This is the dessert for chilling and enjoying on sunny days. Once we tasted it, we knew we’d be making these little cheesecakes all summer! It’s a dessert that looks like a million euros and tastes much better!!
A tantaslising, layered cheesecake, rich, light and fruity all at the same time with a (quite) secret chocolate base and chocolate sauce that freezes and then cracks when cut into! Plus, it’s simple to make. They’re vegan, gluten and sugar-free. It’s an all-round keeper, we had to share it with you all.
We’re still pretty blissed and floating around Spain, what stunning place! Everytime we visit we love it more. Finding new places to adore and a pace of life that tickles us. Manana! Hoooray!! We’re heading off next week to some national parks down near Granada, lots of camping and snorkelling.
It’s birthday season here, it was mine (40 years and feelin’ gooood), Mum’s (age unprintable) and Jane’s (40 too in a few days!!) We celebrated our 80th (40+40) birthday with a few friends down at a perfect spot, under some palm trees facing the beach. There were top tunes and a full power vegan bbq, which Dad and I cooked. We sat under a full-ish moon and watched the sparkling waves until sun was about to poke it’s head up. What a day!
Birthdays, of course, mean desserts. With a big ‘D’. Lots of them. Constantly. So, I’ve been making a load recently and have really enjoyed all that sweetness, I’ll post as many as possible.
The fruit layer is flexible, you can try out other fruits. We’ve made it with just strawberries and the results were delicious. The great thing about these little cheesecakes is they just sit in the freezer until you desire them. Make a good amount and you’ll have cheesecakes on demand 24/7! What a thing!!
You might be thinking that soaking nuts is to make them soft, which it is, easier to blend to a lovely smooth filling. But, there are also some real health benefits to soaking nuts, read more below in the ‘Foodie Fact’.
Put these cheesecakes in front of your favourite people this summer and I promise you’ll get only full smiles and load yums. Cheesecake makes the world happy!
Happy cooking and please let us know if you make these cheesecakes below, hearing from you brings a load of sunshine to our days.
If your dates are not soft to the touch, soak in warm water for 1 hour and drain well.
If you’re in a hurry, pour hot water (from a just boiled kettle) over your cashews, this softens them quicker. If you have a powerful blender, you don’t need to soak them at all.
I have tried these cheesecakes with other neutrally flavoured oils and it does work, but coconut oil is best, when the cheescake it cool, it helps to give a good and creamy texture.
Use any frozen berries, but I prefer a mix. Things like strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, blackberries etc. Bags of frozen berries can be bought, normally well priced, in most supermarkets.
This recipe will make 7 reasonably sized cheesecakes, or 6 big ones. See how you get on.
Summer Berry & Chocolate Cheesecake
The Bits – For 6-7 mini cheesecakes
125g walnuts/ hazelnuts
45g soft dates (pitted, roughly 14 dates)
3 tbs cacao/ cocoa powder
175 g frozen berries (2 big handsful)
125g cashews (soaked for 5 hours in cold water)
50ml lemon juice (1 large lemon)
40ml brown rice syrup or other sweetener of your choice
70ml coconut oil (melted)
Pinch of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Or more berries
Chocolate Sauce or see our 2-Minute Chocolate Sauce Recipe
2 tbs coconut oil (melted)
2 tbs cocoa/ cacao powder
1 tbs maple syrup/ liquid sweetener
Little pinch of salt
You’ll need a standard, 12 cup muffin tray (or maybe you call them Yorkshire Pudding trays?). The deeper sort, ideally the non-stick, silicone type which is flexible. This gives a much better finish to the cheesecake as we don’t need to line the individual cups.
Crust – place the walnuts into a food processor and pulse until a rough crumb forms. Add the other ingredients and pulse until a dough forms, which should stick together when pressed between finger and thumb.
If you do not have a silicone, non-stick muffin tray, line 6-7 cups with cling film. Now, spoon roughly two heaped tablespoons of the base mix into each cup. Press the dough down with the back of the spoon or your fingers to make a neat layer that snugly meets the edges.
Filling – blitz all the ingredients, except the berries, in the now magically clean food processor (bless those kitchen elves) until you have a smooth cream-like texture. You may need a few goes to get it all incorporated, scraping the sides down with a spatula. Keep going, get it really nice and smooth, it makes all the difference. Taste the mix, adding more sweetener or lemon juice if needed. I like mine with a good zing of lemon. You should be left with 500ml of filling.
Scoop out half the filling mix and set aside, add the berries to the food processor and blend again until smooth.
Pour or spoon an even quantity of the white filling onto the bases, followed by an even quantity of the berry filling. Tap the tray on kitchen surface a few times to get rid of any air bubbles and place carefully in the freezer, making sure the cheesecakes are level.
It will take a few hours for them to freeze, you can, of course, make these cheesecakes well in advance. Just cover them with cling film, or pop each cheesecake out and gather the excess cling film around them. The last way is nice and easy.
Sauce – Combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir together until well combined. Taste and adjust as you like it, more sweetener or a little more bitterness from the cacao/ cocoa.
Depending on the ambient temperature, leave the cheesecakes on your dessert plates for 20 minutes out of the fridge. We left these for around 10 minutes, but we’re in Spain and its a wee bit hotter than Wales and maybe where you are. We quite like them when they’re still a bit frozen, especially on a hot day. You may also find placing the cheesecakes in a fridge and leaving them for a couple of hours to help control the defrosting.
While the cheescakes are defrosting, drizzle over the chocolate sauce and, just before serving, top them with crushed pistachios and rose petals, also grated white chocolate or extra berries is equally as delicious.
Soaking nuts? What’s that all about? Nuts are packed with nutrition and things that do us good, but they also contain things called phytates and enzyme inhibitors, which decrease the nutritional value of nuts, grains and seeds, plus they make them harder on the digestion.
Soaking nuts activates helpful enzymes, mimicking nature really, the nut transforms, thinks it’s time to sprout. Many nutrients will also become more bio-available (easier to use by the body).
Another way to aid digestions of nuts with skins, ie almonds, is to remove the skins. By soaking your nuts, it makes this job super easy. Also, soaking the nuts, and rinsing, gives them a good wash, which is never a bad thing.
The best way to soak nuts is by covering them in fresh water, add a little salt (until it tastes as salty as sea water), then leave overnight or for 8 hours-ish (almonds more like 12, macadamisa 4). The salt is optional, but is said to improve results. Be sure to throw away the soaking water and rinse them well. You could then dry and roast gently in a low oven to make them extra delicious or dehydrate them, if you have a dehydrator handy.