Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Vegan pumpkin cheesecake with optional raspberry topping


I'm glad that my last post conveyed my enthusiasm for the pumpkin cheesecake that, well, inspired this pumpkin cheesecake. It may be accurate to say that Candle Cafe provided me with the best dessert of my life. It is certainly accurate to say that it provided me with the best dessert of our recent trip.

When I set out to recreate this dish, I remembered Gabby's vegan pumpkin mousse cake posted this time last year on The Veggie Nook. I bookmarked it at the time, but it took the Candle Cafe prompt for me to pull it out again. I am glad I did, because not only did it result in a dessert to rival that of my New York experience, it was also unexpectedly easy. You need to allow some time to soak your nuts (there is no way to make that sound good), and to let the cake chill and set, but the active preparation time is well under an half an hour.



Now, on the topic of terminology. 'Cheesecake' tends to be applied to vegan nut-based cheesecake equivalents, despite the absence of cream cheese. Gabby called her version a pumpkin mousse cake, which may be more accurate in some ways. I have retained the cheesecake title because the use of lemon juice really does give a cheesecake tang, and the texture is more like cheesecake than mousse in my mind. However, feel free to call this what you wish! Mousse cake, cheesecake, pie, or just dessert...it will taste good no matter what.

My adaptations from Gabby's version are minor and so I nearly didn't re-post the recipe in full. However, I was beyond the stage where changes could be summarised succinctly without a full recipe for reference, and so I am posting my version below. I recommend you check out her post too, though, both for the beautiful pictures and to see if you prefer her ingredient list to mine!


Pumpkin cheesecake with raspberry topping
Vegan
Makes 12 serves
Food processor required


Ingredients
Base
1 1/4 cups pecans
1 1/4 cups dates
1 tsp water
1/2 tsp mixed spice (pumpkin pie spice)
1/4 tsp salt

Filling
1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
1 cup raw almonds, soaked in water for at least 4 hours
1/2 butternut pumpkin, steamed, cooled and mashed to give at least 1 1/2 cups mashed pumpkin
(or use 1 1/2 cups commercial pumpkin puree)
1 frozen banana, cut into quarters
2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp dried ginger
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp melted coconut oil

Raspberry topping
1 cup raspberries, either thawed from frozen or fresh

Method
Make sure that you have soaked your cashews/almonds and steamed your pumpkin ahead of time.

Prepare an 8 to 10" (20 to 25cm) pie dish or equivalent round dish. I tend to line mine with cling wrap to ensure I can lift the pie out easily later.

To make the base, add the pecans and dates to your food processor and process until finely ground. Add the small amount of water, mixed spice and salt and process until starting to clump together. Press into the bottom of your pie dish. Transfer to the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.

Add all filling ingredients except the coconut oil to the food processor, and process until smooth. Add the coconut oil and process to incorporate.

Spread the filling over the base later and return to the refrigerator to set. Allow at least 4 hours to firm up.

If desired, roughly mash the raspberries, leaving some berries whole, and then drizzle over the cheesecake before serving.


There you have it - no New York visit required! This is a very nut heavy dish, but I love that it is made made with straightforward, real ingredients which have fully pronounceable names.

What is your stance on nut-based cheesecakes - do you enjoy them, and do you call them cheesecakes?

28 comments:

  1. Kari, your passion for this dessert is infectious. I love having resto inspiration for meals and I lived when they really rival the original. Thank goodness for you, because Candle Cafe is a bit far of a commute for you and me, too. :-)

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    1. That it is! And I am delighted that I managed to convey my enthusiasm ;)

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  2. what's not to love about a healthy dessert stuffed with a creamy nutty pumpkin filling - who cares if it is called cheesecake or mouse it sounds delicious to me - and even better that it evokes such sparkling memories

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    1. Thanks Johanna; I am so glad it appeals and I think it is a dessert that you would enjoy. I'm with you on the name aspect too - call it what you will, it will taste just as good (I'm sure someone famous once pondered on that very topic ;) ).

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    2. a rose by any other name would smell as sweet - shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet!

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    3. I knew you'd get my reference!

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  3. I'm a tad obsessed with nut-based cheesecakes...! (I just call them raw cheesecakes). So rich and creamy, and I love the fact that they're made with wholefoods. This one looks especially good, and lighter on the sweeteners than most.

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    1. I nearly called this one raw and then remembered the pumpkin was cooked ;) I have only made a couple of nut-based ones myself but they never disappoint, and this one is a little lighter generally with the pumpkin. I'm glad you like the look of it :)

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  4. This looks sensational! I am a pumpkin and cheesecake fiend, so I would adore this.

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    1. It is pretty much a match made in heaven for pumpkin and cheeecake!

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  5. Oo this looks so good! I've made a lot of raw cheesecakes but not with pumpkin...

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    1. I highly recommend it as an addition :-)

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  6. Good for you for pointing out the rudeness of reposting others' recipes, and explaining why it was necessary in this case. High five for that and for the dessert. x

    P.S. Gabby is the one of the sweetest greatest ladies ever, so I'm not surprised her recipe was just as sweet and great.

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    1. Aw, thank you. I dithered for several days over whether or not to re-post it so your comment means more than you might have known! It is absolutely Gabby's recipe at heart though and I imagine it does sum her up perfectly :-)

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  7. I love reading a post where someone is really passionate about a recipe. It really makes me want to try it. :)

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    1. I'm delighted to hear that, because I kind of think that everyone should ;)

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  8. Cheesecake! WIthout the cheese! Maybe an oxymoron? But also 100% delicious. I can tell.

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    1. I think delicious oxymorons are allowed :-)

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  9. What an awesome vegan dessert recipe!!

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  10. Oh my gosh, this looks/sounds amazing! I looove the idea of raspberry with pumpkin. Yum!

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    1. I wouldn't have thought of it if not for the cranberry with the Candle Cafe version, but it works surprisingly well!

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  11. I have been looking forward to you sharing this cheesecake recipe. I love the sound of all those nuts! I'm going to try this. Do you know why the banana has to be frozen? xx

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    1. It doesn't have to be - but it helps firm the texture up quickly :-) Obviously it's not staying frozen once processed and in the fridge though, so if you want to use a regular temperature one, it will be fine and you might just need a wee bit longer for it to set.

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  12. My stance on nut based cheesecakes?... I like them but only in small amounts. I always seem to get through about half way and suddenly...oooph, that's a whole lot of nuts kinda thing! Saying that I'd certainly give this one a crack.

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    1. I am kind of the same - but not so much as if I have regular cheesecake and then I seem to get about a quarter in and suddenly feel a teeny bit ill!

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  13. I've never been to Candle Cafe but hopefully one day!

    This looks amazing, I used to love cheesecake in my pre-vegan days but have never had anything like it since. This recipe makes me so happy that I can have something similar that is both vegan and delicious. Thanks for sharing!

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