I’ve been dying to try out a vegan dessert that isn’t based on soaked cashews and this is THE ONE.
When I was thinking about this one, I came across a couple of obstacles. #1 being how does one make pastry vegan? Figure that one out and all problems would magically disappear. Shortcrust pastry is basically flour, butter, salt and water; the only non-vegan ingredient in the equation being the butter. Well butter is desired here for it’s fatty content, right? So what else is rich in fats but does not come from an animal? Spoiler alert: vegetable oil. As it’s already liquid, this completely eliminates the need for us to include water.
The second thing I had to think about here was the filling. My traditional lemon curd recipe used egg yolks to thicken it, but that was not an option here. Next best thing was cornflour. I was a bit worried about the cornflour drastically altering the flavour but thankfully it remained just as lemon-coconutty as ever.
Despite my many fears when making this (Will it set? Will the pastry fall apart? Will it taste good?) this dessert turned out to be a delight. Now that I can add this notch to my belt, I’m ever more motivated to try out more vegan desserts!
Vegan Lemon Coconut Cream Pie
For the crust:
- 2 cups plain flour
- ¼ cup dessicated coconut
- ¼ cup icing/powdered sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup neutral vegetable oil e.g. sunflower, canola
For the filling:
- 1 and ½ cups lemon juice
- 1× 14 oz can coconut milk
- ½ cup castor (granulated) sugar
- 2 tbsp grated lemon rind
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- ½ cup cornflour + ¾ cup water
- 2 drops yellow food colouring (optional)
For the topping:
- 1 cup coconut cream (or 1 cup aquafaba)
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
- 1 tbsp dessicated coconut
- Start by making the crust. Sift the flour, coconut, sugar and salt in a large bowl and shake to combine. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil. Use a wooden spoon to mix until it comes together. Shape into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a large saucepan on medium high heat, combine the lemon juice, coconut milk, sugar, lemon rind and vanilla. Whisk to combine and bring to a boil. Dissolve the cornflour in the water and stir well to ensure there are no lumps. Pour the cornflour into the lemon coconut mixture and whisk vigorously to prevent lumps from forming. Reduce the heat to low and stir continuously until the mixture has thickened considerably and coats the back of a spoon. If you find that the colour is too pale, add the food colouring drop by drop until you’re happy with the colour. Remove from heat and set aside
- Preheat your oven to 180°C. Remove the pastry from the fridge and roll out into a 10 inch circle. Grease a non stick 9 inch springform pan. Line the bottom and sides of the pan evenly with the pastry, using any scraps to go around the sides. Top the pastry with some parchment paper and pastry weights (you can use dry unsoaked beans in this case) and blind bake the pastry for 25-30 minutes or until it is golden brown. Set aside to cool before filling.
- Spoon the lemon coconut filling into the baked pastry case and level off with a spoon. Refrigerate for about 2 hours to set.
- Add the coconut cream and icing sugar to a small bowl and whisk until thickened and fluffy. Use this to top the pie once set. Decorate with lemon rind and dessicated coconut. Serve chilled and enjoy! Will keep for 3 days in the fridge.
When your dessert is made of avocados, you can eat as much as you’d like without feeling guilty #score.
Fair warning though: this dessert is not as sweet as my other vegan cheesecake recipes. If you’re looking for something on the sweeter side, look here for some golden caramel goodness and over here for a sweet passionfruit glaze. Everyone who’s up for a tangy dessert stay with me!
I finally found a use for the Weetbix biscuits that were taking up space in the pantry and that is ——–> the base for these lime cheesecake bars! At the end of last year, we ran a triathlon for women’s cancer and every team that competed won a box of Weetbix biscuits and a Snickers bar (you can guess which one I went for). Unfortunately that means the Weetbix has been at the back of the pantry, feeling lonely and ignored. To be honest with you, I hadn’t thought about it until I ran out of almonds to use for the crust and had to look to alternative methods. Needless to say, it worked out well! You can still go with almonds if you wish, it will still yield a delicious dessert!
Here’s to friends who come over to hand model food for you!
Raw Avocado Lime Cheesecake Bites
- about 10 Weetbix biscuits, crushed (may substitute 2 cups sliced almonds)
- 8 medjool dates, soaked in hot water and deseeded
- 3 ripe medium avocados
- 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight
- ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup cold water (may need more)
- 2 ounces chocolate, melted
- Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper. Combine the crushed Weetbix biscuits and dates in a food processor and blend until it forms a sticky dough. Press the dough into the bottom of the loaf pan in an even layer. Freeze whilst you prepare the filling.
- Rinse out the food processor and proceed to blend together the avocados, cashews, lime juice, syrup and water. If the mixture is too thick to pulse, add more water 2 tbsp at a time until the machine can smoothly process it. Pulse for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
- Spread the mixture in an even layer on top of the base. The mixture should be very thick. Freeze for 1 hour or until solid. Store in the fridge, do not freeze after it has set. Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Drizzle with melted chocolate and enjoy!
Today is a monumental day. Why? Car aujourd’hui I bring you the first vegan dessert to be published on this blog.
To be frank, it was about time anyways. Through the many cheesecakes we’ve shared, the soups we’ve slurped and the burgers we’ve devoured, I decided that it was time to switch it up a bit.
