Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Faux Cheezy-cake (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Sugar-Free, vegan, paleo, raw, full fat)

Go Shorty! It's my husband's birthday, and I'm making him his favorite dessert cuz it's his birthdayit's cheesecake.  (Yes, in my mind that everything preceding the em dash really did come out as a rap.)  Only, it's whole food, dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, no bake, mostly raw, vegan, paleo, full fat, and all kinds of yummy.  

I'm calling it Faux Cheezy-cake
That's the anthem, Get your damn hands up!
Good times.
lilikoi & apple caramel faux cheezy-cupcakes
Everything looks better staged on our new table!
Industrial rustic chic.
This is another case of not being able to find the exact recipe I want/need to make my heart's desire.  So I mashed up three very different recipes from three disparate though intersecting nutri-dietsWeston Price + Paleo + Raw/Vegan ==> mine own Faux Cheezy-cake version.  (I do want to give the sour coconut cream one a go though.  Probiotics!)

This is also a case of lack of menu planning and some pantry raiding though I did run out to Whole Foods to get raw macadamias (forgetting anything else besides).  For the crust, I used 1 cup soaked & sprouted pesticide-free almonds (soaked overnight and allowed to dry then rinsed daily for 2 days), 1 cup lightly salted & roasted cashews because that is what I had on hand though I would have preferred walnuts or pecans.   Actually for this crust recipe, any nuts will doMay I return to the beginning, The light is dimming, and the dream is too, The world and I, we are still waiting, Still hesitating, Any dream nut will dothough the nutritional optimum would be soaked/sprouted, raw nuts to reduce the anti-nutrients and encourage sprouting.  Funnily enough, the crust is pretty much the same recipe as what we call "dookies" in our household which are a healtheir/less processed version of Lara bars (aka pemmican/biltong/iron rations) which we started eating when we cut processed foods, wheat, dairy, sugar from our diets then had to give up when they (Lara bars) got bought out and started adding sweeteners and junk (brown rice syrup triggers major blood sugar/intolerant reactions in me).

I've recently learned the difference between true or ceylon cinnamon and cassia (commonly called saigon cinnamon); here, I'm using fair trade, organic, true ceylon cinnamon and it is zingy as all get out!  (I'm finding Indian spices to be zingier than the cultivars from Southeast Asiahey, that Spice Trade was for a reason, eh?).  You can substitute cassia/saigon cinnamon and I will still be your friend.

For the filling, soaked raw nuts are the best.  No roasted nuts, because you will get nut butter, not the creamy almost milky flavor ya need for faux cheese.  I like raw macadamias because they only need to be soaked a few hours.  Raw cashews can be substituted however they take 1-2 days of soaking.

If necessary, you can substitute 1 tbs of gelatin (which is made from animal collagen and therefore not vegan, if you care) for the agar (made from seaweed) or leave out.  The agar gelatinizes at around room temperature so it helps keep structure at temps where coconut oil would melt.  Gelatin requires a lower temperature (i.e. refrigeration) to set.  You can also omit agar/gelatin, but keep it refrigerated.  Coconut oil has a melting point of 78 degrees F so it'll be very soft at room temperature (cf. butter & cream cheese have a melting point of 82.4 F.)

And because I'm lazy to make a new topping, I used what I had on hand--cocoa hazelnut spread (aka nutella-the-good-parts-version, as you wish!  Recipe forthcoming), my special  lilikoi butter and apple juice caramel.  Any fruit preserves or fresh fruit will do. 

Just a note that going sugar free over a long period of time resets one's sweet tolerance.  This is a very low sweet dessert which is perfect for me & mine.  Not that my beloveds have a choice.

Faux Cheezy-cake

Makes 13 cupcakes or one 8-inch pie

  • 2 cups nuts (unsalted best)
  • 1/2 cup organic unsulfured apricots
  • 1 tbs organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • Pinch of himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 t ceylon cinnamon
Agar powder
Can call all you want but there's no one home

And you're not gonna reach my telephone

Out in the club and I'm sippin' that bub
And you're not gonna reach my telephone

  • 2 cups raw macadamia nuts, soaked 2-4 hours
  • 3/4 cup melted organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup apricot syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice (~ 1 lemon)
  • 1 tsp agar powder dissolved in 1/4 c very very hot water
  • pinch himalayan salt
If you are using any refrigerated toppings, take it out of the fridge to let it come to room temperature.

Line a 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper OR use a cupcake pan lined with cupcake liners.

Pulverize all the ingredients in a food processor until a coarse meal is formed.  Press into the pan firmly until you have 1/4 inch depth cupcakes or 1/3-1/2 inch depth for springform.

Leftover crust mix can be shaped into balls or bars and stored in the fridge and eaten as you would eat granola bars/energy bars.  (Dookies!)

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or a blender.  
Use a 2 oz cookie scoop to scoop it into the cupcake liners while it's still warm.  

Use room temperature topping if you have something that is unmalleable at refrigerated temperatures.  Coat the Faux Cheezy-cake or Faux Cheezy-cupcakes. 

If you are using fresh fruit and want a glee to hold the fruit: mix 1-2 tsp agar powder in boiling hot water until dissolved.  Add any sweetener.  Layer the cake with the fruit then pour the agar syrup on top while it's still very warm.  

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Ăn Ngon Lành|Eat Delectably!

Faux Cheezy-cake with apricot syrup

Happy birthday Trung (and Đàn Tâm too)!

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