I made this recently for a dinner party I had been invited to. The host had prepared a whole vegan menu and asked us to bring pudding. I have made vegan desserts before but a vegan cheesecake was a first for me.
And to make this a tad harder (but better) I never use refined sugar is ANY of my recipes and I also wanted to make it gluten free. In the end, the recipe came out better than I had expected (and I only had to test it twice which is pretty darn good).
The blueberry swirl at the top is a nice little touch and could be replaced by other berries or caramel (all vegan of course). It also keeps well so you could make it now, stick in the freezer and voila.
Vegan cheesecake with a blueberry swirl
For the crust:
- 125g pitted dried dates*
- 125g walnuts
- 200g cashews, soaked overnight
- 1 large lemon, zest AND juice
- 150ml coconut cream (or only the thicker top of the coconut milk tin)
- 2-3 tablespoons Erythritol
- 75ml coconut oil, melted
- Pinch Himalayan salt
- 200-250g fresh blueberries
- 2-3 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Start by making the blueberry "jam". Put the blueberry and vanilla in a heavy based pan and heat up gently until you have a jam consistency. This may take 10-15 minutes but don't overcook. You can also add a little bit of sweetener. Set aside to cool.
- For the crust, put the dates and walnuts in a food processor until the mixture looks like thick sand. Line a tart tin (20 cm) and spread the crust evenly using the bottom of a glass to ensure it's packed tightly. Set aside.
- Make the filling by putting the ingredients in the food processor (minus the lemon zest) and blend until it forms a thick paste similar to thick pancake batter. Fold in the lemon zest.
- Spread this on the crust and smooth over.
- Add a few dots of "jam" and swirl it about using a knife OR serve the jam on top of the cake just before serving as shown.
- Store in the freezer for about 4-6 hours.
- Take out of 15-20 minutes before serving. Add a few fresh blueberries and a sprig of mint to serve.
* Choose very dried up dates, sticky dates make the filling difficult to spread.
** Erythritol was used in this recipe. I personally preferred it to stevia which I find can be quite metallic. Or you can replace it with maple syrup.