Vanilla and strawberry swirl cheesecake with a chocolate brownie base

by Emma

It was my sister’s 18th birthday yesterday and I wanted to make something special. She’s recently just gone vegetarian and has become really interested in the ideas surrounding a primarily plant based diet – I saw this this recipe on Pinterest and it looked perfect! It was really easy to make, tastes incredible and looks oh so pretty. Completely vegan, raw, gluten free, dairy free, grain free, egg free and wonderfully plant-based.

This recipe is from Hannah at Health Yeah – the only thing I did was switch the blackberries for strawberries. Go check her site out if you haven’t already, it’s quickly becoming one of my new favourites. Unfortunately it’s not low FODMAP – but I’ve got a FODMAP friendly version that I’m working on in the pipe-line!

Raw vegan strawberry vanilla cheesecake with a chocolate brownie base

Raw vegan strawberry vanilla cheesecake with a chocolate brownie base

Raw vegan strawberry vanilla cheesecake with a chocolate brownie base

Make sure you’ve got the following:

Base

1 1/2 cups raw almonds
Pinch sea salt
1/2 cup pitted medjool dates. If using dried dates, soak them in hot water for ten minutes to soften. Drain.
3 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder
1/4 cup desiccated coconut

Coconut filling
3 cups cashews, soaked
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 tbsp melted cacao butter (optional, helps it set nice and firm)
1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup to be truly vegan)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped out, or 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
Extra water, if necessary, to achieve a thick but pourable consistency (about 1/2 cup)

Strawberry filling
2 cups strawberries
2 cups of the coconut filling

a 7 or 9 inch spring form pan (7 inch gives you a taller cake – i.e looks prettier!)

Raw vegan strawberry vanilla cheesecake with a chocolate brownie base

Raw vegan strawberry vanilla cheesecake with a chocolate brownie base

Method:

Prep: Soak the cashews in water overnight or for three or more hours. Drain them of water and set aside. Soak your dates in hot water for ten minutes if dried.

Base: Place the cacao, desiccated coconut, almonds and sea salt in a food processor and grind roughly. Add the dates and process until the mixture is uniform and sticks together when you squeeze a bit in the palm your hand. Press mixture firmly and evenly onto the bottom of your springform pan (I always line mine with clingfilm first to make your raw desserts waaay easier to get out). Refrigerate base while you make the filling.

Filling: Using a powerful blender or a food processor, blend all filling ingredients except for the strawberries, until silky smooth. Give it a scrape/stir like a pro as needed, to ensure it’s all mixed in. If the mixture is super thick, take care of your blender by adding a some water to make it easier blend and pour. Go easy – I was too impatient waiting for the cashews to blend fully so probably put a bit too much in. 1/2 cup should do it.

Pour half the vanilla/coconut filling into a bowl. Set aside. Blend the strawberries into the remaining mixture until it is well blended, and rich pink colour.

Next: take your base out of the fridge. Now it’s the fun part! Do it like this:

One heaped dessert spoon of coconut. One heaped dessert spoon of strawberry.
One heaped dessert spoon of coconut. One heaped dessert spoon of strawberry.
One heaped dessert spoon of coconut. One heaped dessert spoon of strawberry.
One heaped dessert spoon of coconut. One heaped dessert spoon of strawberry.
One heaped dessert spoon of coconut. One heaped dessert spoon of strawberry.
One heaped dessert spoon of coconut. One heaped dessert spoon of strawberry.
One heaped dessert spoon of coconut. One heaped dessert spoon of strawberry.

(Hannah very cleverly took pictures of this method – look here!)

Do until all of the filling is used up and the swirls come to life. Finally cover and place in the freezer for at least six hours (or overnight). Then decorate and serve! It will keep for around 3-5 days in the fridge or 1 month in the freezer.

Raw vegan strawberry vanilla cheesecake with a chocolate brownie base

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