Yes, I know. Another raw recipe.
Every second dessert I’m making at the moment is raw. I assure you I’m not caught up in some kind of craze , but the appeal of eating something delicious which is also so very good for you is too much for me to resist!
This is all relatively new to me. Not the notion of healthy eating (which I have a long history with, as mentioned in this post) but clean eating. I have Emma, my lovely friend/colleague/boss to thank. She lives her life striving to eat clean and raw foods, and has introduced me to the whole phenomenon. For those of you who are new to the concept, eating clean means a diet consisting of food that’s consumed closest to it’s natural state – mainly fresh vegetables, fresh and dried fruits, nuts and seeds. Whilst I completely understand the health benefits of this diet, I personally could never make the commitment to eat this way 100% of the time. I see too many benefits in other food groups to simply leave them behind, and more importantly I have a deep and infinite love for bread and butter. However, I have discovered through Emma, that raw desserts really are magnificent. And with an ingredient list of (basically) fruit and nuts, is it any wonder that I’m so eager to keep making them!
I have also discovered that there are many people worldwide who are choosing to eat this way. Websites and blogs are all over the internet, with various recipes for clean and raw desserts. It didn’t take long to realise that they all follow the same brilliant formula: nuts/dates for the base and cashews/maple/coconut oil for the top layer. This is my version of a raw Lemon + Raspberry Cheesecake following that same formula. I have a few ideas for a raw Chocolate + Peanut Slice which I am still working on. It basically tastes like a Snickers bar, believe it or not, so keep an eye out for that one in the coming weeks.
In the meantime I urge you all to give this one a go – you may not believe it until you taste for yourself.
Raw Lemon + Raspberry Cheesecake
for the base
1 cup desiccated coconut
3/4 cup almonds
1 heaping cup fresh pitted dates
juice of 1 lemon
Place all of the above ingredients, apart from the lemon juice, into a food processor and pulse until ground to rough breadcrumb consistency. Add the lemon juice and pulse again briefly.
Line a round cake tin with enough cling film to hang over the top. Press down the base mixture very firmly, in one even layer. Place in freezer.
for the top layer
2 cups cashews, soaked for 2 hours, then drained
1/2 cup maple syrup
zest and juice from two or three lemons, depending on their size
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
few Tbsp water (optional, if a thinner consistency is required)
1 cup frozen raspberries
Place all but the raspberries into a food processor. Blitz until the mixture is thick and smooth. You might need to add a couple of tablespoons of water if the mixture is too thick, it does take quite a while so be patient with it.
Take the base out of the freezer and pour your cashew cream cheese mixture on top of the base. Smooth over with a spatula, then sprinkle over the frozen raspberries, pressing in gently so they rest nicely into the cheesecake.
Freeze for an hour.
Remove from freezer 10 minutes before you are ready to serve.
If you are not eating the entire cake in one sitting, keep the remainder stored in the freezer.