Recipe and Photography: Amber Bremner

This creamy vegan cheesecake is made with a maple sweetened mixture of blended cashews and coconut yoghurt for a bit of tang. Soaking the cashews first will soften them and allow them to blend to become perfectly smooth. Soak cashews in cold water for 8 hours or overnight, or in very hot water for about half an hour, before draining and rinsing. The finished cheesecake can be stored in the freezer. Allow at least an hour for it to thaw and soften enough to serve.

Base
1 cup almonds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups dates, roughly chopped
2 tbsp coconut oil
pinch of salt

Cheesecake filling
3 cups raw cashews, soaked
1½ cups coconut yoghurt
⅓ cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil (melted if solid)
1 tsp natural vanilla extract
2 tbsp almond milk
1½ cups pumpkin puree
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves

Maple pumpkin seeds (optional)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup
pinch of salt
pinch of ground cinnamon

To make the base, blitz the almonds and pumpkin seeds together in a food processor until they form an even sized crumb. Add the dates, coconut oil and salt and blitz again until the mixture is well combined and a small amount holds together when squeezed between your fingers. Press the mixture firmly into the base of a springform cake tin and chill.

To make the cheesecake filling, blend the cashews, coconut yoghurt, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract until completely smooth. Remove 1 cup of this filling to a separate mixing bowl, stir through 2 tbsp of almond milk to loosen it a little and set aside. Add the pumpkin puree and spices to the mixture that’s still in the blender and blend again to combine.

Pour the pumpkin flavoured filling into the cake tin and smooth the surface. Freeze for 1–2 hours, then pour over the plain vanilla filling. Smooth the surface, sprinkle with maple pumpkin seeds (if using) and return to the freezer for at least 6 hours, or until set. At this point the cheesecake should be set but sliceable. If you keep it in the freezer for longer it will freeze solid, which is no problem, just let the cheesecake thaw at room temperature for an hour or so before serving. The cheesecake will continue to soften at room temperature.

To make maple pumpkin seeds, toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry fry pan over a medium heat until they are golden and fragrant. Add the maple syrup and stir for a few minutes until the maple syrup has caramelised and coated the pumpkin seeds. Sprinkle with cinnamon and salt, then scrape the pumpkin seeds out onto a dinner plate, spread evenly and allow to cool. Break the pumpkin seeds up into clumps to garnish the cheesecake.

Amber Bremner
Quite Good Food
www.quitegoodfood.co.nz

Amber Bremner is the author of popular plant-based food blog Quite Good Food. A champion for cooking and eating food that make you feel good, she believes small changes in the way we approach food have the power to make a difference.

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