Once in a while, we have a great weekend. This last weekend was one of them. Besides having some much needed social contact with some amazing people (can someone say Monopoly Deal?!), we went to a phenomenal Michael Card concert, and ate some delicious food! Our apartment also has twice the amount of fresh flowers in it as usual right now, so that makes me extra happy.
Speaking of food my husband has been bugging me for quite some time to make a vegan cheesecake, so I finally used this occasion to happily oblige.
In the past, I've made vegan cheesecakes with a tofu base, but after realizing how much I love cashews (sorry, those with nut allergies!), I decided to try one with a cashew base.
Adding coconut cream added to the consistency and taste of it and made it so very rich and enjoyable. Seriously, as much as I love real cheesecake, it doesn't compare to this.
The one downside of making this was the expense! Cashews and agave, even at discounted prices, are no joke when it comes to pulling out the wallet. It was definitely worth the push on our budget though. We'll just eat the leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner today to make up for it. That's how it works, right?
A special shout out to my awesome hand model who cut the cake! Isn't she great, folks?
I think when Summer rolls around, I'll try this again with some fresh picked berries - maybe blueberries or blackberries! Actually, I may just have to enjoy them on the side, since my husband prefers a plain cheesecake...
Strawberry Cream Vegan Cheesecake
What You Need:
1 cup Medjool Dates, pitted (soak if not moist)
1 cup walnuts
3 cups cashews (soaked overnight, or in boiled water for an hour and drained)
Juice of 2 lemons
1 3/4 cups coconut cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup agave (or honey, if not vegan)
2 cups berries of choice (I used strawberries)
1 TBSP agave (or honey, if not vegan)
What to Do:
1) If you soaked your dates, pat them dry to remove excess water (to prevent crust from becoming to soggy). Put dates into food processor and pulse until a paste forms. Remove from bowl and put walnuts in. Pulse to chop.
2) Re-add the dates to the food processor bowl and pulse until the nuts and dates are mixed well, forming a ball.
3) Press evenly into a 9-inch springform and then place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
4) In a blender, combine all of the filling ingredients. Blend until smooth, and no nut chunks remain.
5) Pour into springform and place in freezer as you prepare fruit topping.
6) After cleaning out food processor bowl, add berries (remove tops if necessary) and agave. Process until smooth.
7) Carefully pour over filling (I used a large ladle to do this), and spread evenly across the top.
8) Place back in freezer for at least 4 hours. Before serving, thaw ten minutes, or keep it frozen (just warm up your knife in hot water) - up to you! Enjoy!
I love how this provided some much needed Summer vibes on a great, sunny day!
Think you'll try it?