Tahini and orange blossom: 2 flavors one might commonly find combined in Mediterranean or Middle Eastern cuisine. 2 flavors one rarely meets together elsewhere. 2 flavors I absolutely adore and rely on plenty in desserts. 2 flavors that haven't met in a dessert on this blog yet... Enter this easy peasy tahini cheesecake.
A bit of a derailment, but did you know that I used to hate tahini? I know, how odd, since I major at being a tahini addict (and minor in being a tahini snob ?)... But there was a day I just didn't understand it. At all. It seemed bitter, and strange, and ...pasty... and mouth puckering... So what changed? I think for one my palate matured a bit. But mostly I learned to pick the right kind of tahini for myself, and learned how to pair it with the right flavors. And now it seems I've done a full 360 and my pantry is never devoid of tahini. Give me a jar of good tahini & a spoon, and I'm a happy camper. Or just give me this cake and I'll be good too...
For a recipe like this you want to go with a creamy hulled tahini. Choose a variety that you love and go with that. Unhulled tahini would make this cake bitter and unpleasant, so not recommended. If your tahini is super runny, you may want to add a tablespoon of coconut oil to the recipe to help the cake firm up more.
As far as flavor pairing goes -- I find tahini tastes wonderful with something tangy or citrucy. In this recipe I went with lemon juice and also a dairy-free yogurt. The combination balances the tahini flavor nicely and adds a beautiful "cheesecakey" touch.
What I love about this recipe most though (besides the fact it's super easy to make, delicious, and features some of my favorite flavors) is the fact that it's a raw-style cheesecake made without dairy, gluten & grains, refined sugars, but also without nuts and added oil. Win-win-win-win-win... for all those nut-free & oil-free recipe requests.
P.S. As per the usual lately, this recipe is for a small 4″ cake. Triple (thinner) or quadruple (taller) for a 6″ if you prefer. I used this pen tool to create swirls on top (though you can just spoon some over or use a pipping bag instead if you prefer).
P.P.S. For tips on how to make these types of cakes like a pro, check out my book Unconventional Treats.Print
Tahini Orange Blossom Cheesecake
A simple, raw nut-free cheesecake combining the exotic Mediterranean tastes of orange blossom and tahini. Vegan and gluten-free.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 4" cake
- Category: Cake
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Dessert
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds (or almonds, cashews, etc. if not nut-free)
- 4 soft medjool dates, pitted
- ½ tbsp agave
- ½ cup hulled tahini
- 6 tbsp non-dairy yogurt of your choice (I used agave-sweetened soy yogurt)
- 4 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp orange blossom water (or more for a stronger flavor)
- a few tablespoon extra of non-dairy yogurt for swirls, edible white mums, a few sprigs of non-edible baby's breath flowers. Or use other edible flowers, such as rose buds and petals.
- Process all crust ingredients into a sticky crumbly mixture. Transfer into a 4" springform pan and press down into an even thin crust along the base and ¾ of the way up the walls. Freeze while working on the next step.
- Blend the filling ingredients into a smooth mixture (a power blender works best). Pour this mixture into the pan over the crust and smooth out the top. Swirl in some of the topping yogurt over the top and freeze for 5 hours or overnight for the cake to set. I decorated my cake with edible fresh flowers prior to serving, but if you're using dried flowers / petals, you can decorate with them before you freeze. Slice, serve, and enjoy! Keep leftovers frozen.
Natalie | Feasting on Fruit says
You haven't always been a tahini lover!?! I'm shocked!! I suppose it's like me and dates though, funny how tastes change :) I may not be the biggest tahini fan, but my love for all things citrus and lemony right now still makes we really want a slice of this lovely little cake! Orange blossom--it sounds so dainty and delicious!
I know! ? So many things I used to dislike are now my absolute favorites.. I think it's common for a lot of people. I really wonder what happens there though... total pendulum swings :)
Nissrine @ Harmony a la Carte says
I think my heart just melted a bit at the sight and sound of this cake and I immediately started day dreaming about how I could find time to make it
...maybe during Amal's naptime?? Love love love this flavour combo as you already know.
Oh yes... the magical combo of tahini & orange blossom must have brought you here ? Of all people, I knew you'd appreciate it. Actually thought of you when I was writing this up :)
Nissrine @ Harmony a la Carte says
Ok so I haven't make this cake yet, but it inspired my snack yesterday. I posted it to Instagram and Facebook so have a look when you get a chance. Still dreaming of the day I can have a slice or two of this... heck who are we kidding...we all know I'm going to eat the whole cake. Btw I haven't always been a tahini lover either, even though it was a staple in our household. I don't think it's a kid friendly flavour. I used to ask my mama to make my hummus with less tahini and would want ver little tahini sauce on my falafel.
Yeah, definitely not a kid flavor. I guess it's like coffee, dark chocolate, and all that kind of stuff you learn to appreciate a bit later on. I saw your snack btw ?