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Vegan Rhubarb Cashew Cheesecake

by Sophie Gordon from The Whole Vegetable

This vegan cheesecake boasts a crisp, nutty base, creamy cashew filling and a topping of spring's star ingredient, rhubarb. The perfect plant-based dessert for the first warmer days.

From the book

Sophie Gordon

Introduction

When rhubarb comes into season, I get overly excited and end up buying too much of it, so I’m always thinking of new things I can use it for. This recipe is perfect for that. A fridge or freezer cake that will not let you down, the rhubarb is stirred through carefully, helping to balance out the rich creaminess from the cashew-baked cake. It’s one to please a crowd.

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Ingredients

For the rhubarb:
approx. 4–5 stalks raw rhubarb, roughly chopped
60ml pure maple syrup
½ lemon, juice and zest
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
a pinch of salt
For the base:
240g almonds or walnuts, or a combination of the two
140g dates, pitted
1–2 tbsp coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
For the topping:
300g cashews, soaked overnight
2–3 tbsp pure maple syrup (use more or less for sweetness preference)
2 heaped tbsp (approx 30–50g) coconut oil
150ml plant-based milk (you may need extra)
2 lemons, juice and zest (save some zest for garnish)
a pinch of salt

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Method

First, cook the rhubarb. Place the rhubarb, maple syrup, lemon juice and zest, ginger and salt in a small saucepan. Slowly add about 60ml of water bit by bit. You want there to be enough to almost cover the rhubarb, making sure to not swamp it – you can always add more if need be. Over a low heat, slowly simmer until the rhubarb softens and starts to form a ‘compote’ or sauce-type consistency. You want it to be quite thick and well mixed rather than loose and liquidy.

For the base, put the nuts into a blender or processor and blitz to a rough crumb consistency. Add the pitted dates, coconut oil and maple syrup and blitz again until the mixture starts to form a nice rough dough.

Grease your cake tin with coconut oil, making sure to not skip the sides. Press the base evenly into the tin and put into the freezer to set while you make the topping.

Put the soaked cashews into a clean blender with the maple syrup, coconut oil, plant-based milk, lemon juice and zest, plus salt. Blend on high until you start to get a smooth creamy consistency. If the mixture is a little thick, you can add some more plant-based milk.

Once the mix is smooth, pour it into a bowl, followed by your rhubarb. Very gently and slowly, using a spatula or large spoon, swirl the two together. You don’t want them to combine.

Remove your cake tin from the freezer and pour your swirled mixture on top of the base. Add the remaining lemon zest and put back into the freezer to set. This can take anything from 2 hours onwards, depending on your freezer. If you want to serve it as a dessert later in the evening, I’d go ahead and prepare it earlier in the day.

To serve, remove from the freezer. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then pop the base to remove. It should be easy to remove so long as you greased your tin enough. Slice, serve and enjoy!

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From the book: The Whole Vegetable

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