I honestly can't remember the very first time I tasted lavender. I think it might've been in a macaron or some French pastry (pre gluten free days) in Paris. It had a taste that was entirely new and different to me. And it was a taste I'd grow to long for.
In North America it's not often that you get to enjoy lavender in anything. So do yourself a favour and make this. The combination of flavours is such a treat.
Should I admit how many times I've made this raw cheesecake in the last few weeks? It's probably best I don't. ;) It was all in the efforts of tweaking + perfecting a recipe. :)
Now you know when I say cheesecake I'm using the term loosely. This cake is free from dairy, free from soy and (as always) gluten free.
What gives the cake its creaminess and cheesecake like consistency are the cashews. I love working with cashews. Soaked and drained, cashews create a creaminess that mimics (very well) the consistency of many forms of dairy, like a soft cheese. The flavour is incredibly mild and undetectable. You could really use cashews in any recipe that calls for creaminess. This comes in handy when you're taking a break from dairy but still want a rich creamy taste.
Aside from the amazing consistency, there are definite nutritional benefits to soaking nuts (not to mention grains + legumes) before using them. I would cloud this post if I packed everything in here, so I'm going to save the nutritional lesson for a future (very near future) blog post.
For now I leave you with this beautiful raw cheesecake recipe to try. Apart from the soaking, It takes minutes to put together. The most difficult part of the recipe is waiting for it to set so you can dig in. ;)
Now I'd love to hear from you. In the comments below, share with me some of ways you satisfy that cheesy craving while on a break from dairy.
Earl Grey Infused Lavender "Cheesecake"
3/4 cup walnuts (raw)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
3 medjool dates, pits removed
pinch Himalayan rock salt
2 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp coconut oil, lightly packed
1 Tbsp earl grey tea leaves
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 1/2 lemons)
1 Tbsp dried lavender leaves
1/4 vanilla bean pod, cut lengthwise, seeds scraped
a good pinch of Himalayan rock salt
- Combine all four ingredients together in a food processor. Process until well blended + the crust holds together when pinched.
- Press crust into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan.
- Set aside
- Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over low-medium heat.
- Stir in earl grey tea leaves.
- Let infuse over low-medium heat for about 7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 5 - 10 minutes.
- Add drained cashews, maple syrup, lemon juice, lavender, vanilla seeds, salt + coconut oil tea infusion to high powered blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Spoon the filling onto the crust.
- Refrigerate for minimum 3 hours to let the cake set.
Note: If you're pressed for time you can soak the cashews for 3 hours (minimum). I do find the consistency comes out better when the cashews have been soaked overnight. You can also freeze the cheesecake (minimum 30 minutes) to set.