The winter air in London has lifted. With this comes the promise of brighter, longer, cherry-blossom days. And, for us, a birthday celebration in The Whole Ingredient household; which gave me the welcome opportunity to create and cook lots of new recipes (not that I need much of an excuse, truth be told).
Now, I’m sure you’ve noticed that I have a slight penchant for chocolate desserts. In their many forms. And I certainly can’t deny that both the chocolate chestnut torte and cherry lime delight are two of my most popular recipes. But I wanted to make something completely different for this special occasion, and I think this Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake is a real winner.
And what birthday cake could be a better celebration of favourite fruits and the taste of a bright new season, than the sunny flavours of blueberries, lemon and a hint of cardamom?
Why is it so good? Well, it tastes like spring. It’s light, fruity, delicate and floral. And spiced! Cardamom, it turns out, wants to be best friends with lemon.
- sweetness balanced with a little zing; and
- a contrasting rich, crunchy, sticky, warmth from the toasted oat and sultana base.
Toasting the oats makes all the difference.
Just look at how striking the frosty blueberries are on those velvety smooth waves of violet cream filling… they’re unique and delicious.
Oh, and did I mention that you don’t need cheese to make a cheesecake? This is a cheesecake with a difference (a good difference!); this is a cheesecake made with cashew cheese. So, as well as being low in cholesterol, you’ll also be revelling in the joy of a delicious, super fancy-tasting dessert that is:
- raw, simple and quick to make;
- beautiful and special;
- the taste of a spring afternoon walk among the flowers;
- full to the brim with antioxidants and vitamins, particularly from the blueberries and lemon (did you know blueberries are thought to improve memory function?), which are maximised by eating them raw;
- an exciting way to enjoy the taste and health benefits of cardamom, which include lowering blood pressure, detoxifying our kidneys and aiding digestion;
- a super tasty way to incorporate oats into the base, which are a great source of fibre and vitamin E. It might not be buttery but it is darn good; and
- guaranteed to bring smiles to the table.
I am happy to report that this cake was very well received…
What’s your favourite fruit and spice combination?
- For the base:
- 50g rolled oats
- 8 dates, pitted
- 25g sultanas
- 10g sunflower seeds
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Zest of 1 organic, unwaxed lemon
- Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- For the filling:
- 75g cashews (pre-soaked in water for at least an hour)
- 100g fresh blueberries
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- Juice of 1 organic, unwaxed lemon
- Seeds of 2 cardamom pods
- To decorate:
- 50g fresh blueberries
- Fresh mint leaves (optional)
- Begin by making the base. Heat a large pan to a medium temperature and gently toast the oats for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. There should be a delicious - but not burning! - aroma.
- Combine the oats with the rest of the base ingredients in a food processor. Pulse on a low speed until all the ingredients clump together, but retain a nice texture.
- Line a 10cm flan tin with foil.
- Scoop out the base mixture and press down evenly into the tin. Place in the freezer.
- To make the filling, start by processing the cashews until you have a smooth paste. Next, add 50g of blueberries and the remaining filling ingredients to the processor and blitz until combined.
- To assemble, scatter the other 50g of blueberries over the base and then pour on the filling. Smooth over with the back of a spoon, ensuring it goes right up to the edges of the tin.
- Decorate with more blueberries and a sprig of mint.
- Freeze, for at least an hour, until needed.
Transfer to the fridge a little while before serving to aid slicing.
This post is part of Spring Break V, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media at #SpringBreakV. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here.