Friday, August 19, 2011

Raw Cheesecake Love

A couple of days ago I was out with some of my favorite girls to send off our lovely friend Nora and to celebrate my friend Simone's birthday. We went for drinks to Atmosphere Cafe in Guelph who was kind enough to let us store the cake I made at the restaurant.


Although I certainly do not eat a raw food diet, I am a big fan of raw desserts. They always satisfy my sweet tooth and are so nutritionally dense. Lately I have been making nut butter based raw chocolate balls. They are a great snack to have around as they are full of antioxidants and proteins and so easy to make.


I also love making raw cheesecakes. They stay in the freezer so you can keep them around for whenever you are craving a treat. If I were to have one in the evening I might choose to have only a salad alongside as they are full of  (natural) fats. They are also dairy-free, gluten-free and processed sugar- free. You don't even have to feel guilty about having a slice for breakfast (as my roommate is doing now!).
You can see that the cake looks kind of frosty in this photo. I think leaving it out for about 15 minutes before serving is the best idea. I definitely like it better cooler and firmer. Part of the challenge with this kind of a dessert is that it's definitely beneficial to have a high powered blender to make the filling. I have a vitamix which is one of the best blenders out there. It helps to have a great blender to achieve the smooth consistency.
This is my beautiful friend Simone. She is an amazing mother of two beautiful children. We have been friends for years and years but became much closer after the birth of her first child, Olivia. Simone has always been interested in natural foods so I thought she would appreciate this cake (and she did!). She just moved to Guelph with her family and I'm so happy that she's here!


And now for the recipe...


Raw Peach Cheesecake:
Crust:
-3/4 cup raw unsalted brazil nuts
-3/4 cup dried figs
-1 tsp cinnamon
-a few good grinds of sea salt
Put the ingredients into a food processor and process until fine. When you take a spoonful into your hand your should be able to shape it into a ball with it holding together. Place the mixture into the bottom of a spring-form pan (or whatever you're using) and press down evenly. I keep this pan in the freezer until I'm ready to work with it again. You can add more brazil nuts and figs (evenly) to the mixture if you want a thicker crust.
Filling:
-5 cups raw cashews
-2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
-2/3 cup natural sweetener (I used agave)
-1 cup of water (or more if necessary) 
-pinch sea salt 
-1/4 cup coconut oil 
-5 peaches
-seeds of 2 whole vanilla beans
Place the cashews, lemon juice, sweetener, water and sea salt in the blender. Blend until smooth. Add the coconut oil (make sure it's very soft if not liquid) and the vanilla bean seeds. Blend again until incorporated. At this point I put half of the filling into the pan. To the other half of the filling I added the fresh chopped and skinned peaches and blended until smooth. I added this peach filling on top, smoothed the top and kept the cake in the freezer until it was served. 
Stewed Peaches:
-6 fresh peaches, skinned and chopped
-1 tsp of cinnamon
-1/4 cup water
-1 tbsp of ginger marmalade
Add all of the ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Simmer until the peaches break down and the sauce thickens. Cool before serving! (I know that this part is not raw but you could certainly do a raw version). Enjoy!!! 


Please enjoy these lovely pictures of the finished product!
 PS. I couldn't love juicy summer peaches any more!!!! xo