This cheesecake is a product of the magic of soaked cashews plus farm fresh strawberries. Blending them all together with a few other key ingredients and letting your refrigerator do the work and in presto! In a few hours you have a gorgeous cheese cake that is guaranteed to please.
Don't let the "rawness" of this scare you off. You can easily substitute non-raw cashews or coconut oil and vanilla extract instead of pure vanilla. Making it all raw is necessary is that's your audience. I have made it both ways, and it's delicious no matter the ingredients!
Raw Strawberry Cheesecake (adapted from The Post Punk Kitchen)
2 cups raw almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
4 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
2 cups raw cashew pieces, soaked overnight (they will measure 3 cups after soaking)
1/3 - 1/2 cup maple syrup or raw honey (depending on how sweet your strawberries are)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 vanilla beans (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract that is alcohol free)
4 cups strawberries, washed, and hulled (frozen is ok but fresh is best!)
3/4 cup raw coconut oil
1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries
1-2 tablespoons raw honey (according to taste)
juice from 1 lime
To prepare the crust, pulse almonds in a food processor fit with a S metal blade. When nuts are fine crumbs, add the dates and pulse until the dough holds together when squeezed between your fingers. Firmly press crust into the bottom of prepared cake pan. Set aside.
To prepare the filling, pulse cashews in food processor until crumbly. Cut vanilla beans down the middle with a sharp knife, leaving one end attached. Using a teaspoon, scrape the insides of the bean to get all of the bean paste; you may have to scrap each bean twice to get as much of the pulp as possible. Add bean pulp, maple syrup, water, and lime juice to cashews and puree until very smooth, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to make sure you get everything. Feed the strawberries through the top of the food processor and puree until incorporated. The filling should turn a pretty pink.
To melt coconut oil, place coconut oil in a metal bowl or container (like a measuring cup) and hold it in a bowl of water that was boiled. This allows the oil to liquify quickly without raising the temperature of the oil, thus preserving its raw nature. It is really worth the time to melt the oil because if not you will end up with chunks of it throughout the cake; trust me, I've learned the hard way. With the processor running, add the melted coconut oil in a steady stream until the batter is very fluffy. Pour the filling into the cake pan. It will look like a smoothie and you’ll think no way it will set, but it will! Cover with plastic wrap but don't let plastic touch top; secure it with a rubber band. Place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
At least 1 hour before serving and after the cake has set, make the glaze by pureeing the remaining strawberries, lime juice and honey and pouring it on top of the cake. Allow at least 1 hour for the glaze to set. To serve, remove the spring form and slice into 16 slices. This is a very rich and dense cheesecake, so be forewarned!
Recipes currently inspiring me:
Heirloom Tomato Tart at Stacey Snacks
Vegan Sushi at Olives for Dinner
Posole in Broth at 101 Cookbooks