I am constantly inspired on social media and by fellow food bloggers by the incredible diversity of plant based food. Although I am not vegan, I am a strong advocate of a heavily plant based diet and at times avoid dairy for health reasons. Cashew “cheese” is one of those things I’d never heard of before I joined Instagram, but once I discovered it, I started experimenting with it in all kinds of dishes and became a huge fan!
Cheesecake has always been a bit of a favourite, but quite frankly I can’t cope with the quantity of sugar or dairy in conventional cheesecake, so I started making a vegan version with cashew cheese. Whilst even I wasn’t convinced it could really compete with actual cheesecake to start with, I can honestly say this cake is truly creamy and delicious! It really is a great substitute for the original!
Cherries are a favourite summer fruit and the simple compote on the top of this cake is also perfect for adding to ice cream/ nice cream, over yogurt for breakfast, or making jam tarts.
Cherry cashew “cheesecake”
A plant based/ dairy free "cheesecake" with cashew cream and cherry compote
You will need a 6 inch diameter, deep spring-form tin, the base lined with parchment paper
Soak the cashews in advance for at least 2 hours (you can leave them overnight, they really can’t be too soft).
Heat the cherries with 150ml of water until they are simmering, add the agave syrup and simmer for about 20 minutes until the cherries are soft. Mix the cornflour with a teaspoon of cold water and stir until dissolved. Slowly stir the cornflour liquid into cherries (still over the heat) and continue to stir until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and leave aside.
Blend the oats, dates and ground almonds to a slightly sticky, crumbly mixture. Press into the base of the spring-form tin.
Blend the soaked cashews, 2 tablespoons of agave syrup, the coconut cream and vanilla essence until very smooth. It should be a thick, creamy consistency. Pour into the tin over the base and freeze.
Once the cherries are completely cool, pour over the cheesecake and return to the freezer.
Remove from the freezer about half an hour before you are ready to eat.