As I’m sure you all know, I have decided to permanently cut meat out of my diet. With the full knowledge of the atrocities that are committed everyday in the animal farming industry coupled with the significant impact on the environment that meat consumption is responsible for; I decided that enough was enough and it was time for me to act. I couldn’t stand by and support/ignore what was happening, whilst being fully aware of what was happening. So I stopped eating meat. As the goal is to eventually cut animal products out of my diet and my closet, I decided to pay tribute to veganism today with this cheesecake.
If you’ve never made a vegan dessert before, then fear not! The process is ridiculously simple. Start by preparing your vegan chocolate and your passionfruits.
You’ll need 2 cups of soaked cashews for this recipe, they should be left for at least 8 hours, but if you don’t have time then you can soak them in boiling water for an hour.
The almonds, pecans and oats are then blended to create a coarse meal. Maple syrup is drizzled in and that forms your base! The base is then frozen for 15 minutes to firm it up.
All the cheesecake ingredients are then pulsed in the blender, poured on top of the base and this is frozen for 4 hours. You take the cheesecake out of the freezer, spread it with the passionfruit pulp/sauce, let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature and you’re good to go! Happy cheesecaking friends!
Raw Vegan Passionfruit White Chocolate Cheesecake
makes one 9 inch cake or 15 cupcakes
For the base:
- 2 cups rolled oats (uncooked)
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ¼ cup maple syrup
For the cheesecake:
- 1 and ½ cups cashews, soaked overnight in cold water or for 1 hour in boiling water
- 1×14 ounce tin of coconut cream or 1×14 ounce tin of coconut milk refrigerated overnight
- 250g of vegan white chocolate, melted (may replace with an extra cup of soaked cashews if you’re not into white chocolate)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- ½ tsp ginger
For the passionfruit topping:
- 1 cup passionfruit pulp (from about 12 passionfruits)
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp cornflour + 2 tsp water
- Start with the base. In a food processor, pulse the oats, almonds and pecans until you have a coarse meal. With the motor running, pour in the maple syrup and pulse until the meal starts to bind together. Switch off the machine and dump the base into a 9 inch springform pan or add a tablespoon of base to 15 cupcake holders (no need to grease it first). Pat the base down into an even layer and freeze for 15 minutes.
- Move on to the cheesecake filling. Add all the cheesecake ingredients to a food processor and pulse until creamy and no large chunks of cashews remain in the mixture. Scoop on top of the frozen base and use a rubber spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth into an even layer. Return to the freezer and freeze for 3 hours.
- Finally make the passionfruit topping. Add the pulp and the lemon juice to a medium saucepan on low heat and bring to a boil. Pour the dissolved cornflour into the mixture and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
- When ready to assemble, release the cheesecake from the springform pan to a cake stand. Use a spoon to smooth the passionfruit topping on top of the cheesecake. Let the cheesecake sit for 15 minutes to defrost aaaaaand you’re ready to cut and serve! Store leftovers in the freezer, but make sure to leave it at room temperature for 15 minutes before you slice and serve each time.
It does not get easier than this.
I’ve been receiving a lot of requests lately from a lot of my friends who are already (or yet to enrol) at university for quick, easy and cheap meals to prepare when you’re staying in self-catering res. I thought the easiest place to start would be with something that college kids are already familiar with – instant noodles.
It’s the basicity (level of basic-ness?) of instant noodles that makes them so easy to customise. There are a million-and-one ways to dress them up, disguise them, transform them and I hope to show you them all. Step number one: throw away the seasoning packet. For a start it’s overloaded with salt and MSG, and it contributes nothing to the flavour. No arguments, no ifs, ands or buts, just toss it in the bin. Step number two: make you some curry paste. This stuff is phenomenal and has the ability to transform any dish you prepare. One jar can last you a month and I honestly just think it’s so magical. Storebought is cool too, but I’ll always be more inclined to make it myself- that way I know exactly what is going into it.
Step number three: add ALL the veggies. Just pile them on, the more the merrier. I know I didn’t take many pictures with them but I just wanted to emphasise that the beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity. There are endless ways to veg-ify this dish. Throw some spinach in at the same time as the noodles, add roasted broccoli to the pot, top with some carrots, add some peas, the list goes only so far as your imagination.
15 Minute Thai Green Curry Noodle Bowls serves 2
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- ¼ red onion, sliced thinly
- 2 heaping tbsp Thai green curry paste, homemade or storebought
- 1 and ½ cups coconut milk
- 1 and ½ cups water
- 2 packets instant noodles
- optional add ins: chopped spinach (fresh or frozen is cool), chopped carrots, roasted broccoli, steamed peas, chopped red cabbage, chopped peppers, the sky is the limit!
- Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok or large saucepan on high. Fry the onion until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the curry paste and coat the onions in it. Cook another 2 minutes.
- Pour in the coconut milk and water. Bring to a boil, and let boil 2 minutes before adding the noodles. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and let the noodles cook in the sauce for 5 minutes or until cooked through. If desired, you can throw in the spinach at the same time as the noodles and just let them wilt down as the noodles cook.
- Remove the noodles to bowls and top with desired vegetables. Ready your chopsticks and devour!