It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t enjoy desserts. Not only do I love a good dessert, I hang out with people who are absolute dessert monsters, too. During my university years, I became obsessed with sweets. Partly because of the stress of academic life/work/scholarships & partly because I was adopted by a group of Bulgarian girls who were completely obsessed with grocery store cheesecake & Milka chocolate bars. True story.
I still cannot explain how the “adoption” sort of happened. Three Bulgarian girls from completely different cities fly to Toronto, Canada and manage to find one another among 50,000 + students on campus while not even sharing a major. But then it gets weirder. They manage to find another international student who does not share a major with any of them, comes from the tropics, & doesn’t speak their language. And they took to me. And I took to them. And together we ate a lot of cake. And chocolate!
It was because of me that they had to forcefully speak english outside their respective classrooms; so that I could understand the conversation. It was because of me that they loved Spanish food; especially my adobo chicken with sweet onions. It was because of them that I decided to stay. Because the thought of returning home was pretty omnipresent during my first two years in Canada.
Those girls + my Mexican roommate +the kindest library employers one could ever find have become my fierce allies & family. They have seen me get married, have children, & are now watching my children grow up. So every Christmas/New Year’s Eve I reflect a little bit more than usual on my life and what’s gotten me here. I also reflect on what’s gotten me through. And it’s always down to the people.
The last post of 2015 is about cheesecake, we are ending the year on a sweet note. On a thankful note. I love cheesecake & chocolate and the people I just mentioned. If you are on team cheesecake, here’s another raw cheesecake recipe. Except that, there’s no “cheese” in this cake. Anywhere. But it tastes incredibly similar to cheesecake. Some say even better. Plus it has health benefits & healthy fats. The cheese-like filling is made from 70% raw cashews soaked in water & then blended to form a cream. The other 30% comes from vanilla coconut yogurt, which is dairy free.
You’ll love this dessert for 3 reasons: (as if anyone needs a reason to love dessert, really)
- It’s an excellent “make-ahead” dessert, you make the crust & filling a few days ahead. You bring it out 30 minutes before serving & top with whatever fresh fruit you have at hand. Voila- that’s it!
- It’s creamy and rich but light, it doesn’t leave you feeling bloated or full. Just happy & satisfied.
- It only involves 15 min of active prep time- yep, you read right!
Raw Vanilla Cheesecake With Fresh Fruit
For the Crust:
- 1.5 cups of almonds
- 12-14 Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil
- 1/3 cup of coconut flakes (optional)
Throw into a food processor and blend on “Pulse” until a thick paste has been created. Don’t overdo it, some texture provides for a nice crunch when you go in for that first bite! Press the paste with clean hands onto a spring pan, cover in aluminum foil and throw it into your freezer. If you like a sweet & salty taste for the crust, try roasted, salted almonds!
For the Filling:
- 2 cups of raw cashews (soaked in water overnight to soften)
- 1 cup of dairy-free coconut yogurt, I used vanilla flavored
- 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup (or 1/2 cup for a sweeter palate)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tbsp of pure vanilla extract
- 1 frozen banana sliced (adds thickness, completely optional!)
- Blend the cashews, coconut yogurt, maple syrup, vanilla extract & the juice of 1 lemon in a food processor on “High” until a thick mix is visible
- Pour the filling mixture onto the spring pan that already has the crust and freeze overnight OR for at least 4-5 hours (if in a hurry).
Defrost at least 30 mins prior to serving. Garnish with fresh fruit & some edible flowers. Enjoy!!!
Cheesecake de Fruta a Base de Nueces
- 1.5 tazas de almendras
- 12-14 dátiles
- 2 cucharadas de aceite de coco
- 1/3 taza de coco seco rayado (opcional)
Se mezclan todos los ingredientes en el procesador y se forma una mezcla “pegajosa” y gruesa. Con manos limpias, se forma la base del pastel contra un molde para pastel desmontable, así se facilita al sacarlo del congelador ya para servirlo. Queda la forma perfecta, y sin esforzarse! Si te gusta la mezcla de dulce/salado se puede usar almendras rostizadas con sal para la base.
- 2 tazas de semilla de marañón (remojadas en agua toda la noche o por lo menos 3-4 horas)
- 1 taza de yogurt de coco (libre de lácteos) sabor a vainilla o (pueden usar yogurt griego de vainilla si no encuentran de coco!)
- 1/3 taza de jarabe de maple puro (o 1/2 taza si les gusta lo dulce)
- 1 cucharada de extracto puro de vainilla
- el jugo de 1 limón
- 1 banano congelado (opcional)
Se mezclan todos los ingredientes para el relleno en el procesador de comida hasta formar una pasta uniforme y suave. Se deja caer sobre la base del pastel que ya teníamos preparada. Se cubre con papel de aluminio y se pone en el congelador toda la noche. Sáquenlo por lo menos 30 minutos antes de servirlo. Se puede decorar con fruta de tu selección y flores comestibles. Que lo disfruten!
Feliz Fin de Ano a todos! Un abrazo y mil gracias por visitar este espacio Les agradezco mucho su apoyo. 🙂