Happy Veganuary fellow foodies and cheesecake-fiends. What’s not to love about a cheesecake? Well, if you’re trying out Veganuary and are new to veganism, you may just think that cheesecake and similar indulgent desserts are off limits because of the cheese. But there is a world of possibility out there when it comes to vegan treats and I am so happy to share this recipe with you today.
I have been fortunate enough to work alongside a brilliant plant-based chef and have made many vegan cheesecakes with her. In fact, it is what inspired my 2018 birthday cake or Strawberry Cheesecake I should say. But I wasn’t happy with the result and it put me off for a long time. The secret to most vegan cheesecakes is cashew nuts. But the true secret is remembering to soak your cashew nuts and having a high-speed blender. Without either of these, your cheesecake dreams will not become a reality.
I’m happy to say this time round, I could not stop talking about this Salted Almond Caramel Cheesecake. How creamy the mixture was. How simple it was to make. How satisfying it was to cut into the first slice. How truly indulgently delicious it was. And my family agreed.
This Salted Almond Caramel Cheesecake starts with a simple date and nut base, heightened with a little salt. This sticky mix is pressed down to form a raw, naturally sweetened crust – remember to soak your dates in boiling water to make them really sticky.
While the crust sets, it’s time for a creamy date caramel. Just blend up more juicy dates with a pinch of salt and you’re ready to go.
Now it’s time for the magic. The cashew-based cheesecake filling. Just 5 ingredients and you’re set. Watch how the nuts turn into a thick and creamy filling that amazes me every time. If you like yours a little sweeter, add 1-2 tbsp more syrup as I’ve kept mine less sweet. I also vary which milk I use, but oat, almond or soya are good options here.
Now, spoon over small amounts of the caramel, give it a swirl and sprinkle over the chopped salted almonds. If you don’t have salted almonds you can use regular ones, too.
The hardest part about this Salted Almond Caramel Cheesecake is waiting for it to set. Those 4-6 hours seem to last forever but it is well worth the wait!
When you’re ready to go, drizzle over the dark chocolate and voila! – a Salted Almond Caramel Cheesecake that is salty-sweet, rich, creamy, chocolate-y, smooth and crunchy. Allow this to thaw from the freezer for an ice-cream style consistency or store in the fridge for a really smooth texture.
My cheesecake dreams have only just begun and I cannot wait to get back to my high-speed blender for more!
Salted Almond Caramel Cheesecake
A raw, vegan and gluten free cheesecake with salted date caramel, salted almonds and a chocolate drizzle on a crunchy, nutty base.
- 160g (1 cup) pitted dates
- 210g (1 ½ cup) almonds
- ¼ tsp salt
- 140g (1 ¼ cup) cashews
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 120ml (1/2 cup) plant milk
- 2 tbsp neutral flavoured oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 75g salted almonds, roughly chopped
- 120g (3/4 cup) pitted dates
- 50g dark chocolate
- Start by covering the cashews with filtered water and leave to soak, covered, for 8 hours or overnight.
- Line a loose-bottomed cake tin with parchment paper. Soak the dates in two separate bowls in boiling water for 10 minutes to soften them. Drain and reserve a little of the water.
- Start by making the crust. Blend the 160g dates in a food processor until jammy then remove set to one side. Add in the almonds and pulse until they are broken down and fine. Add the date paste back to the processor with the salt and blend until the mixture is uniform and sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Press down into the lined tray into an even layer – you may need to you use the base of a glass to press firmly. Place in the freezer to set.
- Make the salted caramel topping by blending the 120g dates until they reach a sticky paste. Slowly add 4-5 tbsp of drained date water until a smooth caramel consistency. Add ½ tsp salt and blend.
- To make the filling, add the drained and rinsed cashews to a high-speed blender along with the other cheesecake ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary – add a tbsp more syrup for a sweeter filling. Pour over the base and tap it on the counter to create an even spread.
- Spoon about ¾ of the caramel over the cheesecake in small spoonfuls and swirl round with knife. Sprinkle over 50g of the chopped salted almonds and press down lightly into the cheesecake.
- Cover lightly with clingfilm and place in the freezer for 4-6 hours to set until firm to the touch.
- When ready to serve, allow the cheesecake to thaw for about 20 minutes while you melt the chocolate. Top the cheesecake with the remaining salted caramel and almonds and drizzle over the chocolate. Cut into slices using a large knife and serve.
- Store leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 weeks, allowing to thaw before serving. Alternatively store in the fridge for up to 1 week for a softer cheesecake texture.
I cannot wait to see you make my Salted Almond Caramel Cheesecake – remember to tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy.
You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest – do say hi!
With cheesecake love x