So much in cooking, as in the rest of life I suppose, is about contrast, about balance. Here the sharpness of the passion fruit undercuts the richness of the white chocolate cashew layer, but is lifted by the light, sweet layer of mango on top: this gives the cheesecake flavour, intensity, sweetness and light.
If we are being technical, this it isn’t actually white chocolate, just cacao butter and vanilla bean extract blended with some cashews, and a healthy dollop of maple syrup! But it has a creamy, chocolatey, vanilla flavour, so white chocolate it is! I use cocoa butter in this recipe because it has a lighter, less intense chocolate flavour than cacao butter, which makes it better for achieving a faux white chocolate taste. Cacao butter would make this layer taste more like dark chocolate, which tastes great with a tart fruit like raspberries.
I actually adapted this recipe from one of the first raw cheesecakes I ever made, which was a dark chocolate and raspberry, but I lightened it up to make a tropical version to celebrate finally being able to go outside without a coat in the UK! I say I made this to celebrate, really I just wanted cheesecake, and at least this is a healthy alternative to the real thing! “But it has fruit in it!”, I tell myself as I cut a slice for my breakfast…
I spread passion fruit throughout the white chocolate cheesecake layer, so there are lots of crunchy bits in there to add texture. I personally love the seeds, so just scooped a passion fruit out whole, but you could always just substitute using pulp (without seeds) if you prefer.
The mango layer is prone to melting as it is made with coconut oil, so it turns all lovely and mousse-like as you eat each slice, this does also mean if you leave the cheesecake out of the fridge when defrosting, this layer will turn to mush, so defrost this cake in the fridge! I made the little swirly pattern in the top using mango and passion fruit puree; purely for decorative purposes, so feel free to go crazy with your decoration too!
This is my all-time favourite summer cheesecake recipe, so I hope you love it just as much as I do! Don’t forget to tag any recreations on Instagram with @rawberryfields so I can check out your goodies!
- Pecan and Macadamia Nut Base
- • ½ cup (55g) pecan nuts
- • ½ cup (67g) macadamia nuts
- • 7-8 Medjool dates
- • 2 Tbsp shredded coconut
- • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- • ½ tsp cinnamon
- • 2-3 Tbsp liquid coconut oil
- • ½ vanilla bean paste OR 1tsp vanilla extract
- White Chocolate and Passion Fruit Cheesecake Layer
- • 2 cups cashew nuts (preferably soaked overnight OR at least 4-6 hours)
- • ⅓ cup (70ml) lemon juice
- • 8 Tbsp maple syrup
- • ⅓ cup (70ml) liquid coconut oil
- • ¾ cup (177ml) liquid cocoa butter (cacao butter will make it taste more like dark chocolate)
- • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- • 1 and a ½ passion fruit halves (save the other half) scraped into a bowl
- Mango Topping
- • 1 ripe mango
- • 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup
- • ⅓ cup (70ml)liquid coconut oil
- Place the nuts in the food processor and pulse until the nuts are roughly chopped.
- Add the remaining ingredients and process until you have a medium-fine crumbly mixture. It should be sticky and stick together, but you still want a little bit of texture.
- Place the mixture into the springform pan and press flat with a spatula or the back of a spoon until the mixture is all stuck together and is flat and smooth.
- Put the base in the freezer whilst you make the cheesecake layer.
- Place your drained cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, cocoa butter maple syrup and vanilla bean paste into your blender and mix until you have a really smooth and creamy mixture.
- You need to make sure you get it really smooth so you get a nice silky, cheesecake texture. If your mixture is too thick, add a bit more cocoa butter, maple syrup or lemon juice to help things blend a little easier.
- As with all raw food, you can taste and adjust the amount of maple syrup or lemon juice to your preferences.
- Pour a THIRD of the mixture on top of crust and gently bash the tin on top of your kitchen table to remove any air bubbles. You may need to do this a couple of times to make sure they’re all gone.
- Pour half of the passion fruit evenly over the top of the cheesecake.
- Cover with another third of the cheesecake mixture and top this with the rest of the passion fruit.
- Pour the rest of the cheesecake mixture on top and bash to remove any air bubbles.
- Place the cheesecake into the freezer for at least 15 minutes while you make the next layer. You want to make sure the top is a little bit firm so you get nice separate layers.
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy mixture is formed.
- Pour the mixture over the top of the cheesecake. Tap the tin gently on your work surface to remove any air bubbles.
- If you are adding the passion fruit swirl, place in the fridge whilst you make the swirl mixture. If not, place the cheesecake in the freezer for at least 3-4 hours to set.
- This cheesecake will keep for about a month in the freezer in an air-tight box. Remove and place in the fridge to defrost for a couple of hours before serving. I sometimes find it needs longer, but it may need less time; just don't allow the top layer to melt too much!