Please, please, please let me know if you make this, and how it turns out! I will definitely be tweaking the recipe a bit over time, but for now it's definitely good enough. Such a treat!
For the base:
250g ground almonds
30g coconut oil, melted over a low heat
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp agave nectar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
350g cashew nuts
80ml agave nectar
juice of 1 large lemon
rind of 1 large lemon
65ml coconut milk
2tsp vanilla extract
3 tsp coconut oil
For the fruit sauce, if required:
250g frozen berries
1tsp lemon or lime zest (I pinched some from the filling ingredients)
1 tsp arrowroot whisked into 1tsp cold water. (Corn flour would work just as well.)
Handful of raw cacao nibs
Start by soaking your cashew nuts in a bowl of cold water for a minimum of 1 hour. This not only get rid of a lot of the dust, but this makes the nuts much easier to digest and help the body draw out much more of the nutrients. Also, make them taste so much nicer!
Now, make the base. Preheat your oven to 160ºc. Mix together the ground almond and salt, then start to stir in the melted coconut oil, vanilla and agave. It should become quite firm. Press this mixture into your cake tin, pop in the over and bake for about 15 mins, or until it looks golden. It should be very firm. Leave to one side to cool.
Now for the filling. Drain your cashew nuts and rinse with cold water, then place in a blender. My blender is a really cheap, basic one and still worked fine so don't worry if you don't have a 'bells and whistles' model! Add in the agave, lemon juice and rind, coconut milk, vanilla, and coconut oil, and blend until it forms a lovely smooth paste. You'll probably need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times. If the mix looks too think, add water, 1 tbsp at a time until you're happy, but don't do this til near the end, just in case!
Once your mixture is smooth (a few little nutty lumps is fine if you want it to have a little texture, you don't need perfection here!) pour into your cake tin over the cooled baked base, and pop into the freezer until it's set - approx 2 hrs. If you want to add some decoration, throw on some cacao nibs before you put it in the freezer. I think they look great, but I'm not a fan of them - they're so bitter! Just a few however work ok.
Once you remove it from the freezer, it would be a good idea to slice it up ready to serve. I didn't do this, and it was slightly messy when it had thawed! Once you've cut it up, pop it into the fridge for about an hour, and then it's ready to go!
For some added loveliness, make a fruit topping (or compote as I believe it's called in politer circles!). Put your frozen berries, agave and zest into a pan, and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down as low as possible and add the arrowroot and water mix, and stir until thickened. Transfer to a glass jar, and allow to cool before you serve it. This can be kept in the fridge for a few days.
And you're done! It sounds like a lot of work, but honesty it is really easy to make. It's full of lemony flavour with a lovely smooth texture - just like a 'real' New York cheesecake should be! A delicious treat that's quite healthy too - but you wouldn't know it! As well as having some last night, I may or may not have had a slice for breakfast this morning ;-)