Just to avoid the confusion, I am not a vegan nor a vegetarian in any way. I am a born and raised omnivore. I eat meat, seafood, carbs, gluten, nuts, veggies, fruits and a whole lot of sweets. Now, that being said let us all focus on the word sweet. Sweet is directly labeled as desserts when you are talking my language.
My absolute favorite dessert? one word and syllable. CAKE. Exactly what this post is all about. The only difference is that this is a healthier cake which based on my guideline is always an up thumbs.
I have been seeing a lot of posts from the blogsphere regarding vegan cakes and sweets. Always being the curious bee here, I decided to give it a shot. I have always been looking for a heathier yet delicious way of making sweets and this could just be it.
The first thing I have to say is when I was making this cake. It was by far the easiest and non-time consuming cake I have ever made. In my previous post I mentioned about patience being related to making a layered cake. Although this is not a layered cake, generally speaking all cakes still requires patience. But I have to say woah, I didn't feel my patience level up at all.
Okay, back to cake. Have you noticed that my title contains quotation marks around the word cheesecake?This is because I'm not quite sure if cheesecake is a proper term since cheesecakes obviously contain cheese but this cake doesn't contain a trace of cheese nor dairy product.
I will be frank with you, when I ate this cake I find it a little odd. If there is any vegan who stumbled upon this post, I'm not here to wage war. I thought that the coconut oil was overpowering and with the sudden emergence of tangy-ness from the lemon, it totally confused my palate. I loved the crusts more than the filling. The dates added enough sweetness to the nuts and together formed a chewy and nutty bottom. I wouldn't even suspect that it was dates behind the sweetness of the crust.
Overall, the cake produced a tropical flavor mainly driven by the coconut oil. That is why I decided to add some fresh mangoes over the top as my topping. Most vegan cheesecake recipes would add berries but I found the mangoes to be a better fit. I enjoyed the filling more when paired with the mangoes. The natural sweetness and flavor of the mangoes balanced out the coconut flavor from the filling and I always think tropical flavors meshes well.
For the Crust
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup chopped dates
For the Filling
3 cups chopped cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours
3/4 scant cups lemon juice (scant refers to barely filling the exact amount called for)
3/4 cups coconut oil, gently warmed
3/4 cups honey
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt (I used fleur de sel as I can't find any himalayan salt)
slices of mangoes
For the Crust
Combine macadamia nuts, almonds and dates in a food processor. Blend until it resembles coarse meal or until it holds a ball when pressed between your fingers. Press your crust up until the sides of an 8 inch springform pan. Freeze until ready to use.
For the Filling
Combine soaked cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract and salt in your food precessor or powerful blender , blend until you have a smooth batter. I highly suggest you give the time to let your cashews soak as this will define your filling's texture. I just let mine sit for 1 hour which was not enough time and explains why my cake has a bit of grainy-ish texture. Pour the mixture on top of your frozen crust then freeze until firm.
Remove the whole cake from the pan while frozen and place on a serving platter. Defrost in the refrigerator. Slice your mangoes thinly and decorate the top a you please. I suggest you add lots of mangoes.
Adapted from Young and Raw