Lemon and blueberry cheesecake with mango puree

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VEGAN, RAW, GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, REFINED SUGAR-FREE.

It’s Monday. Sun is out. Finally, it feels like spring. After a very busy weekend of making cakes and photo shoots, I’m settling into the usual rhythm of my working week. A friend of mine who happened to be the photographer behind some of the beautiful pictures on the site and the blog, has casually asked me on Saturday “How’s your blog writing going?” …Long pause. “Oh, dear! I do have a blog!”. I’ve realised it’s been a while since my last post and the new one is well overdue. The recipe was created and all the photos taken ages ago, so really there was no real reason from stopping me sharing  them with you. And today looks like the perfect day for LEMON AND BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE.

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This classic flavour combination’s been on my mind for a long time. I’ve added a little “touch” making the recipe slightly more interesting. It’s not as sturdy as my commercial cheesecakes are, but without compromising its flavour.

Base: I usually use dates in my bases as they bind the nuts together well. The base of this cheesecake doesn’t have dates. I’ve justified their absence by desire to create rather simple crust. The sweetness of dates sometimes can sabotage the tangy lemon. Instead I wanted for the blueberries and mango to add that fruity sweetness. Another thing I must tell you about the crust: I used macadamia and cashew nuts as they are not too rich in flavour and make up a perfect base for a  rich flavour cheesecake. Blueberries, lemon and mango have very distinctive taste and this base combination will not overpower it. I think the lemon and the blueberries should take the centre stage as its a Lemon and Blueberry cheesecake after all.

Some of you may already know that dried Macadamia nuts can have a slightly powdery taste and are quite oily. So, I would recommend using less of this nut in macadamia/cashew ratio. (quarter to ¾ or half / half at the very most). It’s harder to achieve fine meal like consistency with macadamia nuts because of the oil content. Oil simply starts to stick the crust together without giving all other ingredients an opportunity to break down. Another reason why the base is so simple. It’s a good idea to process macadamia and cashews separately joining them together once both have been processed thoroughly. But  it’s a much messier and takes longer to prep the cake.

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Mango puree: I used a touch of agar agar to make the puree a little more set, so it didn’t all come out during my photo shoot when the cake was fully defrosted. You don’t have to do that. You can get away without it. In fact, I like when the puree or jam drips down the sides of the cake, making you want to catch it with your fingers, licking them afterwards. But if you are planning on having your cake out on display for some time then it’s a good idea to use agar agar. More! You can make mango jelly if you prefer, the recipe will be the same. The difference will be in preparation of agar agar. So, dripping finger licking puree- no agar agar; Slightly set puree- agar agar added to boiling water and then mixed with the puree ingredients. It’s still raw. If you’d like mango jelly instead you must heat up all the ingredients together for a few minutes. The mango jelly will not be raw. It’s your choice.

Lemon cheesecake: Its better if cashews are soaked longer, well over 8hr. In lemon cheesecake, I found this way works better because cashews loose quiet a lot of oil during soaking and they become curd like consistency when lemon juice is added. You won’t hear me saying that often, but over soak your cashews.

I think that’s all with the tips. I hope you like the recipe.

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Lemon and Blueberry cheesecake with mango puree  

Makes 8-9” cake

Ingredients

Base:

Macadamia nuts 100g

Cashew nuts        100g

Coconut oil           liquefied 1tsp or less.

Maple syrup         1tsp or less.

Cream:

Cashews soaked 600g

Lemon juice         1 cup or about 6 lemons (you may need less as it depends on the size of your lemons and how  much juice they extract)

Maple  syrup         ½ cup

Coconut oil             ½ cup

Sea salt                   ¼ tsp

Turmeric                 ¼ tbsp. (depends on the colour you’d like your lemon filling to be)

Mango puree:

1 medium size mango

Lemon juice ½ lemon

Agar agar     1 tsp not heaped (or use instructions of your agar agar, as agar agar flakes are different)

Less than ¼ cup boiling water

200g blueberries. (1 punnet)

Instructions:

  1. Pop your nuts into a food processor and process until fine meal like consistency achieved. (See notes for more tips) add a little bit of maple syrup  just to slightly sweeten up the base. Add liquefied coconut oil if needed to stick the nuts together. If not, leave the oil out.
  2. Put the mixture on the bottom of lined cake form. Spread evenly and press it down.
  3. Split all cheesecake ingredients into two if using high power blender, into 3 or 4 equal amounts if using regular blender. Blitz each part until smooth creamy consistency achieved. Make sure you are happy with the flavour and colour, add extra maple, lemon juice or turmeric if needed. Pour all cheesecake mixture into one large bowl. As we’ll be creating layers after mango puree is done.
  4. Use flesh of one medium sized ripe mango, pop all the ingredients in your blender and whizz up for a few seconds to make sure there’s no lumps and mixture is even. You can mash it all up if you prefer slightly chunkier consistency. Add agar agar (see notes) if needed.
  5. Pour all of mango puree into another bowl.
  6. Pop some blueberries on to the base. You can press some lightly. Don’t worry about a little juice that will come out.
  7. Now scoop out third of lemon cheesecake filling into cake form. Even it out. Pour over half of mango puree. Spread it evenly. Pop in some more blueberries, pressing them gently into the puree. You can pop this in the freezer for 5-10min if you are not confident enough with your layering. This will allow the puree to set a little, so you can add second part of the lemon filling. If you are confident, then gently add more lemon filling and the last of mango puree. Add more blueberries. Put in the freezer for another 10min to set slightly. Scrape in the rest of the lemon cheesecake. Even it out and freeze for at least 4hr.
  8. Decorate to taste.

Enjoy your cake…

Photos are taken by Tania Jay

Tania Jay photography

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