Raw Cashew Dreamcake

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

As a part of my New Year's resolution to bake a new dessert each month, I introduce you to this.



Now technically I did not bake this, but my thought behind baking something new each month was to step out of my kitchen comfort zone. I bake fairly often (easy things like cookies or muffins), but I usually shy away from anything with an ingredient I've never used before or wouldn't know exactly where to find it. This was something I wanted to rectify. I was sure there were change-your-life-delicious dessert recipes out there just waiting for me to move past the cookie baking laze and discover them. This definitely fits that bill. The filling is out of this world. I (and Evie) couldn't stop eating it before I even got it into the crust, and this was before the berries were added. We are no vegans in this household (give up cheese? Never!), but I do like to experiment with healthier substitutions so the idea of a dessert full of good fats and protein with no dairy pulled me in. In the end, it wasn't cheesecake, but it was pretty dreamy and delicious. It packs a mouth full of cheesecake flavor without the thick, sticky mouth syndrome that you get from the dairy and sugar in a traditional cheesecake. Not to mention it's much easier to make at home than a cheesecake is! It's a winner and will definitely be making a comeback in my kitchen - probably with some coffee liquor and cacao in leu of the vanilla and berries, so stay tuned.


Raw Cashew Dreamcake
(My New Roots)

Ingredients:

Crust -
1/2 C. Raw Almonds
1/2 C. Medjool Dates
(In my case, this was equivalent to 6 large dates. Make sure you pull the pit out.)
1/4 tsp. fine Sea Salt

Filling -
1 1/2 C. Raw Cashews
(soaked for at least 12 hours)
Juice of 2 Lemons
1 tsp. Alcohol-free Vanilla Extract
1/3 C. Raw Coconut Oil
1/3 C. Raw Honey
(To make this legitimately vegan, use agave nectar.)
1 C. Raspberries
(In my case, they were frozen.)

Directions:
- Place the almonds, dates, and sea salt in a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse until the mixture has reached your desired consistency. (If the pieces are too large, however, the crust won't stick together well, so keep that in mind.) Test the mixture rolling a spoonful in your hands. If the ingredients hold together well, it's ready. If it's too crumby, add another date and process again. Scoop the crust mixture out into a round cake pan or pie plate lined with Saran wrap (for those you keep fancy kitchen items around, a spring-form pan trumps these). Press firmly, making sure the thickness is relatively even throughout. Put your finished crust into the freezer until your filling is ready.
- Warm the coconut oil and honey in a small sauce pan over low heat until melted. Whisk to combine, cover to keep warm, and set aside.
- Place all the filling ingredients, except the raspberries into your food processor or blender. Blend on high until you think it's smooth, then keep going. If you leave some chunks in it, that's okay, but it is better when it's been pureed well.
- Grab your crust out of the freezer and pour about 2/3 of the filling into it, smoothing it out with a rubber spatula as you go. Add the raspberries to the remaining filling and once again, blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first plain layer and smooth it out, being careful not to mix the layers (Unless you're going for the marbled look and in that case, be as reckless as you want). Place in the freezer until the filling has set, then cut with a warm knife and serve.
- Store leftovers in the freezer, covered.

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