Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake

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Saturday is treat day, and so yesterday afternoon I made a strawberry cheesecake. I’ve made a raw vegan strawberry cheesecake before, but I couldn’t find the recipe for it and so I looked online for some ideas. I found this recipe on the Sainsbury’s website, and loosely followed it to get an idea for proportions. The final cheesecake is very different to the Sainsbury’s recipe though, so I thought I would write it down and share it here on my blog so that I can remember the changes I made next time I want to make one. It’s a very simple recipe and you can’t go too far wrong. I’ve also included suggestions for ingredient swaps if you don’t have something on the list. The basic idea for this cake is a smoothie poured over a pressed almond and date base, and then frozen to set. You don’t have to use strawberries, you could also make it with blueberries, peaches, blackberries, or any other soft fruit you have to hand.

For the base

200g pitted dates

50g desiccated coconut

100g almonds

For the topping

300g cashew nuts

half a tin of coconut milk or ~ 200ml plant milk of your choice or ~ 200ml non-dairy yoghurt (plain or coconut)

1 punnet of strawberries (~ 350g)

1 banana

Optional extras for the topping

1tbsp agave or maple syrup

A small slice (5 – 10mm) of raw beetroot for colour, finely chopped or grated

The method

  1. Prepare a push bottom cake tin. I lined the bottom of my 20cm cake pan with baking parchment. This would have helped me to remove the cake from the pan while it was still frozen and set it on a plate if we were going to eat the whole thing in one sitting. As there were just two of us, I left it in the tin so that it could go back in the freezer for another day.
  2. Cover the cashew nuts with boiling water, and soak them for 2 hours.
  3. Remove the pits from the dates. If they’re very tough to cut through, cover the pitted dates with boiling water and let them soak for 20 minutes or so until rehydrated and softened.
  4. Once the dates are ready, place the almonds and desiccated coconut into a blender and set it to pulse. Once the nuts are evenly chopped, add the dates to the pot and blend. The final mixture should be loose and not too sticky, but easily formed into a ball between your fingers. If your mix is too sticky or too dry, adjust the ingredients accordingly. Press the mix into the bottom of your cake pan and put it in the freezer while you prepare the topping.
  5. Once the cashew nuts are soft, add the ingredients for the topping to the blender and pulse until smooth. Begin with the beetroot – if you’re using it – and the firmer ingredients, and add the coconut milk last.
  6. Pour the topping mix evenly over the base, and put the tin back in the freezer to set.
  7. It’ll take about 4 hours for the cake to freeze solid. Once it’s ready, let it sit at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes until you can ease the tin apart to cut and serve the cake.
  8. Garnish with fresh mint leaves or strawberries, and keep leftovers in the freezer rather than the fridge unless you plan to eat them the same day.

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