CAR­DAMOM ‘CHEESE­CAKE’ WITH BIT­TER CHOCO­LATE SAUCE & BLACK PEP­PER STRAW­BER­RIES

Cuisine - - EMMA GALLOWAY -

SERVES 6 / PREPA­RA­TION 20 MIN­UTES PLUS OVERNIGHT SOAK­ING AND CHILL­ING / COOK­ING 5 MIN­UTES

This ‘cheese­cake’ is loosely based on one I wrote for my first cook­book My Dar­ling Le­mon Thyme. It’s en­tirely plant­based and is a great make-ahead dessert. I’ve made mine in a slice tin and then cut rounds out to serve, but you can set your cheese­cake in what­ever tin you like. If you serve slices rather than rounds, this would make enough to feed eight or more peo­ple. If you’re un­sure about the black pep­per in the straw­ber­ries, start out with ¼ tea­spoon and in­crease as you see fit. You will need to al­low 24 hours to soak the cashews be­fore mak­ing. I pre­fer to use fresh car­damom seeds as their flavour is far su­pe­rior, but you could use 1 tea­spoon ground car­damom if pre­ferred.

FOR THE ‘CHEESE­CAKE’ BASE

240g (1½ cups) pit­ted dried dates, roughly chopped

100g (⅔ cups) raw al­monds 1 ta­ble­spoon vir­gin co­conut oil, melted

FOR THE ‘CHEESE­CAKE’ FILL­ING

375g (3 cups) raw cashews, soaked

overnight in cold water and drained well 185ml (¾ cup) vir­gin co­conut oil, melted 125ml (½ cup) freshly squeezed le­mon juice 125ml (½ cup) pure maple syrup 2 tea­spoons vanilla ex­tract

¼ tea­spoon fine sea salt seeds from 20 car­damom pods

BIT­TER CHOCO­LATE SAUCE

85g dark choco­late (I used Whit­taker’s

64% Sin­gle Ori­gin Samoan ca­cao) 60ml (¼ cup) co­conut milk 2 ta­ble­spoons pure maple syrup

or brown rice syrup

BLACK PEP­PER STRAW­BER­RIES

500g straw­ber­ries, hulled

2 ta­ble­spoons pure maple syrup

or un­re­fined pure ic­ing sugar ¼-½ tea­spoon freshly ground black pep­per ¼ tea­spoon vanilla ex­tract pinch fine sea salt ed­i­ble flow­ers, to serve (op­tional)

To make the cheese­cake base, line a 28cm x 18cm slice tin with bak­ing pa­per, ex­tend­ing up and over the sides by 2cm. Put the pit­ted dates, al­monds and melted co­conut oil into a food pro­ces­sor and pulse un­til finely ground. Press the mix­ture into the tin, us­ing the back of a spoon to pack it in firmly.

Put all the fill­ing in­gre­di­ents into a high-pow­ered blender and blend on high un­til smooth. If you don’t have a high­pow­ered blender, finely grind the car­damom seeds in a mor­tar and pes­tle first be­fore adding to the blender. Pour the mix­ture over the base and smooth the top. Put into the fridge for at least 6 hours or prefer­ably overnight to set.

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