Raw Vegan Passionfruit White Chocolate Cheesecake

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

Ingredients

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

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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Passion Fruit Curd + Irish Shortbread

Passion fruit/granadilla. Call it what you may, these fruits are the bomb.

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A lot of people ask where I get the ideas for recipes and how I put them together. If I’m being honest with you, there were 12 passion fruit sitting in my fridge and I had no idea what to do with them. I usually go with what I’m craving and try to create something that satisfies my tastebuds.

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I knew I wanted something sweet. That was the criteria. I’m pretty straightforward like that. I also knew that my father would murder me if those passion fruit were left to rot. I had been meaning to revisit the lemon curd recipe that I put on the blog earlier this year, so I figured that I would try it with passion fruit. You will notice a lot of similarities between the 2 recipes. Essentially, I just replaced the lemon juice with passion fruit pulp, cooked this curd directly in the saucepan, and added an extra egg. Not many differences at all if we’re talking about method.

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But if we’re talking taste, then we’re on 2 different planets. This curd is much sweeter than the lemon one, and there’s the extra crunch that comes from having the passion fruit seeds in the curd. Theoretically, you could choose to strain the seeds out if you’re not a fan, but then again, why would anyone want to?

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The great thing about passion fruit curd is that it has several uses. You can use it as a filling in cupcakes, as a spread for scones/toast or you can even spoon it on top of shortbread and bake for about 15 minutes to make these really rad passion fruit bars. You can mix up the shortbread any way you like by adding in a tablespoon of finely grated lemon rind, fresh fruit, cinnamon, nuts, chocolate chips or whatever you like really. I love recipes like this that are so versatile because you start with an overly simple base and you are free to decide what you want to come out of it.

Passion fruit curd                                                                             makes approx 3 cups

Ingredients

1 cup passionfruit pulp, about 8 granadillas

½ cup castor sugar

½ cup butter

6 egg yolks + 1 whole egg

2 tsp lemon juice

Irish shortbread

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups cornflour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

1 cup butter

Method 

Prepare the shortbread:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Grease an 8 by 8 baking pan before lining with parchment paper. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornflour, sugar and salt. Briefly mix together with a wooden spoon. Cut the butter into the flours using your hands or a pastry cutter until you are left with a crumbly dough. Pat the dough into the baking pan before using a fork to poke holes into the shortberad. Bake for about 20 minutes or until just lightly browned.

Make the passion fruit curd: 

  1. In a medium saucepan on low heat, combine the passion fruit pulp*, sugar and butter and stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar has completely dissolved and the butter has melted.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and whole egg and mix until fully combined. Add one tablespoon of the egg mixture to the passion fruit and using a wire whisk, whisk for about 30 seconds until all combined. Repeat this step until all the egg mixture is combined. I know this seems tedious and long but we are trying to avoid cooking the eggs- lest we end up with passion fruit scramble.
  3. Once you’ve added all the egg mixture, stir in the lemon juice and cook the curd, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened significantly and coats the back of a spoon. It should be the consistency of mayonnaise.
  4. Once you are satisfied with the curd, spoon it into a glass jar and cover with plastic wrap, placing it right on the surface of the curd so that it doesn’t form a skin. Screw the lid onto the jar and refrigerate the curd for about half an hour or until cool.

BONUS:

Before you remove the shortbread from the pan, you can pour the passion fruit curd straight onto the warm shortbread and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or just until the curd has just set. Refrigerate for about 2 hours, slice and serve. You don’t have to perform this step, the curd can just be eaten spooned on top of the shortbread.

*If you don’t want seeds in your curd, you can strain the pulp before you start preparing this recipe.

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