Cherry & Coconut Cheesecake
To celebrate, here's the perfect party pleaser for you - it's seasonal, fresh, gluten and refined sugar free, and tart and creamy rather than sickly sweet - so it's the perfect thing to cut through all the festive over-eating ahead ;-)
As an added bonus, unlike many cheesecake recipes this one doesn't need setting time in the fridge, so it's good to go as soon as you've finished the recipe.
Why not make it with cream cheese you've made yourself?!
2 cups raw or activated nuts of your choice (other than cashews, which are too soft). I used half almonds, half brazil nuts.
4 tbs rice malt syrup
2 tbs coconut oil
2 tbs raw cacao powder (optional)
Big pinch of sea salt
1 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup fresh seasonal cherries, plus a few extra for decorating
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
3 medjool dates
Preheat your oven to 180C. To make the crust, blitz the nuts in a blender until they resemble bread crumbs (it's ok if the result is a bit on the chunky side). Add the remaining crust ingredients and blitz until combined. Line a small cheesecake tin with baking paper, tip in the nut mixture and use your fingers to press it firmly into the base, crease and sides. Pop it in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and use the back of a dessert spoon to gently press down on wherever the crust has risen. Leave in the tin to cool completely while you make the filling.
Sit the dates in a cup of hot water while you pit the cherries with your fingers (it's simpler, quicker and easier than using a knife!). Remove the pits from the softened dates, then place them in a blender along with the cherries. Blitz until combined, but it doesn't have to be smooth - a bit of texture is nice here :-)
Combine the cream cheese and coconut, then carefully fold in the cherry mixture. Tip the cream cheese mixture into the prepared crust and use a spoon to spread and smooth. Decorate and serve, and store leftovers (if you have any!) in the fridge.
Tip: Double the cacao in the crust and decorate with cacao nibs to get a whole cherry ripe thing goin' on! x