I don't think this cake needs much explaining... The look of it tells a tale of its own... But I'll admit I struggled with the naming of it... I wanted it to be a blue lagoon cake, but the colors just aren't right there (hey, it's hard to work with natural coloring...). I wanted it to be an ocean cake, but somehow it seemed too tropical (sigh, back to lagoon idea!). Someone suggested calling it a mermaid cake... I LOVE that name... but I think you'd expect a mermaid hiding somewhere in there (and I've yet to come across a mermaid-shaped fruit ;) ). Beach party cake? Beach theme cake? Florida cake... (courtesy of my Floridian friend ;) ). Seafoam something...? Well there you go, I think this exercise in naming probably told you everything there is to know about this pastel-hued raw beach cheesecake.
I don't know what possessed me to make a beach cheesecake to be honest. No special occasion called for it. I blame it on the startfruit I had to use up somehow. And also on the mountains of snow outside (the snow is actually shoulder high at the road after the latest snow storm :S) ... and so I'm dreaming of warmer days to come and trying to channel over some of those warm vibes right into my snow frosted forest... And also... thinking of starfruit, the thought that coconut sugar would make good "sand" popped into my mind... and before I knew it I was in the kitchen making this ocean gem.
I love how it turned out. Just a simple cheesecake, but so delicate. I could see it working well at a beach-themed party or celebration, or just a birthday party, a baby shower... ? When I think of all those things and think of themed parties, I immediately get visions of those chemically colored icings and treats... They're always fun to look at, but you won't catch me eating that stuff these days... So I was so happy this came together naturally -- nothing processed or artificial. And lots of fun making it (and even more fun eating it ;) ). I feel like this just really celebrates so many elements in nature, in-and-out.
So what does it taste like? Mmm... seafoam. Just kidding. Just like a classic cheesecake, actually. A really delicious one at it (thanks to a little trick I used). Nothing fancy in the ingredients. And if you're not a spirulina fan (which is what I used for coloring) -- don't be deterred. The amount I used here is so minuscule you'll never taste a thing. Tried and tested on unsuspecting guinea pigs for you ;)
That secret I alluded to up above? Not soaking the cashews. Yep, that's right. Defying raw cheesecake making laws here. Then again, I've never been a rule follower anyhow... ;) If you have a Vitamix or a power blender, give that a try for a change. It changes the flavor completely, allowing the cashews to have a much more intense and smooth flavor. You can use ones that have been soaked and fully dehydrated beforehand. Really what I tried to exclude here is the water the cashews absorb and retain in a cheesecake, but having them activated and dehydrated beforehand is no issue at all if you prefer.
If you don't have a power blender though, soak those raw cashews away please -- it'll make your life easier and still taste delicious. Promise. Just ride the waves however you can to get there ;)
A fun, natural blue-green raw cashew cheesecake embellished with starfruit and coconut sugar "sand". Vegan and gluten-free.
- ½ cup raw cashews (ideally not soaked, but if you don't have a power blender, then -- pre-soak first)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp spirullina powder + ⅛ teaspoon more spirulina powder (add more for a darker color).
- 1 starfruit, sliced
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (for sand)
- Process all crust ingredients, except maple syrup, into a crumble in a food processor. Add maple and process again to combine. Transfer this mixture into a 5" springform pan and press down into a crust.
- Blend all filling ingredients, except for ¼ teaspoon of the spirulina powder (so only use the first ⅛ teaspoon at this stage), into a completely smooth consistency. Remove about ⅓ cup of this mixture and set aside. Add the remaining ⅛ teaspoon spirulina and blend once again to combine.
- Pour the blended mixture over the cake crust. Spoon the lighter mixture on top bit by bit, and swirl it in gently. Decorate with starfruit and sprinkle with "sand" if desired. Freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight and enjoy! Keep leftovers frozen.