No Cheese Cheesecake #3

Continuing my cheeseless cheesecake theme from before Christmas – yes, it has been a while since I did some writing! – this was the third (#1, #2)recipe that I wanted to try: not only cheeseless but also raw…it is from The Awesome Green and, apart from increasing the mix for a bigger dish, it is pretty much out of the box…

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The base is the simplest of the three: all you need is:

  • 2 cups of dry pitted dates, soaked overnight
  • 1 cup of raw almonds

Placed them in a food processor and blend them until you get a sticky mix: spread this evenly across the base of your pan – I used a 9″ spring form, lined with baking paper just in case the base needed some support when lifted out of the pan – needn’t have worried: it was sturdy as and easily popped out and on to a plate.

For the filling you need:

  • 4 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 2 lemons, juice only
  • 1 cup of coconut milk*
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Drain the cashews and place them in the food processor  with the lemon juice,
coconut milk and raw honey.Process into a smooth cream.

Pour the cashew mixture in the pan on top of the crust, and spread evenly.

Because I doubled the mix for a larger pan, I made the filling in two batches. My plan was to add some blueberries to the second batch for a layered result but I my haste to get it done, I forgot to check whether the first batch had set before pouring in the second, hence the inner/outer effect you can see below…

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Done properly, it would have looked quite good but adding blueberries to both batches would have been even better.

To top off the topping – as a last minute addition to the plan – I tossed some semi-frozen strawberries, raspberries and blackberries into the blender for a berry coulis to pour over the top.

Happy with the final product but next time, I think I’ll add some vanilla ice cream…

* The recipe said “...use homemade for the raw version or full fat for the vegan one...” I used homemade coconut milk (well, 3:1 coconut/almond) and I don’t see how this could upset any vegan sensibilities as all it is is coconut, almond and water…

How I got muffins for the next few days…

DSCF9678Having people around for afternoon tea means two things: tidy the house and sort afternoon tea…here, it’s not quite so simple as just popping down to the eclair shop for some ‘clairs and lamingtons; more so when the message comes through “…on our way, just leaving Whakapapa now…” and I’ve got nothing ready but an idea…

Speed cooking is, for me, analogous to speed dating: just not something I do…I like a more deliberate planned kitchen experience…but not today…it normally takes me about 15 minutes to drive from home to Whakapapa so time was the one ingredient I was short off…I had selected a good Kiwi recipe the night before and dug the muffin tray out of the back pantry but that was it in terms of preparation…

I am quite chuffed that I managed to get it all together and into the oven before my guests arrived:

What I used:

  • 125g Melted Butter
  • 1 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 t Baking Soda
  • 3 T warm milk
  • 2 Mashed Bananas
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Flour
  • 1 1/2 t Baking Powder
  • 1 – 2 Cups of Blueberries

How I used it:

Heat the oven to 180 degrees.

Mix the butter and sugar together.

Next time remember to add the egg – just realised that I forgot to add this: not quite so chuffed then…

Dissolve the baking soda into the milk and mix in to the rest.

Add the bananas. I used frozen bananas that I had remembered to take out of the freezer earlier to thaw out. Today’s lesson is that you can squeeze the banana – in toothpaste fashion – from the skin by cutting the stalk off and squeezing…way less messy…I mashed them as I blended them into the mix but this would have been better if I had mashed them, THEN added them – didn’t seem to make a lot of difference to the final product though…

Blend in the flour and baking powder.

Mix in the blueberries – I used about a cup and a half – using frozen ones means you don’t have to be so gentle with them plus I am saving our fresh ones for breakfast each morning…

I used a folded up paper towel to swab out the container that I had melted the butter in and quickly greased up the muffin tray. The tray seats sixteen but my mix only lasted for a dozen…

Place the tray in the oven and hit the fan bake.

Keep them cooking until a skewer comes out cleanly…

Now the bit I really mussed up: let them sit in the tray after you take it out of the oven until they have cooled down and ‘set’…I tried to remove them while they were still warm and it was just disintogram time…

DSCF9675I meant to come back to them once them had cooled but once we’d had a bit of a show round the property and an abortive attempt to walk down to the stream, and got into conversating, I forgot about them til latter…so muffins for the next few days…

My plan was to serve them simply with just butter – yes, “…pure poison…”, I know…but am keen to suss out some other ideas…DSCF9679

Insights

Remember to add the egg next time – although they seem to have come out OK regardless…

Let the muffins cool before trying to remove them from the tray.

Get a new muffin tray: this one came with the house and has seen better and more non-stick days, even when greased…time for retirement and replacement…

‘Toothpasting’ thawed bananas works well.

Frozen blueberries are easier to mix in…

The amount of sugar could be reduced and I’m wondering if the milk could be replaced by an alternative non-cow milk..?

They taste good with a crunchy crust that most likely comes from the sugar…I was worried that I would over-mix the ingredients and end up with a rubbery texture – all the muffin recipes seem to warn about this –  but nope, all good…

Definitely a keeper recipe and one I will try again just as soon as all the current muffins are consumed and I have a new muffin tray…