Hiii, remember me?!
I know I kind of disappeared for a couple of months there but I’m back – finally!
And I bring an apology in the form of cheesecake. Because cheesecake solves everything. Fact.
As well as a few little life updates! I finished school (uhh WHAT how is this happening), went on an incredible trip around Italy by train during which I ate approximately 34872 times my weight in fantastic food and developed a serious caffeine problem as well as the ability to practically inhale my gelato before it melted in the heat (practice makes perfect, guys), spent the rest of the summer visiting family + friends, and now I’m getting ready to head to the University of Oxford in a few weeks to start studying biochemistry.
Meaning the last few weeks have consisted of trying to teach myself how to deal with laundry and student loans and banks and bills and general adulting stuff while wondering how I’ll ever make it to those 8am organic chemistry lectures without a coffee IV – did I mention that slight caffeine problem?! Aside from the whole learning to be a functional human being thing I’m super excited for what’s to come!
Aaanyway time for the serious stuff: these cheesecake bars!! Beautiful late summer strawberries mixed with deliciously creamy cashews + coconut milk, fresh mint and a few squeezes of lime make for a gorgeous deep pink mixture I could (and did…) eat straight from the blender, and when layered on top of the date + walnut base mixture speckled with lime zest it makes the perfect dessert.
I made these in a loaf tin and cut them into bars (mostly because they’re super portable + easier to
stuff into your face as quickly as humanly possible eat that way) aaand also because I can’t for the life of me cut equally sized slices of cake and I didn’t want to start the who-got-the-biggest-piece war because in my family those wars are a serious matter!
I’ve also made them as adorable mini cheesecakes by crumbling some of the base mixture in to glasses and topping with the filling – you can put them together super quickly but they look so fancy it’s as if you’ve spent hours in the kitchen when you were actually napping/Netflixing!
Uhh or maybe that’s just me. Oops!
Ahh it feels good to be back here – enjoy!
- 1 cups (140g) raw walnuts or almonds
- 1/2 cup gluten-free oats or dessicated coconut
- 1 cup (about 20) pitted dates
- 2tbsp coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- the zest of 2 limes
- 1 cup (150g) cashews
- 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- a handful of fresh mint leaves
- 6 tbsp maple syrup or honey
- 3.5 cups (about 750g) fresh or frozen strawberries
- 3 tsp agar agar powder
- 1/4 cup (60ml) full-fat coconut milk
- Lime wedges, strawberries, sprigs of fresh mint
- First of all, place the cashews for the filling in a bowl and cover them with boiling water. Let them stand for an hour.
- For the cheesecake crust, whizz everything together in a food processor until it comes together into a dough which holds together when you pinch it between your fingers. Press the mixture down firmly into the bottom of a loaf tin lined with greaseproof paper or plastic wrap then place in the fridge while you make the filling.
- For the filling, drain the soaked cashews and transfer them to a high-speed blender. Add the lime juice, mint, maple syrup or honey, and the strawberries (if you're using frozen strawberries, first place them into a saucepan and put it over low-medium heat for a couple of minutes until the strawberries defrost and soften). Blend very well until completely smooth - this might take a couple of minutes!
- Now place the full-fat coconut milk and the agar agar powder into a small saucepan. Whisk together well, then bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let the mixture simmer for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and add the mixture to the blender.
- Blend again to incorporate the coconut milk/agar mixture into the cashew and strawberry mixture. Now transfer the filling to the lined loaf tin, then place in the freezer for a few hours/overnight to set. Cut into 12 chunks and enjoy (or if you're anything like me, don't just stop at one...) You can either enjoy these frozen, or keep them in the fridge if you prefer a softer texture - they're best kept in an airtight container and can stay there for up to 2 weeks, although I don't think they'll last that long!