Almond berry cheesecake bars (raw) (vegan)

I may have promised an art post, but this can't wait.
I mean, what are the chances that a blender experiment turns out to be this good?

How was this recipe created you ask? Well I was determined to see if I could make some raw vegan cheesecake filling (even though these American "cheesecakes" are not to my liking at all, gimme a kwarktaart (or 'quark') any day), you know, with cashews and whatnot, but without the customary bucket of coconut oil. I have nothing against coconut oil, but cashews alone are pricey enough without addin' some fancy oil that I also need to condition my hair or make chocolate!

Ergo, I instead tried agar and irish moss gel, and a dash of coconut butter (made the cheap way of course, straight from the blender). I added lemon and balsamic for tartness, vanilla and bitter almond oil for flavour, and sweetened with rice syrup and stevia. Mmmmm, velvety goodness. I couldn't really justify eating the whole lot with a spoon, so add a base and a topping and here we are!

So, we have an oaty base, velvety cream, berry jelly and a thin chocolate shell. It doesn't just look pretty folks, it is pretty scrummy too.
Perfect for a nice elaborate weekend bake-off, set some time aside and enjoy!

~Note: soak cashews before-hand for minimum 1 hour, and if using, make irish moss gel...

Almond berry cream bars
~use an 8 in brownie pan~
~serves 16 or so~

1 cup oats
1/3 cup fine coconut
1 cup dates
cacao nibs (optional)
2 tablespoons coconut butter (melted)
1-2 teaspoons water

Blend oats until almost flour. Add in coconut, cinnamon to taste and nibs if using. Blend until combined. Chop in dates and blend until dates are also finely chopped. Add in remaining ingredients, adding water as needed to make a crumbly mixture that sticks together if you pinch it between two fingers.
Press into a pan, lined with parchment paper both ways.

1 1/2 cups cashews, presoaked
zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup brown rice syrup*
few drops of stevia
1 tsp vanilla
few drops of bitter almond oil
1/3 cup rice milk
1/2 cup irish moss gel OR 1/2 cup rice milk boiled with 1 teaspoon agar
3 tablespoon coconut butter (melted)

Simply blend all ingredients up to the rice milk on a high speed until velvety smooth. Blend in the gel or the agar mix. With the blender running, add the coconut butter. Pour filling over the base and stick in the freezer.
* Can also use maple syrup, in which case omit the stevia.

Berry topping:
1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup
3/4 teaspoon agar

In a small pot, heat the berries, vinegar and syrup over a low heat and mash the berries. Bring to a simmer and sprinkle over agar. Stir until the agar has dissolved and the mixture has bubbled. Take the pot off the heat and allow the mixture to cool to warm. Pour over the filling and smooth out with a spatula.

Chocolate shell:
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon tahini or coconut butter
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup, or brown rice syrup

Melt coconut oil over a low heat, and stir in chosen "butter".
Whisk in the cacao, and then stir in the syrup. Pour over the berry layer, carefully spreading it.

Leave the slice in the freezer 4 hours minimum, before slicing with a sharp knife. Use a hot knife to melt through the chocolate layer first if you want a clean cut.

Question: do you like this format for my more complex recipes? Is it easy to follow or does it leave you scratching your head?

I'll upload the result once the internet even out!
And there it is!


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