Saturday, March 7, 2015

Vegan, Lemon, Raspberry Cheesecake


      This is the first vegan cheesecake I have ever made and it turned out beautiful and oh so yummy!

My family loved it...especially my 9 year old step son who said it was, "so delicious!"

There are different ways to make vegan cheesecake. Some methods really come very close to tasting like the real deal and unless you're a food connoisseur, you wouldn't know the difference. I have yet to learn those methods. But I will be honest that although this is classified as a "vegan cheesecake", it really doesn't taste like cheesecake. Regardless, it's healthy, unique in that it's main ingredient is cashews and it tastes wonderful.

Time: 30 min
Serves: 12
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INGREDIENTS
Crust
  • 2 cup Graham crackers pulsed into crumbs (Nabisco grahams original is honey free)
  • 5-6 tablespoons melted coconut oil or vegan butter ( I used coconut oil )
  • 2 Tbs organic powdered sugar (only if using graham crackers without honey to make for a true vegan recipe)

Filling 
  • 2 ¼ cups of raw, salt free cashew nuts 
  • 1 ½ cup raspberries (for pink filling)
  • ½ cup raspberries (to be arrange around inner spring foam pan)
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¾ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 6-8 tablespoon agave 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup coconut oil, melted

Topping
  • 1 cup raspberries (I used fresh raspberries)



 METHOD

1. Soak cashews in water for 6hrs or over night, (I choose to soak overnight). If they soak longer that is completely fine.


2. Line a loose bottom/spring foam (7-8 inch) cake pan with baking paper. (Optional)


3. Pulse crackers and slowly add melted oil or butter. Press mixture firmly into base of pan. Mixture should be just firm enough yet somewhat crumbly. 


4. Place drained cashews in food processor along with water, lemon juice, vanilla, agave. You may want additional agave or sweetener until you obtain desired sweetness. Pulse. Add melted oil and pulse. Make sure mixture is very smooth and not gritty. Taste test for texture. (It will have a unique and unusual taste but hang in there... the results are awesome!). Set aside 1 cup of this mixture which will be used for your 1st layer. Now take remaining 1 ¼ cup of mixture, add 1 ½ cup raspberries to it and pulse. 


5. Layer your crust with the white cashew mixture originally set aside. Line ½ cup raspberries around outer edge of pan. Let sit in fridge for approx. 20 minutes to firm a little before applying the pink layer. After 20 minutes add the pink raspberry layer and smooth with spatula to finish. Top your cake with raspberries for decoration. 


6. Place cake in freezer for at least a total of 2 hours. When you take it out of the freezer, let it thaw for at at least 30 minutes. Unhook your spring foam pan and there you have a beautiful vegan, lemon, raspberry cheesecake! 







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