A creamy vegan and gluten-free white chocolate cashew cheesecake with a toasted almond crust, served with summer strawberries that have been tossed with cracked black pepper and rose petals to bring out their sweet and floral flavour. Serve thick slices for dessert with whipped coconut cream this Valentines Day to impress your significant other (or yourself!).
Valentines Day is tomorrow! To be honest, we aren’t really big Valentines day people, and I think in Australia this is true for most people. I do love to cook up Valentines inspired food though. We generally don’t go crazy with it, though sometimes one of us will cook up a big feast or take the other on a picnic. One year I went a little insane with a four (five?) course meal that i’d spent all day cooking, and the following year Chris made me dessert! For the first (and only time) in our 8 years together. It was a big event, and I’ve begged him every year for a repeat to no avail.
More often than not though you can find us in the kitchen, cooking up a simple but delicious Valentine themed dinner and dessert. This year, following too many 40 degree heatwaves that have lasted days at a time, I really don’t feel like cooking or making a heavy chocolate based dessert. So, i’ve whipped up this light and creamy white chocolate vegan cheesecake in advance. The only cooking involved is toasting some almonds for the base, though you can skip this part if you’d like to keep it raw. Meaning, there’s no need to slave over a hot stove or oven to make this dessert during the Summer heat! Yay!
To keep with the Valentines Day theme, i’ve served the cheesecake with some sweet litte strawberries that I tossed with maple, lemon juice, rose petals and a little freshly cracked black pepper. If the pepper sounds weird to you, don’t let it turn you off, it doesn’t really taste like pepper. The pepper just amps up the strawberries strawberry-ness. It makes them sweeter and candy-like and adds a little bit of spice and interest. Trust me, it’s a magic ingredient here.
It’s a perfect Valentines dessert, so simple to make and it can be made the night before, leaving you time to make a delicious dinner together and enjoy each other’s company rather than spending all night in the kitchen. Just soak the nuts well in advance and make sure to chill the cheesecake for a good 4-6 hours before serving.
And, it looks perfect. The crimson strawberries and rose petals scattered over the white chocolate cheesecake are so pretty, you don’t need to try very hard to serve this up beautifully. The strawberries do all the work for you! A little of the maple-y strawberry juices left after marinating the berries can be spooned over the top to create a simple sauce for the cake. A little scoop of whipped coconut cream and a sprinkle of pink flaky sea salt doesn’t hurt either.
So now that dessert is sorted, I actually have to think about what to cook for dinner (obviously my brain thinks of dessert first!). I’m really feeling like pasta is the way to go, nothing too heavy (because, 40 degree heat). This recipe for vegan scallops with spaghetti, crispy kale & pomegranates from Hot For Food looks incredible. I can not believe that the ‘scallops’ are mushrooms! What?! I have a big vegan food crush on these guys, their food is incredible and so creative. If I can find the king oyster mushrooms, I think this recipe may be a go.
And for pre-dinner drinks, these summertime vespers with strawberry, rhubarb & fennel from Holly & Flora look like just the thing (though they might just be wishful thinking).
I hope your Valentines Day’s are lovely, whether you spend it with friends, partners, family, your fur babies or by yourself. Whatever the case, cook something delicious and enjoy yourself! The food is always the best part. If you make this, leave me a comment and tell me how it went (it would make my day!), or tag me on instagram #theflouredkitchen @theflouredkitchen and show me your creation!
White Chocolate Vegan Cheesecake + Black Pepper Rose Strawberries
Yield 8 slices of cheesecake
vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, cane sugar free, soy-free
A creamy vegan white chocolate cashew cheesecake with a toasted almond crust, served with summer strawberries that have been tossed with black pepper and rose petals to bring out their sweet and floral flavour. Serve thick slices for dessert with whipped coconut cream this Valentines Day to impress your significant other (or yourself!).
- 1 1/2 cups almonds
- 1/4 cup dessicated coconut
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 cup cashews soaked overnight or in boiling hot water for 1–2 hours then rinsed
- 1 cup macadamias (or another cup of cashews) soaked overnight or in boiling hot water for 1–2 hours then rinsed
- 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1/3 cup / 30g cocoa butter melted
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 3 tsp. lemon juice
- seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 3 cups strawberries, aboout 400g, hulled & sliced in half or in quarters if large
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 6 grinds finely ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp dried rose petals
- a few extra dried rose petals
- coconut whipped cream (optional but recommended)
- tiny sprinkle of pink flaky sea salt (optional)
- Lightly oil and line a 20cm / 8 inch springform pan with baking paper on the bottom and sides.
- Toast the almonds on a baking tray in an oven preheated to 180 degrees celsius / 350 fahrenheit for about 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Then blitz in a food processor until the almonds are blended into a fine meal. Add the coconut, maple, vanilla, sea salt and coconut oil and process until the mixture starts to clump together.
- Press the crust into the bottom of the prepared tin, making sure it is well pressed together and even.
- Place all of the filling ingredients in a blender & blend until the mix is completely smooth and creamy. Pour over the crust, wrap the pan in cling wrap and place the pan in the freezer overnight or for about 4-6 hours until set.
- Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and leave to marinate for about 15 - 20 minutes before serving.
- Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan, and peel off the baking paper. Cut thick slices of the cheesecake (whilst frozen) with a sharp knife that has been dipped in hot water. Place the slices of cheesecake on plates and let them defrost and soften a little, about 15 minutes (longer if it's very cold in your kitchen, it should have a creamy cheesecake texture and not be too hard and frozen!).
- Spoon over some of the strawberries and a drizzle of the strawberry juices left at the bottom of the bowl. Scatter over a few extra rose petals and a tiny pinch of flaky pink sea salt (optional) and serve with a scoop of whipped coconut cream. Eat asap!
- Keep leftover cheesecake in an airtight container in the freezer.