Thursday, September 12, 2013

Living Clean: Salted Honey and Fig "Cheesecake"

This week I decided to give a new dessert recipe a try. I am truly a sucker for visually beautiful things: I buy wine based on the labels (not always the smartest method), I am constantly interrupting my daily life and taking photos of things I see that I found appealing (whether it is a broken sign or shoes displayed on a wall) and I am not afraid to tell someone to their face if I think they have the greatest skin (hair, smile or even face) I have ever seen. So when I came across the photo below on Pinterest, that also linked me to a Paleo-friendly cheesecake recipe, I knew I had to try this out.
How pretty is that photo? Of course, it helps that the bloggers at are also photographers (and beautiful people themselves- not that that helps, just a coincidence). And then I happen to walk into Whole Foods on Monday and they had figs displayed right in the front I knew this was going to be my next experiment. 

Where to start...

I knew that something that was labeled as dairy-free was obviously not going to have cheese in it, so how could it be called a cheesecake? I will say this, it resembles a cheesecake in physical appearance only. My end result did not taste anything like a cheesecake (which is obvious after you read the ingredients) but it was a tasty dessert nonetheless! 

I won't go into the step by step process, which you can find by clicking here, but I will say that it was a fairly simple recipe to make. You will use your food processor, your blender (or Vitamix if you have one - I do not) and a 9 inch spring form pan (this I did not use so I wasn't able to get a good all around photo like above. Other than that you don't get much else dirty. 

My end results (via busted iPhone)
So the recipe consists of a lot of nuts. There are walnuts and pecans in the crust (along with dates, almond flour and spices). Let me talk about the crust for a second because it is absolutely delicious. I had a little extra and stood there and ate it with a spoon. It tastes like the crumb topping on an apple crisp - and that is exactly what I am going to use it for the upcoming weeks! The "cheesecake" part of the recipe is made with soaked cashews (you need to do this overnight to make them soft so plan accordingly), almond milk, vanilla and a few other things. 

I will be honest. When I first tasted the cake "batter" (I use that term very loosely) I was not impressed, but I pressed on and layered it on top of the crust and waited my two hours for it to freeze in the freezer.  I then added the figs, honey and salt to the top and dove in for a bite...

...and it wasn't bad! Actually, it was pretty delicious! I am a sucker for anything that is sweet and salty and this had the right balance of that for sure. If I was hosting a dinner party I would definitely make this again for my adventurous friends. 
My slice of dessert goodness
Here are my only issues: 

- As I previously mentioned, I do not have a Vitamix (which is what the creator of the recipe recommends for good reason), so my cake was still a little crunchy as I couldn't get the nuts full pulverized no matter what I did. I would recommend using Vitamix if you can, or even manually tampering the mixture to get it even more smooth. 

- I checked on my cake in the fridge today and in the spot where I took a slice there was a lot of liquid. I don't know if this is because it was frozen for a bit yesterday and sat in the fridge overnight, or if because the cake is just settling, but it doesn't look to pleasant today. That is not to say that I won't be trying it, and enjoying it again today! This might be due to some error on my part as well. 

So in summary I totally recommend my more adventurous/foodie readers to give this one a try. It is certainly like nothing you have tasted before, and is a nice sweet treat to end your day with. 

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