Making any cheesecake is always a bit of a process; I always remember my Dad would make a Robert Carrier “American Cheesecake” for dinner parties – he diligently followed through each step and did not welcome interruption but the result was always heavenly!  I still adore cheesecake but anything made with dairy has long been out of the question for me.  However, I am happy and super-proud to have created this vegan cheesecake.  I won’t pretend that this is a healthy, everyday option, but it does offer a healthier, dairy and gluten free, very special treat.

Base Layer
150g Walnuts
40g coconut oil, melted
65g dark chocolate (85%), melted
110g almonds
¼ tsp. sea-salt

Chocolate Layer
180g cashew nuts
3 tbsps. coconut cream
50g coconut oil, melted
3 tbsps. coconut sugar
25g melted chocolate
1 tbsp. cocoa powder

Salted-Caramel Layer
180g cashew nuts
8 Medjool dates
70g coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp. coconut sugar
50g smooth nut butter
½ tsp. smoked salt
1tsp. ground vanilla bean
1 tbsp. coconut cream

Optional extras: Chocolate nibs and melted chocolate to decorate

Place the cashew nuts in 2 separate bowls (180g dry-weight each) and leave to soak for at  least 4 hours.

Prepare an 8″ spring-clip cake tin, lining the bottom with grease-proof paper and greasing the walls with melted coconut oil.

Lightly toast the almonds and then finely grind half in a food processor. Then coarsely grind the remainder.  Mix together the finely-milled and coarsely-milled almonds in a large bowl and then stir in all remaining ingredients for the base.  Press the mix firmly into the base of the tin and then spend time levelling and smoothing until you have a perfectly level and compact mix.  Place in the freezer and leave to set.

Next make the chocolate layer; drain and rinse the cashews and add to a high-speed blender along with the melted coconut oil. Blend for several minutes or until you have a completely smooth mix.  Then add the coconut cream and continue to blend.  Add all remaining ingredients, turn your blender up to max and blend for a further minute.  Pour this mixture over the base and return to the freezer to set.

Finally make the caramel layer; finely chop the dates and soak for 15 minutes in a small amount of boiling water. Repeat the process with the  cashews and melted coconut oil then drain the dates and add to the cashew cream.  Add all remaining ingredients turn your blender up to max and blend for a further minute.  Pour this mixture over the base and decorate with melted chocolate and chocolate nibs before returning to the freezer.

When completely set and still frozen, remove the sidewall of the tin and slide the cake off the base, the paper should remain attached to the tin, if you are careful.  Then place back in your freezer until 1 hour before you want to serve the dessert. One hour before serving place the cheesecake into your fridge so that it can defrost.  When you are ready to serve it, dip a large chef’s knife into a beaker of boiling water and once the knife is hot use it to slice firmly into the cake.

Enjoy – I’m afraid I only have 1 photo as this one disappeared so fast!