Bringing you another macadamia-based raw cheesecake, because it’s been a while since macadamia happened on the blog… but when it did it sure got around — a huge blog favorite and it’s a great alternative to the usual cashew-based cheesecake recipes.
Not sure how you feel, but I’m super partial to the strawberry and lime pairing with macadamia (in fact strawberries and lime are just amazing, period. This cake or this pie, for instance, should convince you if you’re not already on board!). But I also get it… sometimes you’re just not in the mood for fruity.
Anyways I love experimenting, so it felt like time to change things up — with some carob and mesquite in the mix. Result: uniquely delicious!
Macadamia nuts — if you’re a lover — have an awesome but very potent flavor. If not paired correctly in a dessert, it kinda sticks out like a sore thumb… Macadamia nuts, however, pair really well with certain fruit (which have a great lightening-up effect), coconut, and warm spices like cinnamon. This is where I got the idea to try a cake out with mesquite and carob, and I loved it. It’s a very particular taste, but so good.
If you’ve never worked with mesquite, or not in dessert, fear not — it’s just a spice, commonly used in spice mixes, but you can also buy it on its own (often in the “superfood” section as it also has some nice nutritional benefits). It’s made from a tree and has been used in certain cultures for centuries.
It sort of tastes like something smokey, nutty, caramel-like, but none of those things in isolation, if that makes sense? People use it in things like steak rubs and so on, but I stick to cake, thank you very much ?. This is the brand I use btw.
In Unconventional Treats there are recipes for pear mesquite and tangerine mesquite cheesecakes that I’m super fond of, which is what prompted me to make another variation as well. So if you get a bag of it and don’t know what to do with the rest, those are some alternatives to try out. Or you can always use it in smoothies or savory cooking — it’s really delish and adds a beautiful accent flavor.
One more tip about it is that if you don’t want to buy a whole bag, you can sometimes find it in bulk in places that sell bulk spices, so you can just buy a few tbsp to experiment with, for pennies.
In this cake it paired really well with carob — the two somehow balanced each other out quite well. I feel like cinnamon could have been really nice in this too, but wanted to keep it simple so left it out. As it is, and with the lemon juice in there, the cake tastes sweet, smokey, caramely, and a bit tangy. But really it’s a flavor hard to describe — you just have to taste it to know what it’s all about :)
Final note is that as usual this is a small 5″ cake, but if you don’t have a 5″ springform or just want to size the cake up or down, see the cake size conversion doc you can download at the bottom of this page to help you get the measurements right.
- ¾ cup raw macadamia nuts
- 1 soft medjool date
- ½ tbsp maple syrup
- ½ tbsp coconut oil
- ½ cup raw macadamia nuts, pre-soaked and strained
- 5 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp carob powder
- 1 tbsp mesquite powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- extra whole raw macadamia nuts, edible rose buds, chocolate chunks or shavings (I used some dark chocolate coated quinoa puffs) or cacao nibs...
- Process all crust ingredients into a sticky crumble in a food processor. Transfer into a 5" springform pan and press down into a flat crust. Freeze while working on the next step.
- Blend all filling ingredients into a smooth uniform consistency in a high power blender. Pour this mixture over the crust into the springform pan. Decorate with desired toppings and freeze for 5-6 hours to set. Thaw out slightly, slice and enjoy! Keep leftovers frozen.