Beam me up and take me to the kitchen right now so I can make this! As far as desserts go you can probably tell from my blog that I do love the odd cheesecake #hehe and while creating recipes for my plant-based book Spiralize – 40 Nutritious Recipes to Transform the Way You Eat – I had to get a healthy cheesecake in there amoung all the other spiralized desserts. Boom. Nailed it.
The secret to this recipe is to use underripe persimmons, so they can spiral easily and make delicious, sweet caramel-like noodles. When you cut a slice of cheesecake the flash of persimmon noodles will marble each slice and make this a darling of a dessert, and so easy to make too!
It’s another raw dish, of course, highlighting the versatility of using activated (soaked and maybe also germinated, sprouted and dried) nuts and seeds. These foods form the foundations of any balanced raw food or healthy plant-based diet.
This raw ‘cheesecake’ is so good that your friends will be begging you for a slice, not just because it’s completely dairy free and contains no refined sugars but because it tastes absolutely sensational! Packed with vitality-boosting nuts and fruit, this dessert manages to be creamy, rich and indulgent whilst remaining (relatively) virtuous.
You will need a ProSpiralizer™ a food processor, a blender and a spring form pan.
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus resting
Cooking time: none
For the base:
- 100g/31⁄2oz/1 cup almonds
- 100g/31⁄2oz/1 cup hazelnuts
- 200g/7oz/11⁄4 cups semi-dried apricots
- 2–5 drops orange extract
- 2 tsp coconut oil, warmed
For the filling:
- 3 firm persimmons
- 350g/12oz/3 cups raw cashew nuts, soaked for 2 hours in filtered water & drained
- 100g/31⁄2oz/ 3⁄4 cup coconut yoghurt
- seeds of 1 vanilla pod
- 1 tsp rose water
- juice of 1⁄2 lemon, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp agave nectar or raw honey if you prefer
- 1 tsp ground organic turmeric or freshly juiced root
- 150g/51⁄2oz/scant 1⁄2 cup coconut oil, warmed to a liquid
- juice of 1⁄2 orange, at room temperature
For the topping:
- 1 firm persimmon
- zest of one unwaxed orange
- 1 handful raw coconut flakes
First make the base. Place the nuts in a food processer and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the apricots and continue to process until the mixture resembles couscous; processing the mixture beyond this will release too much oil from the nuts, resulting in a greasy base to your cheesecake. Add the orange essence and coconut oil, process the mixture again for 30 seconds to blend in the oils, then transfer the mixture to the base of an 18-cm/7-in spring form pan. Use your hands to firmly pack the base into the bottom of the pan, making sure it is at and evenly covered. Set aside while you make the filling (somewhere cool or in the fridge.)
For the filling, spiralize the persimmon using blade 2 on your ProSpiralizer™then set aside. Don’t peel the persimomon first as it will be very difficult to spiralize. If spiralized well you should be able to remove the spiralized peel as one long noodle – but if you can’t find it to remove it then not to worry! It’s perfectly edible.
Place the remaining filling ingredients, except the orange juice, into a high-powered blender. Blend the mixture, gradually adding the orange juice as you blend. The final mixture should look like a thick pancake batter: if yours is too thick, loosen it with a few drops of warm water (do not use cold water as it will cause the coconut oil to harden).
Spread half of the persimmon noodles over the cheesecake base, making sure they are evenly distributed and not piled in the centre. Pour half of the filling over the base, level, then add another layer of noodles. Pour the remaining filling over the top, completely concealing the noodles, and level the surface with a spatula. Transfer the cheesecake to the fridge to set for at least 4 hours. To tell if the cake is set, press very gently on its surface and pull your finger away; if the surface is firm and your finger comes away clean, then the cake is probably ready.
Carefully remove the cake from the spring form tin and transfer to a serving plate. Spiralize more persimmon noodles and pile on the top of the cake to decorate. Sprinkle over the coconut flakes and orange zest and serve, slicing with a cold, sharp knife. The cheesecake will keep for up to ve days in the fridge.
The best Spiralizer for the job is one with sharp blades thet can precision cut the most difficult of veggies and fruit: The ProSpiralizer™
To make recipes like this with me why not join me at one of my Cookery School classes.
NUTRITION (PER SERVING): 362 calories | 8g protein | 30g fat (of which 13g saturates) | 14g carbohydrate (of which 11g sugars) | 3g bre | 0g salt
Keeping it juicy & raw
Photo credit to Tony Briscoe reproduced with thanks to Pavilion Publishers.