Raw raspberry lemon dreamcake
If you’ve been around the A Dash of Compassion block, you’ll know I’m a fan of raw desserts of all kinds. This time, I think I’ve trumped myself.
It all started with a request to bring dessert to my father-in-law’s birthday celebration at the family cottage last weekend. When I know I’m going to be with people who make it worth a four-hour car ride north of the city, I feel inspired to fill a cake pan with something very special.
Without a doubt, raw vegan cheesecake is the ultimate dessert for milestone celebrations. Of course, I love cashew-based cheesecakes as much as the next person. Cashews hold a wonderful balance of sweet and savoury flavours, as well as being creamy and white in colour, making a perfect imitation of a creamy white cheese. But since my hubby is allergic to that reliable off-white nut, I knew I had to revise my plan of attack.
Early last year, you might remember my experiments to create a raw cheesecake sans cashews and coconut, which resulted in my cute, single-serving strawberry dreamcakes. That recipe made use of macadamia nuts, which are no doubt pricey but are like the Rolls-Royce of nuts in the world of raw desserts (taste one spoonful of my easy macadamia caramel and you’ll see).
Using a similar macnut base, my new family-approved raspberry lemon dreamcake is a real winner—the cream (cheese) of the crop, if you will. The crust, made up of ground almonds, coconut and date paste, adds a satisfying crunch. The “cheese,” comprised of fresh lemon juice, macadamia nuts, agave nectar and coconut oil, lends the creamiest, smoothest texture. And the topping, a simple swirl of raspberries and agave combined with the remaining 1/2 cup of filling, takes the presentation of this beloved dessert to a professional level.
The fact that this so-called cheesecake is made almost entirely of nuts will completely fade from memory upon first bite, which literally melts in your mouth. Your friends and family will be utterly baffled, and when you mention it is made with raw, whole foods instead of artery-clogging cream cheese, you will become a healthy-cake magician.
Start spreading the word that vegans can make magic happen.
Also, did I mention how easy it is to make? Just put everything in a blender, pour it into a springform pan and then chill. I wish I had a better photo to show you of the swirl design on top. I’ve included directions on how to master the swirl in the recipe below, but also check out this video for a live demo.
Raw raspberry lemon dreamcake
Yield: one 8-inch cake
For the crust:
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup date paste
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
For the lemon filling:
- 3 cups raw macadamia nuts
- 1 cup homemade almond milk
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 cup raw agave nectar
- 1 tsp vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
- 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
For the raspberry swirl:
- 1 cup raspberries
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
For the crust:
- Using a food processor, process the almonds and coconut to a coarse meal. Add the date paste, vanilla and salt and process until well combined.
- Press the dough evenly into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Set aside.
For the filling:
- Using a high-speed blender, blend the macadamia nuts, almond milk, lemon juice, agave nectar and vanilla powder until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Reserve 3/4 cup of the filling and pour the rest into the springform pan with the crust. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
- Using a blender, briefly blend 1/2 cup of the reserved filling with the raspberries and lemon juice until smooth. (The remaining 1/4 cup of lemon filling can be used for touchups after swirling. You should also reserve a small portion of the raspberry mixture for touchups, too.)
- Starting in the middle of the cheesecake, pour the raspberry mixture in circles, moving outwards to evenly distribute around the top of the cheesecake.
- Now you are ready to swirl. A chopstick (or something similar) is the best tool for this purpose. Insert the chopstick just below the surface of the raspberry colour near the outer portion of the cake, and begin moving it around, swirling the fillings into each other. I usually make a figure eight motion to integrate the colours. It's important to know when to stop, as too much swirling will blend everything together and you will lose the contrast of colours. Use the reserved filling and raspberry mixture to touch up areas that have too much of one colour. Just pour a small drop of the mixture in that area and swirl lightly.
- Place the finished cheesecake in the freezer to set, about 2 hours, or until the middle of the cheesecake is firm to the touch. Decorate with fresh raspberries before serving, if desired.
Recipe inspired by Sweet Gratitude.