I don’t make claims like that without knowing for certain they are the truth.
I searched high and low for the perfect cheesecake recipe. But in the end, I went with my gut (and my taste buds).
You see the cheesecake had to be better than good, it had to be “the best.” Why? Because it was specially requested by my coworkers who were dying to try some of my vegan baking. Opportunities like these don’t come often. In fact, I can’t remember anyone at my old job making a special request for vegan treats. Or ever actually. So it would be a real shame to bring anything sub-par. Heaven forbid I blow my one shot at showing off how delicious veganism can be.
As you can imagine, the hype surrounding my goodies made me slightly nervous. I like my food, but I like healthy things. Kyle likes my food, but he’s my husband (and therefore required to like what I make).
I’m happy to say, both the cheesecake and the cookies I brought were HUGELY successful. Knocked their socks off. I couldn’t have been more pleased.
So, for the vegans out there looking to wow your non-vegan family/friends [or for anyone trying to make a delicious dairy-free dessert] here’s the play-by-play.
Vegan Pie Crust (raw, v, gf)
- 1 cup nuts (I used a mix of walnuts, brazil nuts, and pecans)
- 8 medjool dates, soaked
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup shredded coconut
Soak dates in water (a few minutes is all they need). Meanwhile, blend nuts, cinnamon, and coconut together.
Once that blend is thoroughly mixed, add in the dates (without the pits of course).
You’ll know when it’s done because it will go from a crumble to a sticky lump.
Then press it into a pie mold and you’re done!
No need to pre-cook it. It’s ready to go just as it is. Just add the pie insides! Truthfully, the raw crust was tasty enough on it’s own, so I took the extra and made it into balls.
Raw, vegan, gluten free and delicious, thankyouverymuch.
Next up, the cheesecake!
Vegan cheesecake (v, gf)
- 1 cup soaked cashews
- 1/4 block (~4 oz.) firm tofu
- 4 oz. vegan cream cheese
- 4 oz. vegan sour cream
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
*I used Follow Your Heart’s vegan products, and I think they are great, but if you aren’t able to buy these where you live you can simply double the cashews and tofu and it will work.
Drain cashews and add them to the blender with the rest of the ingredients.
Pulse until everything is perfectly pureed.
Then pour into the pie crust.
Spread it evenly, making a nice swirl with the spatula.
Then bake for 20 minutes at 350, then 20 minutes at 250 (so the crust doesn’t burn).
‘Aint she a beaut?!
I stored it overnight in the fridge, covered in saran wrap. The next day I brought it to work for the party, along with a lot of cookies.
Talk about competition! In addition to my desserts, there were 5 cakes and a few dozen Diddy Riese cookies. And lots of food. Lots and lots of non-vegan eats (think fried chicken). The only things home-made were one Filipino noodle dish and my desserts.
I felt like they were the underdog items on the table. So I pimped them out a bit. Instead of letting people choose what they wanted, I started plating and serving up my vegan treats (pushy vegan agenda much?). Since there were so many people at the party, I was fairly selective at first, giving them to the coworkers who knew that I brought in desserts (after all, they were the most excited to try them). Just a few bites and I knew my work was done. These babies sell themselves!
Word taste of mouth spread fast, and I actually think they were the most popular items of all. My cookies were gone before any other food!
One person actually thought they were store made and was shocked when I said I made them. Several other people asked what was in them. I was so happy!
I smuggled one slice home so Kyle could taste my dessert success.
Operation vegans-take-over-the-hospital is now officially under way!! [kidding]
If you were wondering how to wow your non-vegan friends/family/colleagues, this is the answer. I promise it will work.