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V-Day Berry Cheesecake

Summer Berry Cheesecake from Nut Butter Universe

Whether you’re into Valentine’s Day or not, it’s always a great excuse to make a special dessert.  As good fortune would have it, Nut Butter Universe is here just in time for some great ideas for luscious desserts and other treats.

I call the gorgeous cheesecake that graces the cover of the book “Summer Berry Cheesecake” (photos by Lori Maffei) because it’s best when made with the fresh berries of summer.  But it’s too pretty to wait for summer, so I’m sharing the recipe today and re-naming it “Valentine Berry Cheesecake.”  If cheesecake isn’t your thing, Nut Butter Universe also has other treats in store like these Chocolate Macadamia Truffles with Coconut:

Chocolate Macadamia Truffles with Coconut from Nut Butter Universe

Or these yummy Peanut Butter Cups:

Peanut Butter Cups from Nut Butter Universe

Or how about these incredible double-nut clusters – a guest recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan (this photo is by VeggieGirl).   (Nut Butter Universe also contains guest recipes from Nava Atlas and Allison Rivers Samson, along with a Foreword by the Plant Dietitian, Julieanna Hever.)

 Bryanna’s Chocolate Double-Nut Clusters

If you’re not sweet on sweets, Nut Butter Universe is filled with savory treats as well, such as:  Spinach-Walnut Crostini, Savory Three-Nut Pate, and Wonton Crisps with Thai Peanut Spread.  In between the appetizers and desserts, you’ll find recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all featuring your favorite nut butters.  Best of all, the nut butters in the recipes are interchangeable, so if you don’t happen to have a particular kind in the house, you can always make it with whatever kind is on hand. If you want to know more about Nut Butter Universe, you’re in luck:

I’m very excited to announce that a Blog Tour for Nut Butter Universe begins on Monday, February 18, with guests posts, recipes, and giveaways.  Stay tuned for details, including links to all the participating blogs!  In the meantime, here’s that recipe I promised for Summer Valentine Berry Cheesecake:

Summer Valentine Berry Cheesecake
Use your favorite berries to make this light and luscious cheesecake — strawberries or raspberries are good choices for V-Day.  The creamy goodness comes from cashews blended into a rich butter and combined with vegan cream cheese. Note: Be sure your berries are well-drained and blotted dry to remove any liquid. This recipe is from Nut Butter Universe by Robin Robertson (c) 2o13.
Variation: Omit the berries from the batter and instead use them to top the cheesecake.

3/4 cup almonds, soaked overnight, then drained and blotted dry
3/4 cup soft pitted dates
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight, then drained and blotted dry
1/2 cup natural sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (8-ounce) containers vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups fresh or thawed frozen strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries, well drained and blotted dry
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Fresh berries and mint leaves, for garnish

Grease an 8-inch springform pan and set aside. In a food processor, combine the drained soaked almonds and the dates and process until finely ground.  Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a food processor or high-speed blender, combine the soaked and drained cashews, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla, and process to a paste.  Add the cream cheese, berries, and cornstarch and blend until smooth and very creamy.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust and bake for 45 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside for another 10 minutes.

Remove the cake from the oven and cool at room temperature, then refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving. Carefully remove the sides of the springform pan before slicing. (You may need to run a knife around the edge of the cake to separate it from the pan.)  Serve garnished with fresh berries and mint. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers.


 Happy Valentine’s Day!


{ 6 comments… add one }

  • Shannon February 13, 2013, 11:58 am

    Oh, Robin, this looks amazing. I have yet to make a homemade vegan cheesecake. This may be the one! I wonder how a bit of almond extract would be in there?

  • Robin February 13, 2013, 12:03 pm

    Shannon, I think a bit of almond extract would be fine in there . (To me, almond extract tastes a bit like cherries!) If this is your first cheesecake, you might want to make the version without the fruit included so you can get a feel for a basic cheesecake. Then you can top your cheesecake any way you like!

  • Jonathan Shanes February 15, 2013, 10:32 am

    I made this as a gift to my wife for Valentine’s Day. She loved it and so did I. It it is creamy and rich. the crust is perfect.

  • Robin February 15, 2013, 11:49 am

    What a wonderful husband you are Jonathan — your wife is very lucky! I’m SO happy to know that you both enjoyed the cheesecake.

  • Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking February 20, 2013, 9:18 pm

    Oh my goodness the cheesecake looks amazing!!

  • Robin February 22, 2013, 8:39 am

    Thanks, Alicia. It’s delicious and so versatile. You can leave out the berries and add any kind of topping you like. You can even swirl in some melted chocolate!

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