Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Sweet Tooth


Happy Easter Monday! I'm sure you had a fabulous holiday with family and friends. It's been a weekend here. It's not too Spring-like. The temperature dropped to 0C and we had a few snow flurries this morning. Eeks! Yesterday with the winds howling and the clouds thick in the sky, I was tucked away in the warmth of my apartment enjoying some tunes while working away in the kitchie making food to contribute to Easter dinner. I made raw pizza for an appetizer, salad, and desserts. Despite the 'close to winter' conditions one of the desserts was particularly Springy. I must be on a strawberry and coconut kick, because these are the highlighted flavors along with hints of lime, cardamom (oh yeah, on a kick with that too), mango, and cherry.


One of my all time favourite desserts was on the menu - Strawberry Lime Mousse Cake . I topped them with a cherry lime jelly (blended cherries with stevia, lime juice, and chia seeds).


It's tried and true. It's light, flavorful, tangy, sweet, fruity, smooth and creamy. I made mini cakes and a 6" cake to keep on hand in the freezer for visitors. I just love mini cheesecakes. You can make several flavors for people to enjoy and they're just plain cute. Oh, plus they can be eaten with your hands! I've made this cake countless times and I still can't get enough!


Onto the second dessert.  After making the coconut cardamom cream in my recent Spiced Strawberry Parfait, I was left wanting more! So why not in a cheesecake, I thought? These turned out delish. I'll definitely be making this recipe again. Chocolate crust, cardamom coconut filling with a hint of mango, chocolate ganache, and coconut crunch. Yummie!


Coconut Cardamom Cheesecake
RAW * VEGAN* GLUTEN FREE

Crust
I made a plain crust that you see here, and I made some of them with a chocolate crust too, which was just almonds, dates, and cacao powder. 

1 cup almonds
2/3 cup raisins
Pinch of salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon water

In a food processor grind the almonds into crumbs. 
Add the raisins and salt. Process until the raisins are completely broken down. 
Add the water starting with 1/2 teaspoon. If the mixture is still too crumbly, add more water. The mixture should hold together when pressed in your hand. 
Press into the bottom of mini silicone muffin cups or bottom of an 8" spring form pan. 

Filling

The mango is just an undertone in the filling - you won't really taste it with the coconut and cardamom, but I had some very ripe mango that needed to be used up and knew the flavor was neutral enough to combine with the other flavors.

1 cup diced mango (I used champagne mango)
2/3 cup cashews
6 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons agave
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (I used 3/4 tsp)
4 tablespoons melted coconut butter*
7 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Blend all but the butter and oil until smooth and creamy in a high speed blender. 
Add the last two ingredients and blend to combine. 
Pour the filling over crust. Chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours or in the freezer at least 5 hours.


Coconut Crunch Topping

This is so yummy and crunchy! It would be a great topping on raw ice cream too!

6 tablespoons shredded coconut
2 teaspoons maple sugar
Pinch salt
2 teaspoons melted coconut butter
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon melted coconut oil

Stir all ingredients together in a bowl. 
Set in the fridge or freezer to firm up, 10-20 minutes. 
Break into pieces using a butter knife. 
Sprinkle over the set cheesecake.

*I'm adding this note after posting, as someone asked in the comments about the difference between coconut oil and butter. The oil is the extracted fat from the coconut. The butter is the pulp ground down until smooth - just like almonds are made into almond butter.
I'm savoring a jar of this coconut butter, and used it in the recipe. It's the BEST coconut butter I've ever had. It's stone ground for days and literally melts in your mouth. Yeah you can make your own (I do too), but its not the same. Homemade stuff still has some fibery texture - this stuff is silky smooth.


What tasty things did you make or eat for Easter? I hope you'll try these cakes next time you're looking for a week recipe!

Shared at Allergy Free Wednesdays

15 comments:

Ulyana said...

Loving the crunchy topping Heather! I made chocolate bunnies and not much else- I forgot to go the shops before they shut and was left with a big bag of carrots!

Lauren said...

Yum! I must spend Easter with you next year! ;)

Heather Pace said...

Thanks Uly! LOL carrots, what did you do with those?!

Lauren - you're welcome at my place any time of year! :D

Maggie said...

These look delicious! I also made cheesecake for Easter, but it was nowhere near as cute as these - love the idea of making them into individual cakes. I will definitely have to try this out.

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather,
Quick question...oh at least I hope it's a quick question. Apart from the consistency is there a difference between coconut butter and coconut oil? I haven't been able to figure that out. I keep reading that they are essentially the same it's just that the butter is the solidified oil. Is that correct? Just wanted to be sure so I could make my oil into a solid for these lovelies!
Thanks in advance!
Caroline

Heather Pace said...

Thanks Maggie, yeah its fun to make little ones for a change.

Caroline - there's a big difference btw coconut oil and butter. The oil is just that, the oil pressed from the coconut. THe butter is ground coconut pulp. It's rich and smooth and sweet. Yummy straight off the spoon! The most amazing one I've ever had is this: http://www.rawguru.com/store/stone-ground-organic-raw-coconut-butter.html . Im currently savouring a jar of it. It's the smoothest "melt in your mouth" butter I've ever had. You can make your own but its really not hte same because you still get texture, which in my opinion is fine if you're using a small amount in recipes, but to eat straight up, this butter is stone ground for days.

Pure2raw twins said...

your desserts are always so beautiful...mouth watering over here ;)
xoxo

Nicole said...

I love the look of your mini cheesecakes, Heathy! They are so cute. I am on a big coconut butter kick these days, and I am intrigued by the cococonut- cardamom flavour combination. I will have to try your recipe!

Heather Pace said...

Thanks girls!

Nicole - coconut and cardamom are best friends, lol. You'll definitely have to try it!

shannonmarie said...

Delicious, as always. So pretty!

Vitamins for Beauty said...

Yum I want some! I wish you lived closer and I would have do cater an amazing raw dessert party.

Are you still taking order for your chocolate?

Nicole <3

Ricki said...

Heather, I love the look of these sweet little cheesecakes!! I haven't tried that coconut butter yet (only Artisana so far--and my own, homemade, of course!), but if it helps to make those little babies look and taste great, I'll check it out! Thanks so much for linking up to Wellness Weekend this week! :D

Heather Pace said...

Nicole, Easter orders are closed now - except caramel pecan choccie clusters because Im making those regularly for the farmers market.

Thanks Ricki - can't believe it's taken me this long to link up - duh! lol. Love your site and all that you do!

Alessandra said...

These look super yummy! If you don't mind I'll add your blog in my blogroll :-) (here http://alessandra-veganblog.blogspot.co.nz/).

Ciao
Alessandra

Heather Pace said...

Thanks Alessandra! Yeah for sure you can add to your blogroll :)