Black Cherry Cheesecake

Desserts, Recipes

A cheesecake made from cashews? Ludicrous, I thought — until I made one. In the words of my dad: “It tastes just like cheesecake”. There’s no higher accolade. What’s better, this one has a caramel base!

Time to Cook
3 hours

Difficulty
Easy

INGREDIENTS
1 pack Lotus biscuits
1/2 cup of coconut oil
1 1/2 cups cashews quick-soaked
1 lemon
2/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
Frozen black cherries
Vanilla essence
2 tablespoons of sugar

  1. Quick-soak your cashew nuts by covering them in boiling hot water and leaving them to soak for an hour. If you’ve got more time, soak them in room temperature water for 6-hours.
  2. While they’re soaking, make your base! Start by blitzing your Lotus biscuits (or equivalent). My blender wasn’t strong enough so I crushed them up, super fine, using a potato masher. Once they’re crushed, add around a tablespoon of coconut oil. It doesn’t seem like much, but trust me — it’s enough to bind everything.
  3. Stir it all together and tip it into a dish that’s covered with baking paper (I used a 6×6″ cake dish). Press it down with the back of a spoon until it’s nice and flat. Leave it to one side!
  4. Once your cashews are soaked, drain them and blend them with the juice of one lemon, one third of a cup of coconut oil, a teaspoon of vanilla essence, and 1/2 a cup of maple syrup. At this stage, it will taste a lot like coconut — but once you let it set, that taste will go and it will taste just like cheesecake
  5. Pour your frozen cherries (or de-pithed fresh ones, if you’re posh) into a pan. Add a glug of water and a couple of tablespoons of sugar, then let it reduce for 15-minutes, stirring as you go. Give things a bit of a blend at the end, to give it the smooth texture of coulis.
  6. Pour your filling onto your base, and swirl your topping onto it, as you wish.
  7. Put it into the freezer for an hour to set. Then hey-presto, you’re done!
Vegan Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Vegan Chocolate Brownies with Raspberry Coulis

Desserts, Recipes

Nothing cements your single-life more than filling your face with brownies on a weekday night. These beauties are so moreish, I think I piled on pound during the process. Do I have any regrets? Nope.

Time to Cook
45 minutes

Difficulty
Easy

INGREDIENTS
1 cup plain flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (or hot chocolate powder)
1 cup caster sugar (or sieved granulated sugar)
1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted vegan chocolate
1 cup dairy-free milk
Vegan butter (for greasing)
1tsp icing sugar (for dusting)
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1/3 cup water

  1. Preheat your oven to 180-degrees Celsius.
    2. Sieve into a bowl your flour, cocoa powder and caster sugar. Mix it all together with a wooden spoon.
    3. Melt your vegan chocolate by putting a bowl over a pan of boiling (or freshly-boiled) water. It will take a couple of minutes for the chocolate to melt. Give it a stir to help it along.
    4. Add to the dry mix your oil, dairy-free milk and melted chocolate. Stir it all together until it’s smooth.
    5. Grease some parchment paper with butter, pushing it down into an 8inch roasting dish. If it’s flapping all over the place, put a bit of butter on the dish itself before you put the parchment paper inside: the paper will stick to the bottom and stay in place while you go about the rest of your business.
    6. Pour your mixture onto your greased paper. It should be around an inch deep by the time you’ve smoothed it all out with a spatula.
    7. Bake it for around 20-minutes, or until a knife comes out dry when you stab them!
    8. Take them out and leave them to cool. If you want them to be extra fudgey, leave them in the fridge overnight. You’ll need to heat them up again, before you serve.
    9. When you’re ready to serve, make your coulis by putting the raspberries, sugar and water in a pan. Bring it to the boil. When it’s soft and syrupy, sieve it into a container, getting rid of all the seeds.
    10. Dust your brownies with a bit of icing sugar then spoon the coulis over them.