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. 😉
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.
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!
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. 🙂
- 6 inch springform pan
- food processor (optional)
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1/2 cup dates
- 1/4 cup dried coconut flakes
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- pinch of cinnamon
- 2 cups cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight
- 1/2 cup agave syrup
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup water or nut milk
- 2 TB coconut oil
- 1 TB vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1/4 cup agave syrup
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Combine crust ingredients in either a blender or food small processor until well combined and the consistency of a sticky dough.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pour the batter into the springform pan.
- 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.
- 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.
- Plate with extra raspberries and a light dusting of cinnamon.
- 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!