Tonight is the beginning of the holiday of Shavout. Shavout is exactly seven weeks after Passover, and it is the holiday that celebrates the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai. On Shavout it is traditional to eat dairy meals so the foods most commonly associated with the holiday are things like cheesecake, blintzes and rich dairy kugels.
I have seen recipes for cashew based no bake cheesecakes for years, but I had never tried it because I have to admit I was skeptical. A good New York Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts of all time and it was hard for me to believe that it was possible to recreate a slice of that perfection with blended cashews. Since cheesecake is one of the foods most commonly associated with Shavout I decided that it was time to overcome my skepticism and try a Paleo cashew cheesecake. I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised with the results.
While this cheesecake does not taste exactly like a classic cheesecake it does have the same cool creamy texture that makes cheesecake so alluring. I love the combination of coconut and lemon, and the raspberry on top really brings all the flavors together. I made these using my mini cheesecake pan but a mini muffin tin with paper liners would work as well. This recipe comes together quickly (once the cashews are soaked) and I will certainly be making variations of this again and again. It is an utterly satisfying dessert.
Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker
- For Crust:
- Medjool dates - 1 cup, pitted (4 oz)
- walnuts - 1 cup (3 oz)
- For Filling:
- cashews - 1 1/2 cups (6 oz), soaked for 4-6 hours
- lemon zest - 1 tablespoon
- fresh lemon juice - 3 tablespoos (1.5 oz)
- coconut oil - 1/3 cup (2.6 oz)
- coconut cream (the thick part from the top of the can) - 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (5 oz)
- maple syrup - 1/2 cup (4 oz)
- salt - 1/4 teaspoon
- raspberries for serving - (optional),
Place the dates and the walnuts in the food processor and process until the mixture is sticky enough to hold together in a ball when squeezed with your fingers. If it's too dry to stick together, add a few more dates and process until mixed.
Lightly grease a mini cheesecake pan or line muffin tin with paper liners. Place a heaping tablespoon of the crust mixture into each hole or liner and press down firmly into an even layer. Pack it down as tightly as possible. Set in freezer to firm up.
Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix until very smooth. Taste and add a bit more sweetener if desired.
Divide filling evenly among the tins. Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap and freeze until hard - about 4-6 hours.
Once set, remove by the cheesecakes from the freezer. Let stand for five minutes to soften slightly. Remove the cheesecakes from the pans. Top with raspberries if desired and serve.
These will keep, well covered, in the freezer for one to two weeks.