Lusciously creamy with a blueberry tang and sweet nutty base this raw plant-based cheesecake is what dreams are made of (well mine at least). It’s a sweet treat that is big on nutrition but light on the naughty bits, and will easily fool you into thinking it’s the real deal, a huge relief when sometimes the healthy version just doesn’t quite live up to expectations. I tested this beauty on five sceptical burly men, and their purple blueberry stained mouths and cheesy smiles said it all.
Dense in vitamins and minerals, there’s only one thing that makes me feel a little dubious about raw plant-based desserts as a healthier alternative to sweet treats. Too often these kind of treat are so chock full of blended nuts, sugar and oil, that you still end up with one heck of a lot of calories from the huge fat and sugar content. So I set myself a little challenge, to make a cheesecake that is equally lip-smackingly good, full of nutrition and a little easier on the old waistline.
Naturally high in pectin and fruit sugars, blueberries play a bigger part in this cheesecake than just taste. Much like in jam, the pectin acts as a natural setting agent, cutting down on the amount of cashews and eliminating the need for oil in the filling. The natural sweetness of the berries lends this cheesecake a delicious sweetness without relying too heavily on added sugars, resulting in a vivid purple mousse-like delicious cheesecake ready to be devoured with greedy pleasure.
Blueberry Dreamcake with a Goji Crust
Goji berry crust
¼ cup goji berries
¼ cup hemp seeds
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp honey
2 1/2 cups whole almonds
Blueberry cheesecake filling
2 ½ cups raw cashews (soaked in water for 1 hour)
2 cups courgette, peeled and cubed
2 cups blueberries
2 lemons, juiced
3 cups blueberries
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp honey
Blend all the crust ingredients in a food processor until it resembles large crumbs. Press down into a lined cake tin. Set to one side, and start the filling. In a blender, whizz the courgette and blueberries until smooth. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and blend again, until you get a smooth and creamy texture. Poor on top of the goji berry crust base, smooth down the top, and put in the freezer to set for around 45 minutes.
When your cheesecake is nearly ready to come out of the freezer, start preparing the topping. Keep one cup of blueberries to the side to sprinkle on top, and blend the other two cups together with the water and honey. Pour on top of the cheesecake filling, sprinkle on the extra blueberries and put back in the freezer for another hour if you are planning on serving right away, or otherwise keep in the fridge until you need it.
Variation: add a tbsp of elderflower cordial to the blueberry topping for a delicious floral aroma.