The most heavenly cake I’ve had in recent years has been the raw cashew dreamcake. As dreamy and creamy as this “cheesecake” is, it doesn’t contain any cheese or dairy, nor does it have a graham cracker crust.
It takes only a few simple ingredients to whip this up and voila, cashews turn into cream, and boy, what a dream! For my first raw cashew dreamcake, I used a mixed berry flavoring: blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. With the addition of vanilla and lemon juice, this cake is sweet, tart, rich and delicious. By soaking the cashews overnight and with the help of my heavy duty Vitamix blender, I was able to achieve smooth and creamy, silky perfection. A bite of this is true divinity.
Now, I’m not going to pretend I wrote this amazing recipe. My adaptations are the mixed berry flavoring and instead of using honey or agave, I used raw coconut nectar for it’s low glycemic index and because it contains much less fructose (about 20%) than agave (which can contain up to 90% fructose). Mind you, studies have been shown that high levels of fructose make lab rats fat. If you currently consume agave, I’m sorry to inform you that agave has more fructose than high fructose corn syrup (about 50% )! Can you believe it? This explains why I steer clear from agave!
So, if I didn’t come up with this brilliant cashew cheesecake recipe, who did? My answer is, I have no idea. I used the raw cashew dreamcake recipe from the lovely Sarah Britton at mynewroots.org to adapt my version, and she says she didn’t come up with it either. The origins of this genius remains a mystery.
I can honestly say that after indulging in a slice of this vegan “cheese”cake, I felt no guilt. Perhaps, this may be due to my active lifestyle or maybe it’s because this cheesecake is vegan and raw– it doesn’t contain any cholesterol and its powerful vitamins, minerals and enzymes still remain intact.
Instead of eating empty calories, we get a healthy handful of nuts, berries, and raw coconut nectar. There is coconut oil in the recipe, which is high in fat. However, coconut oil does not contain cholesterol. The oil comes in the form of medium-chain triglcerides (or MCTs), which differ from types of fat consumed from both plant and animal sources, long-chain triglycerides (or LCTs).
“MCTs are easily digested, absorbed, and utilized in the body because their molecules are smaller than those from LCTs. This means that unlike other fats, they require less energy and fewer enzymes to break them down for digestion. They are an excellent choice of fat for active people and athletes as MCTs digest immediately to produce energy and stimulate metabolism. They are also ideal for those who suffer from digestive disorders and are often given in hospitals to provide nourishment for critically ill people who have trouble digesting fat.” -Sarah Britton
That said, if we eat well throughout the day and exercise a few times a week, this is a perfect dinner dessert! You can prepare this in a 6-inch round spring-from pan, or you can use a cupcake mold, lined with plastic wrap.
Finally, here’s the recipe! I hope you love it as much as we do!
Make sure to use a 6″ pan. In this photo, I went overboard with plastic. This was a spring-form pan, not necessary to add that much plastic or even no plastic at all.
Make sure 2/3 of the vanilla filling goes down first, then add the berries to the blender and pour on top. I had more berry than vanilla filling (oops)… but was still fine. :)
After being frozen
After removing from pan and from plastic wrap.
Use a cupcake tin, lined with plastic wrap to get 6 tartlets!
Dreamy Creamy Vegan Berry and Vanilla “Cheese”cake
Time 1 day
V, GF, R, SF, DF
1/2 C raw almonds (pecan or walnuts will also work)
1/2 C soft Medjool dates
¼ tsp sea salt
1 ½ C raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours, overnight is best
2 lemons, juiced
seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean (or 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract)
1/3 C raw coconut oil, melted
1/3 C raw coconut nectar (or maple syrup if you don’t have this)
1 C berries: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen)
1. Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness. You’ll want a finer crust than a chunky one. Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. If you don’t feel it’s holding together, try to mix the mixture with your hands until it comes together. Scoop out crust mixture into a 6″ spring-form pan (if you don’t have a spring-form pan, use a 6 inch cake round, lined with plastic wrap) or line a cupcake tin with plastic wrap to make 6 tartlets, and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well-packed and that the base is relatively even throughout.
2. If coconut oil is solid, place oil in a small saucepan on low heat until it comes to a liquid state.
3. In the blender, place all filling ingredients (except berries) and blend on high until very smooth (this may take a couple minutes).
4. Pour about 2/3 (eyeball it, you can’t make a mistake!) of the mixture out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Add the berries to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling and smooth with a spatula. Place in the freezer until solid, about 3 hours.
5. To serve:
a) the cake, remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own, or the way I like it, with berries! Store leftovers in the freezer.
b) the tartlets, remove the tartlets from the freezer 30 minutes before serving and remove plastic. Place them on plate and serve when defrosted. Serve topped with fruit.
Try my Vanilla Bean “Cheese”cake with Mixed Berry Compote.
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