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*
200g cashews, soaked over night
1 large lemon, zest AND juice
150ml coconut cream (or only the thicker top of the coconut milk tin)
2 tablespoons Xylitol**
75ml coconut oil, melted
Pinch Himalayan salt
200-250g fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon vanilla paste
1. Start by making the blueberry "jam". Put the blueberry and vanilla in a heavy based pan and heat up 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.
2. 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.
3. 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. Add the zest by hand.
4. Spread this on the crust and smooth over.
5. 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.
6. 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.
** Xylitol was perfect for this recipe. I personally preferred it to stevia which I find can be quite metallic. To replace it with maple syrup, increase the amount as Living Fuel Therasweet is sweeter.