During our vegan challenge, a sweets festival was held here in Budapest. Various vendors set up stalls in one of the main squares and sold their heavenly products to the crowd. We decided to pop by and admire the works of art made out of chocolate and other candy, the beautifully decorated cakes and the stunning macaroons made in a variety of flavours. It was a pity that we were on our vegan challenge because they were all tempting! However, we were grateful that a few vendors were also selling vegan sweets. Once there, we had to try something and opted for a carrot and walnut cake and a blueberry and pistachio cake… Amazing!! 🙂
Being a cheesecake fan, I also wanted to try the vegan version they were selling but it was already finished. At that point, I was inspired and wanted to try making my own vegan cheesecake. I did my research about substituting the cream cheese/ greek yoghurt and found out that a lot of recipes use raw cashew nuts. At first, I was a bit skeptical about how the texture of the ‘cheese’ would turn out. In fact, if you are not aware of the ingredients, you would never assume that there are cashew nuts in there!
I felt like indulging in a sweet buttery base this time, however the recipe below can be easily adjusted to be suitable for vegans too! Instead of biscuits and butter, you would need almonds and pitted dates blended together. This will form like a soft chunky dough which you would press into the cheesecake tin.
Being a fan of teas too, I wanted to include this in my cheesecake. I chose Earl Grey because the flavour of bergamot flavour which is perfect with the lemon. If you are not a fan of teas, you might want to omit the tea leaves and add extra berries on top. The sweetness of the berries combines just as well with the tartness from the lemon.
I like to prepare individually portioned desserts as much as possible, so here I used my muffin tins to prepare mini cheesecakes. I find that they are easier to serve like this and nobody complains that his serving is smaller that the others! 😛
Whether you are hosting dinner for your family/friends or maybe a tea party or maybe you want some dessert for yourself, here is what you need and how to make this delicious cheesecake! 🙂
– For the base*:
- 180g sweet biscuits
- 80g unsalted butter, melted
– For the filling:
- 225g raw cashew nuts
- 120g coconut cream
- 50g honey*
- 50g coconut oil
- 60g fresh lemon juice
- 1tsp lemon zest
- 2 teabags earl grey tea leaves
- Berries, to garnish
- Soak the cashew nuts in boiling water for 1 hour.
- In a food processor, crush the biscuits until they are crumbs and add the melted butter. Transfer the mixture to your cheesecake tray or the muffin tins, and using the back of a spoon or your fingers press the base mixture firmly until it is well packed. Chill for at least an hour.
- Drain the soaked cashew nuts and place them in the food processors together with the coconut cream, honey, coconut oil, lemon juice and lemon zest. Blend together on high speed until the texture is very smooth. Pour in the contents of 2 teabags and blend for another 2 minutes and make sure that the mixture is evenly blended.
- Gently pour the mixture over the base and tap the cheesecake tray/muffin tins to release any air bubbles.
- Garnish with berries (blueberries, raspberries, red or black currants).
- Place them in the freezer for at least 4 hours to set completely.
- Take them out of the freezer 30-45 minutes before serving.
*Notes: If you want to go vegan;
(i) substitute the base ingredients with 140g whole almonds and 220g pitted dates. Put them through a food processor until they form a soft chunky dough. If it is too sticky, add more almonds and if it is too dry, add more dates.
(ii) substitute the honey with agave syrup, using the same amount.