips and guacamole w/sunflower mole

One of the other “big” projects this week was to put a lot of the lessons we learned together in a final pastry dish. We were given two to choose from, or the option to make both. I selected the chocolate walnut cake project. It was delicious. I had more than enough to take into work and share with my coworkers. They all enjoyed the special delivery and this dish got rave reviews!

Below are some photos of the prep work and the final plated dish. The dish is comprised of the chocolate cakes, the sous vide pears, a walnut caramel sauce, a fennel oil, candied fennel seeds, sassafras ice cream, and some fennel fronds and lavender as garnish. It was really delicious.

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Following all that dessert, I’m so glad there was another savory dish. This one was especially good because it had a bit of spice in it! It didn’t hurt that cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables too. I know, it’s a bit weird. So many people don’t like it, but to me, it has a subtle sweetness that makes it exquisite. 

This dish is a cauliflower and walnut harissa. I love that we branched out and used walnuts for more recipes this week. So many of the other recipes were based on almonds and cashews, which are certainly versatile nuts for their flavor and texture, but it was nice to have some more variety. There is a walnut cream sauce in the base, some harissa sauce, some marinaded and dehydrated spiced walnuts, and some cauliflower and romanesco. This dish would have been even more beautiful if I had access to some junky purple cauliflower, but my grocery store didn’t have any. I love the way we were instructed to plate this dish in a ring mold with the stems up. They are so organic looking. 

raw vegan cauliflower walnut harissa raw vegan cauliflower walnut harissa

The last real food recipe that we made before presenting out final projects was a lovely light carrot soup. This was somewhat like a gazpacho. There was a nice variety of carrot, radish, and apple chunks for texture and flavor. It was all topped with a bit of the soup, which had been foamed in the blender. The rest of the soup was poured in to make for a nice presentation. The soup was a great blend of sweet and savory with a smooth mouthfeel. It was a great lunch!

raw vegan carrot soup raw vegan carrot soup raw vegan carrot soup raw vegan carrot soup raw vegan carrot soup

For my final project, I decided to make a probiotic granola bar. I polled my social media friends to ask them what kind of product they might be interested in. The overwhelming response was for something quick and healthy that was also filling. I also asked about probiotics and what the perception of taste and texture was regarding fermented foods. People either love sauerkraut or they hate it. Personally, I love sauerkraut. I make it by the gallon, but I digress. I made these bars so that I could sneak some good bugs in without people having to fear the funky taste of fermented vegetables. 

raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars raw vegan granola bars

To celebrate the completion of the class, we were presented with some raw cocktail recipes. Whoo hoo! The base of both of these was also good as non-alcoholic drinks on their own. The green one is a nut milk with match powder – basically a vegan green tea latte. It is mixed with a cloudy sake to make it an adult beverage. The purple drink is a lavender and blueberry lemonade. It is also mixed with unfiltered nigori sake. Both were totally delicious. It was a nice way to celebrate. Cheers!

healthy vegan sake cocktails healthy vegan sake cocktails healthy vegan sake cocktails healthy vegan sake cocktails

 

 

I’m done!!! =D =D =D Be on the lookout for more delicious recipes and more class adventures coming your way!

advanced raw cuisine certificate of completion

Advanced Raw Cuisine: Day 13

raw vegan linzer cookies

Day 13 of advanced raw cuisine is completed! The day started off with my old friend, the Irish moss seaweed. It has to soak for a few hours so I can make some more Irish moss paste to use in a dessert recipe that is coming up!

irish moss soaking

After the seaweed was put in some water to soak, it was time to learn about mustards, chutneys, and reductions. We were given some guidelines and allowed to make our own mustard and chutney variations to be set aside as candidates for our cheese plates later in the week. We also made balsamic vinegar reductions in the dehydrator that we will be using in the caprese salad plating on day 16!

Recipes for both the mustard and the chutney are included at the bottom of this entry!

The mustard I made is a spicy yellow curry honey mustard. I was very pleased with the way it turned out. My husband has been putting it on his sandwiches. 🙂 

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The chutney I made is a spicy pineapple chutney with some dried apricot and a little fresh mint. It was both refreshing and potently spicy at the same time… a real sinus clearer… my kind of food! 

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This is the easiest balsamic vinegar reduction I have ever made! I didn’t have to worry about watching anything on the stove, or checking temperatures, or making sure anything wasn’t burning! I just put the glass bowl of balsamic vinegar into the dehydrator to let some moisture evaporate off, and after a few hours, I was left with a beautiful balsamic vinegar syrup. 

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As a bonus, we also learned how to make homemade vanilla extract. It is really simple. I can’t believe I’ve never done this before. I took herbalism classes years ago, and it is literally just a vanilla bean tincture. Pour some vodka over the plant matter and let it hang out in a dark place for 4-6 weeks. Voila!

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The other fun thing we got to do today was to assemble the linzer cookies! After making and dehydrating the cookie shapes yesterday, and making the jam, everything was ready. I spread a bit of the raspberry jam between the layers and had a lot of fun taking photos of them. I nibbled a little, but to be honest, my husband was the one who got to eat most of them. They have an almond flour base, and eating too much almond sets off my allergies, so I had to give them up. They turned out to be quite beautiful though!

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After making the liner cookies, we started a cracker recipe, so that we would have some crispy components to add to our cheese plates. I added some garlic and black sesame seeds to give them a more pungent flavor and a nice visual appearance. I really love how they turned out!

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After setting the crackers up in the dehydrator, I blended the Irish moss into a paste and then day 13 was all wrapped up! I’m so ready to go for chocolate making on day 14!!!

Spicy Yellow Curry Honey Mustard
This spicy yellow curry honey mustard blends the exotic and the familiar and a unique flavor combination that is great spread on breads, crackers, sandwiches, etc. If you like spicy food, you will love this mustard recipe!
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 TB yellow mustard seed, soaked in cold water for 10 min (use warm water for less spice)
  2. 2 TB yellow mustard seed, unsoaked
  3. 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  4. 1/4 cup fermented coconut water (or use a dry white wine)
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1 TB yellow curry powder
  7. 2 TB raw honey
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth and well incorporated.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/
Spicy Pineapple Apricot Chutney
This chutney blends tropical fruit and spicy flavors with fresh elements of mint and basil. It is sure to clear both your palate and your sinuses. 😉
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Food Processor ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup chopped pineapple
  2. 2 TB chopped apricot (appx 5 apricots)
  3. 1/4 thai chili, seeded (omit this if you don't want it to be spicy)
  4. 1 TB lime juice
  5. 1/4 tsp of salt
Chopped and folded-in ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup chopped pineapple
  2. 2 TB chopped spearmint
  3. 1 TB chopped basil
Instructions
  1. Blend the "food processor ingredients" in a food processor until well incorporated, but still a little chunky.
  2. Transfer blended ingredients to a bowl and fold in the remaining chopped pineapple and fresh herbs.
A Taste of Two Plates http://tasteoftwoplates.com/