This is a 2-day process purely because you do need to soak cashews for 8 hours so make sure you do that the night before you want to make this. If you want to cheat - pour super hot water on them and let them soak for 15 minutes.
These are very rich so one square is pretty satisfying and two is complete indulgence. This sweet treat lasts in the freezer for about 3 weeks so once you make it, you should be able to indulge for awhile!
1 cup pitted dates
1 ½ cup almonds
¼ tsp salt
1 ¼ cup cashews
3 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup plant milk
2 tbsp neutral flavored oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup salted almonds, roughly chopped
3/4 cup pitted dates
50g dark chocolate
Start by covering the cashews with filtered water and leave to soak, covered, for 8 hours or overnight.
Soak the dates in two separate bowls in hot water for 10 minutes to soften them. Line a cake tin with parchment paper. I have also used a glass pan with coconut oil rubbed on the bottom. Drain the dates and reserve a half cup of the water.
Make the crust by adding the almonds to the food processor and pulse until they are broken down and fine. Remove and set aside. Then blend a cup of dates in the food processor until jammy. Add the almonds back to the processor with the salt and blend until the mixture is uniform and sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Press down into the lined tray into an even layer. Place in the freezer to set while you do the next steps.
Make the salted caramel topping by blending the 3/4 cup of dates until they reach a sticky paste. Slowly add 4-5 tbsp of drained date water until a smooth caramel consistency. Add ½ tsp salt and blend. I did this in the Ninja because my food processor is too big.
To make the filling, add the drained and rinsed cashews to a high-speed blender along with the other cheesecake ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as necessary. Pour over the base and tap it on the counter to create an even spread.
Spoon about ¾ of the caramel over the cheesecake in small spoonfuls and swirl round with knife. Sprinkle the chopped salted almonds over the top and press down lightly into the cheesecake.
Cover lightly with clingfilm and place in the freezer for 3-6 hours to set until firm to the touch.
When ready to serve, allow the cheesecake to thaw for about 20 minutes while you melt the chocolate. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave but be careful - it's easy to burn. Keep using 10 second intervals and give it a stir each time until it is liquid. Top the cheesecake with the remaining salted caramel and almonds and drizzle over the chocolate. Cut into slices using a large knife and serve.
Store leftovers in the freezer for up to 3 weeks, allowing to thaw before serving. Alternatively store in the fridge for up to 1 week for a softer cheesecake texture.
It's surprisingly simple to make even though it looks like a lot of steps. Roberto was a little upset with me when I told him it was going to be three hours before he could eat it. He told me not to even tell him next time I make something that takes this long! But once he did get to eat it - he said it was totally worth the wait!!
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