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No-Bake Vegan Raspberry Cheesecake

When I came to Barcelona 15 years ago, I was enthusiastic about summer. I loved the heat. I was going to the beach almost everyday and when I wasn’t at the beach I would lie on the terrace of the shared apartment where I was living, getting a hose-shower every 5min, but still, spending a lot of time in the plain sun. Now I want shadow. As deep and dark a shadow as possible. Below a huge leafy tree. Because the tree creates a little microclimate, and it’s cooler there than at shadows generated by buildings or other objects. I try to avoid getting outside when it’s hottest, although that’s not quite possible when I have to pick up Simón at 2:45pm. Before I was crazy about getting as tanned as possible. Now I look at myself after a few days of summer and playground and think, that’s more than enough.

Last year might have been the worst, as I was carrying around a huge baby belly during June and almost all of July. I remember sitting at my desk, sweating, and dreaming with foggy forests. And then I had a newborn in August, and couldn’t even refresh myself in the local swimming pool. Plus of course there were kindergarten holidays and we had 2 kids around. I tried to look up indoor family activities, counting on air conditioning, and was pleasantly surprised when I saw that there seemed to be activities every day even in August. But within a few clicks the disappointment came: it was the same activity every day – public swimming pools are open. Thank you, I knew that beforehand. So this year I can’t really complain, the heat is here now, but it has arrived slower than usually and in August we’ll be able to go to Germany, that will be a welcome change, we’ll be close to lakes, the family will be there to give us a hand or three, and it will most probably not be as hot as here. The only downside: we won’t be able to eat our own tomatoes during that time.

And while we’re waiting for August to arrive, we will go to the swimming pool, drink ice cold smoothies and eat no-bake vegan raspberry cheesecakes. And you will be able to do that too, because here is the recipe. You might be surprised that there is fennel in it. I thought it might give a fresh and special touch, but actually I couldn’t notice it at all (no one else either).
Makes 1 big or several smaller tarts (number will depend on the size).

Notes:

  • The number of tarts you’ll get with this recipe will depend on the size of the pan(s) you use. I used a round cookie cutter set, but you could also make these in glasses to spoon out.
  • It’s a prefect make-ahead dessert, as it will have to go into the freezer anyway. It can just be kept there until you want to have it, and if you make small tarts and don’t have a gib gathering scheduled, you can get one whenever you feel like it.
  • For the crust:

    • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
    • 1 tablespoon pure cacao
    • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
    • 6 medjool dates
    • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

    For the filling:

    • 1 1/2 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen and thawed
    • 1 small fennel bulb (around 115g/4oz)
    • 2 cups cashews soaked for a minimum of 2h or overnight in water
    • 1/2 cup maple syrup
    • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil
    • juice and zest from 1 organic lemon
    • a pinch of sea salt

    To garnish (optional):

    • raspberries
    • fresh mint
    • raw raspberry chia jam
    • fennel flower

    For the crust, put all the ingredients into the foo processor and blend until crumbly. If it sticks together when you press it with your fingers, it’s good. For the filling, you have two options: you can either just add everything to a high speed blender and blend until smooth or, if you wish to have different shades of pink, you start with 1 cup of raspberries and 1/4 cup coconut oil, reserve half of the filling, add 1/4 cup raspberries and the missing 1 tablespoon coconut oil, blend again and reserve half, then add the last 1/4 cup raspberries. Press the crust into your prepared tin (s) – it should be around 0.5cm/0.25in thick. Now pour the darkest portion of the filling on top. Smoothen it with a spatula, or by moving the tin. Top with the brighter portion, followed by the lightest one. Put into the freezer to set for at least a couple of hours. Take them out of the freezer around 20 minutes before you’re going to serve them. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for at least 2-3 days.

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