It’s no secret that I love a raw cheesecake. I think I have developed a bit of a soft spot for them because after my very first bite of one, I had one of those lightbulb moments where I realised that eating a diet comprised primarily of raw foods may in fact be possible for someone like me, who until that moment had had a life-long aversion to salad. Not only do raw cheesecakes have a much better texture, I think, as they’re firmer, but the flavour combinations are also endless, and I have yet to meet anyone who is new to raw food who has tried a raw cheesecake and disliked it.
I mentioned in a previous post that I have started working at a magazine publishers, where I manage the websites and social media of a free-from food magazine, a baking magazine and a magazine about Italy (random I know!). It has been a busy few weeks since starting, but I think I am just starting to get the hang of the job, traveling, waking up early, and being away from my beloved blender all day! Despite the fact that the magazine I work on primarily is a free-from food magazine, none of the people I work with eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, so I get a little jealous when they get to munch on all the lovely food we get sent into the office, and we get sent a lot of food! I suppose I can’t complain too much as I do get any of the occasional vegan goodies we are sent!
Another perk of the job is that I was given the chance to go to The Cake & Bake Show in London this weekend, to meet talented bloggers, bakers and chefs. I also got to meet some of the bakers from previous series of The Great British Bake Off as there was a live stage, which is a bit of a dream come true for a super-fan like myself!
I also found myself sitting opposite John Lithgow on the Tube, who plays the Trinity killer in Dexter, and who is the voice of Lord Farquaad in Shrek. Needless to say, this was a very exciting day for someone like me (I am a huge Dexter fan), and make me feel very grateful to be in a job that gives me such exciting opportunities. And we also go to the pub and listen to a lot of disco and 80’s music in the office, so it could be worse!
Whilst walking around drooling over lots of beautiful, and very unhealthy, cakes, I was surprised to find both a vegan cake shop, and a raw cheesecake and chocolate shop. This is just so exciting to see in the UK, as it is a big show, which is attached to a high profile show like the Great British Bake Off. I spoke to the owner and he said that he had spoken to a lot of interested customers, and had sold a huge amount, which is really encouraging, as it shows people are open to the idea of eating beautiful raw food. I sometimes worry that I only really share very decadent desserts, but I like to think that maybe it helps some people to see this way of eating as more exciting.
But enough of my rambling, lets talk about this cheesecake, because it is rather good. If you’ve ever tried a mango lassi drink before, you’ll know how good.
Mango lassi is a traditional Indian yoghurt and mango drink, which is both sweet, and light and refreshing. But don’t worry vegans, we don’t have to miss out on this wonderful drink, because you could substitute the yoghurt for creamy coconut milk, coconut yoghurt or frozen bananas. I have had a stash of frozen ‘Maya’ mangos for a while now that I have been rationing myself to until it is mango season again, as they were quite simply the most delicious mangos I have ever managed to get my hands on in the UK. The flesh was the brightest, most vibrant yellow colour I have ever seen, and so sweet that I didn’t actually use any maple syrup to sweeten this layer, so you may want to add some if you mangos aren’t too sweet.
Traditionally, mango lassi’s are spiced with cardamon, saffron or rose water, so I decided to add the rose water element in to the cheesecake in the raspberry layer, as it adds a lovely, delicate floral hint. If rosewater’s not your thing, feel free to leave it out, but I think it adds an exotic taste to this cheesecake, especially when paired with the aromatic carob flavoured base. I used the last of my precious mangos for this cheesecake, so you better believe it tastes good!
- ⅓ cup (40g) walnuts
- ⅓ cup (45g) brazil nuts
- 1 cup (roughly 9-10) Medjool dates
- 2 Tbsp coconut syrup
- 3 Tbsp carob powder
- 1-2 Tbsp water
- 1 cup (150g) cashews (soaked overnight)
- ⅓ cup (80ml) maple syrup
- ¼ cup (60ml) liquid coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- ¾ cup (95g) fresh or frozen (but slightly thawed) raspberries
- ¼ cup (60ml) water
- 3-4 Tbsp rosewater (you may need more or less depending on what brand you have)
- 1½ cups (200g) of cashews (soaked overnight)
- ¾ cup (180ml) coconut cream (the stuff from the top of the can)
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- ¼ cup (60ml) water
- 1 cup (165g) fresh or frozen ripe, juicy mangoes (I used roughly 2 of the super-sweet 'Maya' variety)
- Optional: maple syrup to taste (if needed)
- Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse until they are roughly chopped into small pieces.
- Add the dates and pulse until they are combined with the nuts.
- Pour in maple syrup and carob powder and pulse to combine.
- Add the water a pulse again until the mixture comes together in a dough like substance. I find mines rolls into a ball in the food processor.
- Pour the mixture into the cake tin, and press the brownie mixture into the bottom. If it is sticky, wet your fingers slightly and use them to press it down firmly.
- Place in the freezer to harden whilst you make the raspberry and rosewater cheesecake layer.
- Place the cashews and water and blend until a lumpy paste is formed.
- Add in the maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the raspberries and rosewater (to taste) and blend to combine.
- Pour the mixture over the top of the brownie layer and put it in the freezer for 20 minutes to firm up whilst you make the mango lassi cheesecake. It is important that this layer be firm enough that when you pour over the mango layer in order to get clear definition between the layers.
- Place the cashews, maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil and water into a blender and blend until smooth.
- Add in the mango and coconut cream and blend again until smooth.
- Pour the mixture over the top of the raspberry and rosewater layer, and place the cheesecake into the freezer again to harden for approx. 3-4 hours until frozen solid.
- I would recommend defrosting this cake in the fridge before serving (I can't give an approximate time because it turns out I have an exceptionally powerful freezer!). Raw cheesecakes can easily be stored in the freezer in an air-tight container for a couple of months.
If you want to know more about the ingredients used in this recipe, please visit my ‘Raw Pantry’ page!