It was Jenna's birthday this weekend and since she has been vegan for 10 years and has influenced our family food choices we enjoyed a fabulous vegan day out with her.
We started off at The Vegan Food Fair where we met the truly lovely Laurianne of Lauriannes Raw Vegan Cakes and were blown away by the wonderful selection of cakes and tarts she makes. We bought five and they were all delicious! Apricot tart, chocolate and salted caramel tart, raw chocolate sponge, vanilla & blueberry cheesecake and carrot cake!
All made without dairy or refined sugar, packed with nutritious ingredients and totally delicious!
She makes cakes to order from her cottage in Killearn and also supplies various outlets in Glasgow, she also runs workshops in and around Glasgow. I'll be booking myself on one soon!
You can find her on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. All details can be found here
Like most of us I really enjoy a delicious fruity creamy cheesecake but not the dairy variety which I find heavy and difficult to digest! Dairy and fruit are never a good combination and in ayurvedic terms, its a big no no!
So how do we acheive that creaminess without all the dairy and refined sugar?
With cashew nuts!!!
They are high in protein, fibre, minerals, good fats and health enhancing phytochemicals and they blend into the most delicious and healthy creamy base for cakes or sauces and are a godsend for those of us who would rather avoid dairy!
I buy nuts and dates which make up the base of this awesome cake from Lidl, whose prices are excellent! Nuts can be expensive and there are a lot of cashew nuts in this cake! I also bought delicious organic maple syrup for £2.99 which is an unbelievable price! Organic week at Lidl is officially over but you can still find organic bargains in lots of Lidl stores. It's well worth stocking up at these prices!
So what makes this cake so awesome...?
This is a really brilliant cake to impress your friends and family and can be made in advance and just thawed for 30 minutes before you serve it! Perfect for unexpected guests!
So the base of this cake is simply nuts and dates blitzed in a food processor and the delicious creamy topping is quite literally cashew nuts blended with maple syrup, berries, fresh or frozen, vanilla and lemon juice!
It doesn't get much easier than that!
All you need is a blender or a food processor and a freezer!
The cashew nuts need to be soaked preferably overnight but 6 hours would do if you are short of time. Any berries would work fresh or frozen. I used my own organic strawberries which are delicious and pesticide free! I have also used frozen blueberries and raspberries which works well too!
I used Aine Carlin's recipe here but have adapted it slightly.
Once the cake is frozen you can use your imagination for decoration but if you want to keep it frozen then don't decorate it with fresh fruit or edible flowers, neither of which freeze well!
I used sliced strawberries, borage flowers and lemon zest. Its actually nice to keep it simple and just pile some fruit in the middle!
So I give you the awesome No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake!
NO BAKE STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE
Ingredients - Serves 8 to 10
For the crust
200g nuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds and hazelnuts all work well
100g pitted dates, medjool are best
For the strawberry layer
250g strawberries or other berries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons maple syrup
125g cashew nuts, soaked in cold water preferably overnight, but 6 hrs min.
For the vanilla layer
300g cashew nuts, soaked as above and drained
100ml maple syrup or brown rice syrup
seeds from a vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 or 3 tablespoons water
1. Place the dates and nuts in a food processor or blender and blend until crumbly.
Put the mixture into a 20cm loose bottomed spring-form cake tin and press down firmly using the back of your fingers or a spoon. Put in the freezer while you get on with the toppings!
2. Wash and hull your strawberries, put in your blender or processor with the drained cashews, lemon juice and maple syrup. Blitz until smooth. Taste for sweetness and add more sweetener if you like. Maple syrup is quite runny so don't add too much more!
3. Remove the base from the freezer and pour the strawberry mixture over it. Smooth with a spatula and put it back in the freezer.
4. Wash your blender and then add all the ingredients for the vanilla layer. Blitz well, you don't want bits of nuts so just keep blending until it's completely smooth!
5. When the strawberry layer has set, carefully pour over the vanilla mixture. Smooth with a spatula and return to the freezer for a few hours.
6. Decorate just before you are going to serve your cake, sliced strawberries, edible flowers and grated lemon zest all work well but use your imagination!
I served mine with a strawberry coulis, just strawberries blitzed in my Vitamix with some lime juice and maple syrup!
You can also just do a single layer, which is slightly less faffy, in which case, just soak all the cashews together and blend the ingredients for both layers at the same time! Less washing up but your cake won't look quite as pretty!
....your health in your hands...
🍃 Health educator🍃