I was recently challenged by Tracy @theeasyhealthyway (a lovely lady from our Instagram Foodie community) to take part in Diana’s @bodybewell (yet another equally lovely lady) to…
“Bake something blue and help spread the word about motor neurone disease“.
Loving a challenge as well as food, cake and great causes… I accepted with great pleasure to show my support and to help raise awareness of MND, a syndrome for which there is currently no cure but with more funding and research there could be.
For further information and to find out how you can help further please visit their website
That’s the important part done, so let’s get to the challenge itself… for which I decided to make blueberry cheesecake squares. This I know is neither a new nor unique recipe but one that has (like most recipes) been adapted over time to cater for many different, personal tastes and preferences. So here goes with my own twist on a “typical vegan recipe for cheesecake”. I’ve made this successfully a number of times over the last few months now, adapting it along the way as my tastes changed through quitting sugar.
Ingredients for Base:
- 1 1/2 (180g) cups of raw nuts
- 2 tablespoons of nut butter
- 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted
Ingredients for Cheesecake filling:
- 1 ½ cups (180g) raw cashews
- 1 large lemon, juiced (1/4 cup/50ml)
- 1/3 cup (80g) coconut oil, melted
- ¾ cup full fat coconut cream
- ½ cup rice malt syrup
- 1 cup (130g) of frozen blueberries
- Blender, bowl, lemon juicer, parchment paper, plastic container (sandwich box 19cm x 11 cm x 6cm)
- Soak all the raw cashews in boiling water whilst you make the base. If you have time, leave them to soak for up to an hour as this makes the blending easier and result smoother .
- Meanwhile blend your chosen variety of raw nuts, enough so that they retain some texture and then add the nut butter and coconut oil. Blend briefly until it all combines. (see consistency in pictures below)
- Line a plastic container with parchment paper and press the mixture into the base. (approx. 1 cm depth). Then place in the freezer to set and firm up whilst you make the filling.
- Drain the cashews and blend until smooth. As they’ve been soaked, they should easily blend to a creamy smooth consistency.
- Then add the rice malt syrup, lemon juice and coconut cream and blend briefly before adding the melted coconut oil last, pouring in as the blender is running.
- Finally gently fold through the frozen blueberries and immediately spoon the mixture on top of your set base removed from the freezer.
- Tap the box a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap or sandwich box lid and freeze until hard. This can take up to 4-6 hours.
- Once set, you can then simply remove from the plastic container by pulling the parchment paper, remove paper and cut into squares. This is when you can see the beautiful blueberries on the sides of the squares! The size sandwich box mentioned above produces 18 individual cheesecakes (3cm x 4cm)
- I love to eat these direct from the freezer or you can take out 10 minutes before serving up to soften a little.
- These will keep in the freezer for up to 2 weeks (if they last that long)
- On occasions I like to decorate lavishly otherwise serve as is either way they look stunning!
- Adding the coconut oil last stops the mixture from becoming lumpy.
- Put the coconut cream in the fridge prior to use so you can use the thickest, creamiest part from the top.
- When adding the frozen blueberries sometimes you will find the mixture starts to stiffen up but it can still be easily worked with.
- Any type of nuts and nut butter can be used in the base. (just a thought maybe don’t use too many different types here) I used macadamias, pistachios and almond butter.
- Alternative fruits can be used in the mixture.
- Another alternative is to keep the mixture plain and add a fruit puree as a top layer. I’ve successfully used papaya for a really refreshing topper.
- I decorated the blueberry squares with additional blueberries, chopped pistachios and edible flowers
- If you would like individual portions, not wanting to cut squares, then why not use silicon muffin moulds, although beware you will obviously forfeit those lovely blueberry sides.
Above all have fun and please feel free to share any feedback and pictures of your creations (in the comment box) … I would love to see them!