Okay, obviously I’m joshing around because: 1) despite all the cake on this site, I love a green juice for breakfast as much as the next vegan; and 2) this cake, despite being raw, is still incredibly over-the-top rich and delicious. And it’s made even more so by the combination of pistachios, raspberries, and rose water.
I’m a huge fan of the ‘traditional’ cashew-based raw cheesecakes, but to be honest I lack both the patience to soak raw cashews for a few hours and the high-speed blender required to get that killer-smooth texture that the best cashew cheesecakes have. So I set about making a cashew-less version of a creamy raw cake, using a double whammy of coconut to get there: coconut milk and coconut butter. Coconut butter, if you haven’t encountered it before, is different from coconut oil. Coconut butter, also called coconut manna, is the white ‘meat’ of the coconut, processed until smooth. I bought mine at the health food store, or you can also find it on Amazon.
The middle layer is a chia jam, which in case you haven’t already tried it out, is a great kitchen trick to have in your pocket. Because chia seeds can soak up so much liquid, a combination of fruit (either heated until juices are released, or masticated by fork or blender) and whole chia seeds mimics traditional jam perfectly. The recipe here also calls for no extra sweetener, just fresh or frozen fruit, whole chia seeds, and lemon juice, but if your fruit is a bit sour or you prefer a sweeter jam, feel free to add a bit of maple syrup. While on the topic of maple syrup: it’s my liquid sweetener of choice, but I know it’s not raw, so if you’d like this cake to be fully raw, replace with agave.
There are a couple tricky ingredients in this cake, but don’t let that put you off from making it. The first is rosewater, which you can find in the ethnic aisle of your grocery store for (usually) less than $3. Just be sure what you’re buying is food grade. Alternatively, you can sub in extra lemon juice for the rosewater and have a more straightforward coconut cheesecake. Cocoa butter can similarly be replaced with more coconut butter. I wanted to throw it in to give a white chocolate flavour to the cake, but if you leave it out you’ll be left with a delicious coconutty layer instead. Really, you can take the bones of this recipe and run with it – switch out the pistachios for pecans, the raspberry jam for date caramel, and switch out the rosewater for a tsp of maple extract and you’ve got a Maple Pecan Cheesecake; or maybe sub the cocoa butter with dark chocolate and the pistachios for coconut flakes, for a creamy Chocolate Coconut Cake.
- 3/4 cup raw unsalted pistachios
- 1/3 cup almonds
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp coconut oil, melted (+ extra for pan)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 cups raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 3/4 cup coconut butter
- 1/4 cup cocoa butter (see note)
- 3/4 cup coconut milk, full fat
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp rose water
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Grease the bottom and sides of a 6" springform pan with coconut oil. Set aside.
- For the base, pulse nuts and salt in a food processor until ground. I like to leave some larger pistachio pieces, so I add the pistachios after a few pulses.
- Stir or pulse in melted coconut oil and maple syrup until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Place in the freezer to set.
- For the raspberry layer, heat berries and lemon juice in a saucepan on the stove until the juices start to be released and the fruit can be easily mashed with a fork. If you'd like to skip heating the fruit, mash it at room temperature, or pulse in the food processor a few times. Stir in chia seeds. Pour the jam onto the chilled base and place in the freezer again while preparing the top layer.
- Place cocoa butter and coconut butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir occasionally until melted. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Pour on top of the jam layer. Allow a few hours in the fridge for the cake to set. Serve at either fridge or room temperature.
- If you can't get cocoa butter, substitute with more coconut butter.