I took a break from writing over the last few weeks to catch up on life. With the jet lag from our family holiday, juggling catch up at work, and the demands of the end of the school year I decided I needed to take a step back. For the record, in a few months’ time, when I announce that I volunteered to be on the parent’s committee again, feel free to yell (or laugh) at me, or both because it is absolute insanity. (Yet I do it again and again.) I am excited to be back to writing finally, and am especially happy to be sharing one of my favourite dessert recipes with you. I can’t believe that it’s been a whole year since I first made this recipe for banana coconut cream cheesecake, and here I am making it again. Who would have thought that such an easy vegan cheesecake would turn out so deliciously creamy and authentic!
I thought this time I’d try making the cheesecake with a simple raw date and nut crust for the sake of switching it up (and saving a bit of time) instead of the anzac biscuit crust I made last year. Obvious benefit from changing the crust? Not only does it make this a fully raw vegan, no-bake dessert, but it also keeps it gluten-free as well.
I’m really happy with how the crust turned out. It was so easy to make and is a perfect balance with the flavours of the cake, not to mention the hidden nutrients in there which make me feel less guilty serving up a second slice of cake. 😉 And my son loves it, which is an added bonus!
This cake looks pretty impressive, but let me let you in on a secret – it’s really easy to make! Don’t let the chocolate swirl confuse you. Chocolate swirl makes desserts look complicated and elitist, but with a bit of pre-planning for the soaking times, this vegan cheesecake can be made in less than half an hour (not including the chill time obviously).
Sounds good, right? So, where do you start you ask?
Take 5 Minutes to Prepare a date and nut crust
Making this date and nut crust is really simple. It’s a great base for so many recipes (and yummy enough you can just roll it into balls and make energy bites from it) so is a good recipe to have in your repertoire. You’ll want to pit the dates and soak them so they’ll be easier to work with. The easiest way to pit them is to just half them and pull the pit out. After soaking, drain the water off and add them to the food processor with the almonds (walnuts are also a great option if you are allergic to almonds), coconut, and cocoa. Pulse the ingredients together and press the mixture into a spring form pan lined with parchment paper.
Tip: use a square of parchment paper to press the crust mixture into the pan – it will keep it from getting stuck to your hands.
Put the crust in the freezer to chill for the few minutes that it will take you to prepare the filling. Did I mention yet that this is a pretty easy recipe? So what’s next?
Prepare the creamy banana cashew coconut filling
Get ready for another nice and simple one – throw all of the filling ingredients into your (now clean) food processor (I have this one, and love it!) and pulse for about 2 minutes, until smooth. You may want to scrape the sides down a couple of times to make sure you have the creamiest result possible.
While you prepare the filling, melt the chocolate and coconut cream until it is smooth and uniform. It is not necessary to heat the chocolate above 115 C. You’ll want to watch this closely to make sure you don’t accidentally burn the chocolate and just heat it long enough to have a uniform, creamy chocolate sauce. Remove from heat when well blended and set aside. If you prefer to make your own instead of using storebought, here is a great recipe for making your own coconut cream.
Pour the filling evenly into your crust, and then drizzle the melted chocolate in circular splatters. To create a web-like swirl effect, use the edge of a fork to trace lines along the surface of the cake, pulling from the center outwards. Don’t worry about it being perfect – You can always add more chocolate!
Once you’ve finished adding the chocolate topping, place the cake in the freezer to chill for 1-2 hours. This will give the filling a chance to set. Move the cake to the fridge half an hour before serving since it is easier to slice when not frozen. If you manage to not eat the whole cake, you can either store it covered in the fridge or freezer.
If that’s not an easy vegan cheesecake recipe, I don’t know what is! Hope you enjoy it! Don’t forget to take a picture of your creations and tag us on instagram with #accidentallycrunchy @accidentallycrunchy.
- 1 cup soaked, pitted dates (about 15 dates)
- 1 cup almonds (walnuts are also a good choice)
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1¼ cup cashews
- 4 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 ripe banana
- ⅓ cup coconut cream (TIP: put the can in the freezer for 20 min and then turn it over before opening - all the creamy fat will separate from the liquid for you so you get an extra creamy result)
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Juice of ⅓ of a lemon (~ 2 Tbsp)
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 2-3 Tbsp coconut cream
- 2-4 Tbsp chocolate chips
- a splash of maple syrup (optional)
- Soak your cashews in water for 24-36 hours in advance (36h is recommended for a really creamy result).
- To prepare the crust, add the dates, almonds, coconut and cocoa to the food processor and pulse until you have a well blended slightly thick mixture.
- Line a round spring-form pan with parchment paper. Press the crust mixture into the pan so you have an even layer across the bottom and 1-1.5 inches up the sides.
- For an added surprise, chocolate lovers can paint a layer of melted chocolate or chocolate ganache onto the crust before adding the filling.
- Place the crust in the freezer to set while you make the filling.
- To make the filling, drain the water from your cashews and add them to the food processor together with all your other ingredients.
- Pulse for 2-3 minutes until smooth (scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary).
- Pour the mixture into the pan so it evenly covers the crust and set aside.
- For the chocolate drizzle, in a saucepan heat 2-3Tbsp coconut cream (ignore the clear liquid. just take the creamy party) on the stove on low heat. Add chocolate chips starting with 2 Tbsp and stir to help them melt. Add maple syrup to sweeten to taste (optional). Stir until fully melted and then remove from the stove. It is not necessary to heat the chocolate above 115 C.
- Let the chocolate cool for a minute. Then drizzle the chocolate around your cake (I attempted in circles but you can do it as you wish).
- To create the webbed look, take a fork and gently drag it outwards from the center along the surface of the cake.
- Let sit in the freezer for 1-2 hours to set. Move the cake to the fridge 20-30 minutes before you are ready to serve.
This recipe has been included in Food Allergy Thursdays