So Valentine’s Day is almost upon us and we all need a little something pink and heart shaped in our lives (totally make this if you’re single by the way) and I can’t think of anything better than my Raw Vegan Pitaya Cheesecake. This isn’t any ordinary raw cheesecake though – the base is a soft, cake-like but shortbread-y base and the cheesecake filling has a silk like, melt in your mouth texture with a rich and creamy taste all thanks to the young Thai coconut meat.
This heart shaped Raw Vegan Pitaya Cheesecake is perfect for Valentine’s Day, birthdays, and other special occasions. A buttery shortbread crust topped with a silky, melt in your mouth pitaya filling.
This was my first time playing with young coconut meat – I usually order from Ocado and I stumbled across the brand Mighty Bee who sell only organic young Thai coconut products. I’ve always wanted to get my hand on some without the fuss of having to hack the coconut up myself (because I’m useless at it) so the little frozen pouches were perfect. All you have to do is thaw them out gently which you can do my simply placing the plastic pouch into some warm water. You’ll also enjoy the added benefit of the living enzymes, protein, fibre, and calcium that young Thai coconut meat contains too.
But the real star ingredient is the freeze dried pitaya (dragon fruit) powder that I acquired from the lovely and generous folk at Hybrid Herbs! I have become just a little bit obsessed with this stuff (see my Raw Vegan Coconut Ice) as it has the most vibrant magenta colour ever and a beautiful, delicate pear/melon taste to it. I think sometimes the hardest part of clean eating is missing out on all of the ridiculously psychedelic artificial colourings that most natural products can’t provide so it’s so nice to finally come across a product that can be used to naturally colour my food. Pitaya is also particularly nutrient dense – it’s high in antioxidants and dietary fibre and also vitamins C, B1-B3, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and even Omega-3 fatty acids! (The Hybrid Herbs Pitaya Powder retails at £19.99 for a 56g pouch (about 56 servings) but is currently on sale for £14.99 so grab yourself a bargain whilst you still can!)
I’ve designed this cheesecake to be shared because I think it makes it a much more intimate experience but you could always split the mixture between 2 smaller tins if you wanted to. I’ve also popped in a couple of optional ingredients – rose water for a more floral taste and freeze dried raspberry powder if you’re one of those people that like things zesty (which I do). Neither of these ingredients are needed as the cheesecake tastes rich and creamy as it is. The other two ingredients are best suited to those that like big, bold flavours!
This Raw Vegan Pitaya Cheesecake doesn’t take much time to make – about 20 minutes – but it does take around 3 hours to set in the refrigerator, making it perfect for that crazed Valentine’s dinner rush. To make this you’ll need a little springform heart shaped cake tin – I bought mine from Ocado. Also if you want to make your own heart chocolates then this is the mould that I used. You can easily just melt down your favourite raw chocolate of choice and leave to set.
Looking for other Valentine’s Day sweet treats? Start off your Valentine’s Day with a batch of my Raspberry and Rose Water Paleo Overnight Oats and have a little nibble on some Raw White Chocolate Raspberry Truffles or Strawberries and Cream Paleo Power Balls whilst you’re waiting for dinner!
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- ⅛ cup ground almonds
- A small handful of cashews (approx. 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp)
- 1 tbsp light agave/maple syrup/coconut nectar
- Pinch vanilla powder
- Pinch Himalayan pink salt (if coarse grind)
- 1.5 tsp almond milk
- ½ cup pre-soaked cashews (soaked for at least 8 hours or overnight)
- 100g organic virgin young Thai coconut meat (I use Mighty Bee)
- ¼ cup almond milk
- ¼ cup coconut oil (melted)
- 25g cacao butter (melted)
- 3 tbsp light agave/maple syrup
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp Hybrid Herbs Pitaya Powder
- 1 tsp freeze dried raspberry powder (optional)
- 1 tsp non-alcoholic rose water (optional - I use Steenbergs)
- ¼ tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp vanilla extract (I use Ndali)
- Pinch fine Himalayan pink salt
- Start by greasing and lining your heart shaped cake tin with greaseproof non-stick paper. Set to one side until needed.
- Combine all of the ingredients for your shortbread base in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until it only just comes together into crumbs. Pour the shortbread into your cake tin and gently press down with your fingertips to form the base. You want to be gentle but firm enough so that the crumbs form a solid base but not so firm that it becomes too dense. Place the base into the freezer whilst you prepare your filling.
- Next add all of the ingredients for your filling into a high speed blender. Pulse a few times before blending until smooth. Remove your base from the freezer and pour in your filling. Place the cheesecake into the fridge for 3 hours or until set.
- Remove the cheesecake from the fridge and carefully release from the springform tin. Gently peel away the layers of paper that you lined your tin with and place your cheesecake onto a plate.
- Drizzle with melted raw chocolate right away and top with freeze dried raspberries and a fresh rose bud if desired. Enjoy!
***All cup measurements used are UK cup measurements and so 1 cup = 250ml.