This festive raw cheesecake is made of a gingerbread cookie crust and a soft and creamy cashew filling that hides a punchy orange and cranberry jelly.
Orange cranberry jelly
- 1 + 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 2 tsp agar agar powder
- 1 tbsp ground flax seeds + 3 tbsp water
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, solid but soften
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground clove
- A pinch of salt
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup white rice flour
- 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 batch of gingerbread cookies
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, soften
- 1 + 1/3 cup dry cashews soaked in water
- 1 cup thick full fat coconut cream
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- 5 pitted soft dates
- 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1/4 cup of water
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Orange supremes
- Gooseberries or fresh cranberries
Orange cranberry jelly
- Mix the orange juice, dry cranberries and orange zest into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then reduce to low medium heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the cranberries have absorbed some of the liquid and have soften.
- Transfer in a blender and mix until perfectly smooth.
- Return the mixture back into the saucepan and bring to a boil again. Dissolve the agar agar in a small mixing bowl with 2 tablespoon of water then add to the saucepan. Whisk to incorporate and continue to boil for 1 minute to activate the agar agar.
- Transfer the mixture in a lined mold of dimension slightly smaller than the one of your cheesecake, or on a lined deep tray, to form a 1,2 to 1,5-inch thick layer (for the final cheesecake assembly, you will have to cut a disc in the jelly to fit inside the cheesecake). Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Prepare the flax egg by mixing the ground flax seeds with water and let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
- Meanwhile, beat the soft coconut oil vigorously to fluff up, by hand with a whisk or using a mixer. Then add the sugar, maple syrup, all the spices and the thickened flax egg, and mix until fluffy and creamy.
- Incorporate the flours and roughly stir with a wooden spoon. Then, continue to mix using your hands until you can shape a ball with the dough. The dough should be firm and sticky enough to hold its shape. If the dough is too crumbly/sticky, add a bit of maple/brown rice flour.
- Roll the dough between two large sheets of parchment paper to about 1/4 inches thick.
- Transfer to the baking tray and bake for 8 – 10 minutes until the edges of the cookie just start to darken. Then transfer on a cooling rack and allow to cool down for 10 minutes. The cookie will continue to dry and firm up.
- Once the cookie has completely cooled down, break into large pieces and place in a food processor or a blender. Pulse to break the cookie pieces until you get a sandy texture.
- Then add the soften coconut oil and mix again to incorporate.
- Line the bottom of a 8-inch diameter springform or a round mold with baking paper. I highly recommend to use a springform with removable bottom to make it easier to unmold.
- Press the cheesecake crust firmly into the bottom of the mold to form an even and very compact layer. Place in freezer to firm up for 20 minutes.
- Soak the cashews in water at room temperature for 6 hours or for 30 minutes in boiled water. Then rinse under running water and drain.
- Place the soaked cashews in a blender with the coconut cream, maple syrup, liquid coconut oil, vanilla and salt and mix on high speed until perfectly smooth and creamy.
- Remove the firmed orange cranberry jelly from the fridge and cut a disc with a diameter slightly smaller than the one of your cheesecake form. (The disc of jelly will be totally hidden inside the cheesecake).
- Remove the cheesecake springform from the freezer and place the disc of jelly over the harden crust, perfectly in the center.
- Pour all the cheesecake cream over to totally cover the jelly. Gently tap the edges of the springform to spread the cream and smooth the surface. Place in freezer to firm for at least 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the caramel sauce. Stone and roughly chop the dates. Make sure they are very soft (see notes).
- Place the dates with all the remaining ingredients in a blender and mix until perfectly smooth. If necessary and depending of the juiciness of the dates, adjust the quantity of water to get the desired texture: the sauce should be fluid enough to be drizzled but not too runny.
- Transfer in a jar and reserve in fridge.
- Once the cheesecake has completely firmed (the cream should be solid to the touch), carefully remove from the springform and place in a serving plate.
- Pour the caramel sauce over the cheesecake to completely cover the top and gently smooth the surface using a spatula.
- Decorate the cheesecake with supremes of orange, gooseberries or fresh cranberries.
- Allow the cheesecake to defrost at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.
- I recommend using medjool variety for the dates, which is very soft, juicy and sweet. If you can’t find medjool dates or if they are too dry, soak the dates in warm water for 15 minutes to soften before using.
- The caramel sauce can be stored in fridge in a clean glass jar or airtight container for up to 3 days. Whisk before using and add a splash of water if necessary.
Keywords: cheesecake, dessert, raw, Christmas, gluten free, raw cake, caramel, gingerbread