Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Vegan Cultured Cashew Cheese Cake Bites (Gluten free!)

So... I can't eat anything right now. And it sucks. 

Or does it? 

Creamer cow seems to be on to something...

Soy and wheat and all sorts of other things are off the menu. My stomach has just been up in arms for about 3 months now so I'm trying to isolate and repair.  Thankfully, I'm not hopeless resourceful, and have managed to make some guilty pleasures to help me not die suffer through whatever this plague is.

Warning, there is a lot of down time for this recipe but shit when you can't eat anything, you got time to scheme...

Vegan Cultured Cashew Cheese Cake Bites

For the cheesecake
  • 3 cups raw cashews (soaked overnight & drained)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 40-45 billion probiotic strains*; amount of capsules will vary. Label should state amount.
  • 1 teaspoon vegan gelatin powder (I used genutine) plus 2 tablespoons water - OPTIONAL
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup softened or liquid ghee
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the crust
  • 1 cup fine ground almond flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons melted ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the chocolate coating (optional)
  • 10 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil.
*NOTE* You can forgo the genutine, but you'll want to use the freezer to firm up the cheesecake, rather than the fridge.

For the filling
Blend cashews and coconut milk in high power blender until super smooth. Like, no detectable texture. If the mixture is hot (which it probably will be), let cool to slightly warmer than room temp (around 100f/38 c).  Once cooled, stir in the probiotics, cover, and leave in a warm place overnight. 

This is basically diesel vegan yogurt/cream cheese we're making, complete with delectable tang. It is done when it tastes well suited to your own tastes. It can be about 8-14 hours depending on a variety of factors.

For the crust: 
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line and grease a 5x9 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving long flaps hanging over the sides of the pan (for easy removal later). 

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda and salt and cinnamon. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and beat till fully combined. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake for 20 minutes or until golden then remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Back to the filling: 

In a small bowl combine the genutine with the water and let sit for 3-5 minutes to bloom. Melt the genutine with short bursts 10 second bursts in a microwave  or warm over low heat until it is clear and all the graininess is gone. 

Put the cream cheese mixture, genutine, and the rest of the ingredients into a high peered blender and blend until smooth. If needed you can add 1-2 tablespoons more of coconut milk to keep the mixture moving through the container.

Pour the batter over the cookie crust in the prepared pan. Smooth the top if needed. Cover and chill in the freezer for at least 4 hours or till good and firm.  You'll probably have some extra batter left over. I'm still tooling with the volume.
Cutting, Dipping & Serving:
In a dry bowl set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and fat together, then stir till smooth and glossy. Remove from heat.

Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and run a knife along the sides of the cake to help it release from the pan. Using the parchment paper flaps, pull the cake out of the pan, placing it face down onto a cutting board with the “cookie side” facing up (as seen in the last row of pictures). Cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch squares with a sharp knife. If the cake is too hard, heat the knife in a glass of hot water and while dry before cutting.

Use a wood skewer or fondue dipper to pierce each cake piece, then dip and coat with chocolate (as seen in the last row of pictures). The chocolate ail begin to harden quickly.

Once fully coated, place them on a chilled parchment lined cookie sheet so that the bottoms firm quickly and don’t spread out. Let the chocolate set completely then serve or transfer to a sealed container and store in the fridge.