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
Makes 12 serves
Lightly adapted from Gabby's vegan pumpkin mousse cake on The Veggie Nook
Food processor required
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
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
1 cup raspberries, either thawed from frozen or fresh
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?