Mixed Berry and Peanut Butter Vegan ‘Nice Cream’ Cheese Cake

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Mood: This recipe is a Valentine’s Day Special:) I’ve been toying with the idea of making a layered Vegan Cheese Cake for a while & I thought this would be the perfect occasion! In the spirit of romance, I could not think of anything flavour combinations that have better chemistry than Peanut Butter & Berries:) Peanut Butter & Jelly are the power couple of the food world & this PBJ inspired Mixed Berry & Peanut Butter Vegan ‘Nice Cream’ Cheese Cake is the perfect dessert for the day of love:) Sweet. Salty. Cold. Creamy. Finger Licking Delicious:)


Time: 20 mins Prep Time + 5-6 hours Freezing Time (+ 10-12 overnight soaking time/1-2 hours quick soaking time for the cashews)
Serving Size: 2 4.5 x 4.5 spring cake moulds/7-8 silicon muffin moulds
Category: Dessert
Author: Animagus Eats


Ingredients:
Crust
•  1/2 cup Pitted Dates
•  3/4 cup Pecans*
•  1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Cashew Cream Filling
• 1 cup Cashews (soaked)
• 1/3 cup Coconut Milk (full fat)
• 2 tbsp + 1 tsp Melted Coconut Oil
• 3 tbsp Maple/Agave Syrup

Layer Flavours
• 4 tbsp Peanut Butter (smooth)
• 1 cup Strawberries/Raspberries (I used both) + 5 extra Raspberries
• 3 tsp Maple/Agave Syrup
• 2-3 tbsp Melted Coconut Oil (optional)


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Method:
For the Crust
1. Add the dates to a blender/food processor & blend them until they form a ball in the blender. Set aside the dates & clean the blender.

2. Next, add the pecans to the blender & pulse them into tiny pieces; almost like a nut flour.

3. Add the dates back into the blender, along with the sea salt, and blend again till the mixture is well combined.

4. Lightly grease 2 4.5 x 4.5 spring cake moulds/7-8 silicon muffin moulds. I used a combination of both: 1 4.5 x 4.5 spring cake moulds & 4 silicon muffin moulds. Divide the crust mixture evenly between the moulds & press it down using your hands or the bottom of a glass (use a tissue to between the crust & the glass). Place the moulds in the freezer so that the crust can set & move on to the cake filling:) Word of caution: I really struggled with the ‘set aside & move one’ part because the crust itself is so delicious, that I almost ate all of it before even getting to the cake;)

For the Cashew Cream Filling
5. Soak the cashews overnight for 10-12 hours (ideal) or if you’re pressed for time, quick soak them in boiling hot water 1-2 hours. After soaking them, drain the cashews well.

6. Add the drained cashews, coconut milk (it has to be full fat in order for the cake to be creamy!), maple/agave syrup & melted coconut oil to a clean blender/food processor. Blend the ingredients till they form a smooth, creamy & delicious (!!!) mixture. This should take about 1-2 minutes, depending on powerful your blender is:)

For the Layer Flavours
7. Take out 1/2 cup of the creamy cashew mixture & set aside for later. Add the peanut butter to the remaining cashew mixture in the blender & combine well, till you have a smooth, creamy & irresistible PB cream filling:) Try not to eat too much of it straight out of the blender (guilty as charged!) because we actually need all of the cream for the cake;)

8. Take out the moulds from the freezer & divide the PB cream equally between the moulds. Tap the moulds lightly so that the filling evens out smoothly across the moulds. Add 4-5 fresh raspberries (in an right upright position) on top of the PB cream & put the moulds back in the freezer. These raspberries will delight you with a fresh & frozen surprise when you eat the cake later. And in a perfect & beautiful way, in the theme of love, when you cut the cake later, the raspberries will form adorable little hearts:)

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Raspberry Heart Surprise:)

9. Next, clean the blender & add the remaining cashew cream mixture, fresh berries & maple/agave syrup to the blender. In my icecream cake, the PB layer was soft & creamy, while the berry layer was fresh, frozen & icy. I personally loved the contrasting the textures:) So, if you want the berry layer to be icy like mine, then skip the additional coconut oil mentioned in the ingredients list. However, if you prefer a creamier berry layer, then you can add the extra coconut oil to the mixture as well. Blend all the ingredients till they form a smooth & creamy mixture with a gorgeous pink colour:) Do a taste check to see if you’re happy with the flavours & adjust the sweetness or ‘berriness’ accordingly. However, try not to do too many ‘taste checks’; we need to save some cream for the actual cake;)

10. Take the moulds out of the freezer again & divide the berry cream evenly between them. Tap the moulds lightly to even out the cream & get rid of any air bubbles, so that you have a smooth surface:) Place the moulds back in the freezer & let them set for about 5-6 hours. I know it’s seems too long but your patience will be rewarded;)

11. Once the nice cream cheese cakes have set, take the moulds out of the freezer. Carefully remove the moulds & unveil the beauty that lies within:) You can garnish the nice cream cheese cakes with any toppings you like: fresh berries, vegan whipped cream, chocolate sauce, the works:) But honestly, they’re also perfect just the way they are:) And voila! Your Mixed Berry & Peanut Butter Vegan Icecream Cakes are ready to be devoured! You can eat them frozen (if they’re not too hard) or you can also soften them up by leaving them outside the fridge for 10 minutes. Time to enjoy the homemade goodness with your loved ones:) Accio Nice Cream Cake! Potterheads will get what I mean;) And for the rest of you lovebirds, Bon Appétit:) 


Love 3


Notes:
* If you don’t have/like Pecans, you can use also almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, etc:)


Inspiration:
My recipe is inspired by this Easy Vegan Cheesecake recipe by Minimalist Baker:)

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