Raw Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake

It’s rare to have good consistent weather here in the UK and although normally I have no problem spending time in the kitchen I do find it particularly difficult on sunny days.

The beauty about this attractive Lemon and Blueberry Cheesecake is that you can freeze it. I suggest making a couple of them in advance, as it keeps well in the freezer and that way after a long days escapade soaking up some of the sun’s rays all you have to do is open the fridge door and wellah, dessert is done.

Bursting with fresh fruity citrus flavours, a charming soft body and crunchy biscuit like base – served in the garden with family or friends… a perfect end to a lovely summer’s day.

 

img_0977

 

img_0976_fotor

 

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 4oz chopped dates
  • 4oz whole almonds, chopped
  • 4oz quinoa
  • pinch of salt

Lemon Layer:

  •  2 cups of soaked cashews
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup
  • zest of one lemon

Blueberry Layer:

  • 8oz of frozen organic blueberries, plus a handful of blueberries to garnish.
  • 1/4 of the lemon cheesecake mixture
  • 3 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup

 

Directions 

To make the crust: process the dates, almonds, salt and quinoa in a high speed blender until it resembles a crumb base.  You may need to add a little water (but don’t over do it) until the mixture becomes sticky.  Press into the bottom of a spring form pan and put in the freezer.

To make the lemon layer: blend the cashews and honey/maple syrup in a blender until you get a smooth cheesecake consistency.  Reserve 1/4 of this mixture for the blueberry topping. Place the rest back into the blender and add the lemon juice, blend until combined then mix in the lemon zest. Pour onto your crust and place back into the freezer.

To make the blueberry layer: blend the blueberries with the reserved cheesecake mixture in your food processor until creamy.  If desired add a handful of whole blueberries and combine by hand. Spread this over your cheesecake  base and keep in the freezer overnight or for at least a couple of hours. I suggest waiting a day before serving,  as it will deepen the flavours of the fruit.  When ready to serve leave to thaw for about 20 minutes.

 

– Enjoy –

 


Vegan Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake Cups

At the weekend it was my Step Fathers birthday, aka The Fat Italian.

He gained the nickname from his slightly obsessive relationship with food and has even been known to get hostile at the threat of somebody eating the last piece of rocky road (I still have a bald patch where my hair never grew back). The fat Italian is actually half Italian – so you can see what we did with the name there!

My mother made a gigantic lunch for his birthday and true to family tradition at least 3 different desserts where on offer, one of which was my Vegan Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecake Cups. Certain members of my family (who aren’t vegetarian or vegan) don’t understand the concept of sugar free desserts, with my younger brothers being my biggest critics. I watched contently as the pair of them greedily devoured my sugarless creamy vegan cups. The centre of these desserts were so incredibly moreish I promise you, you wouldn’t have realised you were eating tofu. The sweet nutty biscuit like base along with the rich chocolate topping and the fresh strawberries were enough to convince my brothers. I felt a point was made, that it’s not always necessary to add a tonne of refined sugar to enjoy your dessert.

Vegan Strawberry and Chocolate Cheesecake Cups

Makes 6 Cups

Poss final Fotor_Collage

Ingredients:

  • 4oz (½ Cup) Dates
  • 7oz (¾ Cup) Whole Almonds
  • Half a Vanilla Pod
  • 698g Firm Tofu  (I used 2 boxes a Silken Tofu)
  • 5 Tablespoons Honey (or Maple Syrup if vegan)
  • 2oz (¼ Cup) Cocoa Butter
  • 4 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
  • 4 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup
  • Punnet of Strawberries

Directions:

  1. Place the tofu in a colander to drain off any excess liquid.
  2. To make the base, chop the almonds and dates and place into a blender. (If you’re using a high-speed blender there is no need to chop before adding.) Blitz for a few seconds with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder. Spoon the base into 6 glasses and place in the fridge to chill.
  3. With a sharp knife cut along the edge of the vanilla pod and scrape out the seeds. Place into the clean blender along with the tofu and honey and blitz to a creamy texture.
  4. Take the glasses out of the fridge and arrange strawberries on the base reserving a few for decoration. Pour over the tofu mix and return to the fridge.
  5. Put the cocoa butter in a heat proof bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Once the cocoa butter has melted add 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder, the maple syrup and mix well.
  6. Take off the heat and leave to cool slightly before pouring over the prepared cups,  place a strawberry on top.
  7. Do not return to the fridge until the chocolate has completely set otherwise the chocolate could bloom. (the chocolate takes on a whitish coating that arises from changes in the fat in this case suddenly going from hot to cold)

 

Ivan2n_Fotor