Cashews are one of my obsessions, they are my favorite nut and I could eat a big handful every single day. I love their rather sweet taste and the endless possibilities you have when you cook with them: dressings, butters, creams, pie fillings, ice creams and they make the best raw cakes!
They are full of healthy fats, which are essential to mantain your heart young and strong, and like every other nut, cashews are the perfect pick-me-up snack to boost our energy levels...always keeping in mind that we are talking about small (small!) handfuls every day. Everything in moderation, my dear friends! Well, except for chocolate, hehe, just kidding. ;-)
Also cashews are a good source of antioxidants (high content of copper) and magnesium which prevents fatigue, headaches and is good for bones and muscles.
So after this nutritional information let's talk about this recipe: Raw Mini Lemon Cheesecakes.
These cakes are the perfect dessert to serve at parties or family suppers and since they are super rich and you'll feel super full I would suggest you to divide the batter into smaller pans (try with a muffin or cupcake pan). I ate mine in one sitting as an afternoon "snack" and even though I was hungry it took me several minutes to finish the whole thing. That lemony flavor and strawberry-matcha crust were so tempting I couldn't myself.
So you've been warned: if you are planning to serve these after a big meal, make them smaller.
Or if you feel hungry, or you've had shitty day, or you have a big big craving for something sweet and simply want to stuff your face with cake, then go for the XL option pictured here.
Note: for the strawberry-matcha flavored crust I used a blend of strawberry powder and matcha green tea that comes already prepared in small packs like this one. If you can't find this type of blend simply use matcha, adding one tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency, taste and color.
(makes 4 big servings)
1 cup almond meal.
3 tbsp pure maple syrup.
2 tbsp strawberry matcha powder.
pinch of salt.
2 cups raw cashews.
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted.
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or 1/4 cup agave+1/4 cup maple).
1/4 cup water.
1/4 cup lemon juice.
Soak cashews in water for about 1 hour or until they become soft and puffed up. Don't forget to drain them well right before getting started with the recipe.
- For the crust:
Stir all ingredients together, except for the matcha, and mix well. Add in matcha powder one tablespoon at a time; I think 2 tablespoons are enough but adjust to taste.
Line a baking sheet or a flat dish with parchment paper and set 4 plating/forming rings on top of the paper (I used square forms). If that's too complicated simply use a muffin tin and line it with a couple of parchment paper strips using them as tabs to easily lift out the cakes.
Firmly press down this mixture using the back of a spoon and make sure it looks even.
Set in the freezer until it hardens.
- For the lemon filling:
Place cashews, maple syrup, water, lemon zest and juice inside your blender. Pulse and process until the mixture looks creamy, you might need to stop the blender a few times and scrape down the sides with a spatula. Make sure you push down all the remaining bits of cashews.
Add in coconut oil and keep blending until the mixture looks completely smooth.
Pour the mixture equally over the frozen crust. Add in around 1/2 tablespoon of strawberry jam for each cake and make a swirl using a toothpick.
Put the cakes in the freezer and let them set for a few hours (or overnight) until they are firm enough to remove from their pans.
Decorate with fresh fruits like sliced strawberries or a small handful of wild berries. I decorated the cakes with golden raspberries from my own little harvest. :-)