Intros and Inspirations
If cashews could sit, they would sit in thrones. Due to their rounded shape, I'm thinking it's possible, except they wouldn't sit long due to their wide range of culinary applications. Cashew Technology struck again when I realized I could probably make cheesecake out of these. My originality was also struck (down) when a search revealed this has been tried (many times) by (several) others before me.
There are raw cashew cheesecake recipes, cooked, caramel, and many other varieties. The version I put forth to you today is cooked. Whether or not this reminds you of a cheesecake is irrelevant after tasting little triple C – the Tofutti Cream Cheese version is much closer to actual cheesecake – but this recipe has a cheesecake tang as well as a nice balance of taste and texture I think you'll enjoy.
Due to my enthusiastic cashewing these past weeks, I thought I should make sure there are no adverse side effects. Luckily, true to its royal cashewiness, we are delivered nothing but nutrients and heart benefits. In fact, cashews even reportedly have weight LOSS properties.
History of Dish
Once again, ladies and gentleman, I present to you...the Greeks! In summary, a form of cheesecake was served to the Olympian athletes, then spread further by the Romans.
Yield and Pre-heat
Makes one thin cake. Double the recipe to creat a tall version (thicker crust and taller cake). The thinner version has the advantage of feeling good about eating a lot less, even if you ate half of the cake. It's also good when you don't have enough cashews for a full cake, or a Springform pan.
Preparation alert: Soak the cashews overnight or at least 10 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Farenheit.
Ingredients & Steps
The “Rob forgot to get me graham crackers” Crust
Ironically, when I just asked Rob if any improvements were needed before posting this recipe, he told me I could “experiment with the crust a bit more.” Try using a graham cracker crust, but if you liked a toasted almond flavor this crust is for you.
Blend in a food processor or blender:
- ¼ cup unsalted uncooked almonds
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 Tablespoon coconut fat
Coconut fat! Also used to make whipping cream for the topping.
Scrape out into bowl then stir in:
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoon ground flax seed
- ½ cup oat flour
Spread resulting mixture into pie tin or glass pie dish.
Cook the following over medium-low heat for two minutes, stirring frequently:
- ¼ cup Earth Balance
- ¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons coconut fat (use the solid part of coconut milk from Thai brand coconut milk cans, chilled)
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Add above ingredients to cleaned blender or food processor. To this, add:
- 1/8 cup lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons agave nectar or maple syrup
- 1 cup of pre-soaked cashews (drained)
Blend until creamy.
Compiling and Baking
Spread your filling into the crust. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes. This will produce some brown crispiness atop your filling. If you do not want this, see option two. (I made option 2.)
Bake filling in separate dish for 10 minutes. Stir well, then spread into crust. Bake for another 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool. Chill in refrigerator overnight, or if you're inpatient, throw it in the freezer for 30 minutes, then eat.
If I had the ingredients, I would top this sucker with some homemade coconut whipped cream: http://www.everydaydish.tv/index.php?page=recipe&recipe=157
Experiment and let me know if you find a different version to try. I will try adding a ½ up of creamy peanut butter to the filling next time then drizzling chocolate on top. And of course using graham cracker crust, if Rob buys the crackers.
Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with pictures of your versions for posting.
Since this was my first ever attempt at cashew cheesecake, I will certainly post alternate versions of my own as well in the future.
A fourth “C” should be added to this recipe: Caramel. Due to the mingling of Earth Balance and sugar, there is a slight caramel-y overtone. The walnuts and almonds give the crust a toasted flavor, similar to candied nuts.