So, nobody ever dares make me a birthday cake, and I don’t blame them. It’s tricky with my dietary restrictions, plus I guess all my baking makes a few people a little hesitant to make things for me. Although my dad did make a vegan carrot cake for me once—it was tasty, but the presentation was hilarious, mainly because he plopped it down in front of me, saying: “And that’s what you get when you don’t make frosting with real butter!” Yes, the frosting appeared less than perfect, but it was all delicious. And I loved him for making a vegan cake for me!
This year I made my own, and about a month after my birthday. What with all the celebrating, I didn’t really have a chance before that! And it was a great excuse, as we were going over to our friends’ house, C+K (not to be confused with C+E!), and it was definitely a recipe to share.
I had my heart set on making a raw cheesecake, and I decided on this blueberry one from A Tempting Vegan: Read the recipe here. I pretty much followed the recipe exactly, so I’m not going to recreate it here. I will say that I used only a half a cup of agave nectar in the “cheesecake” portion, as 3/4 cup just seemed waaaaaayyy too sweet. And I’m glad I did!
Now, the “Rawtarian”, inventor of this cheesecake recipe, says that this version tastes just as good as the SAD (Standard American Diet) version. Hmmm. I beg to differ. If you go in for a bite of this cheesecake thinking it’s going to have the tang and creaminess of a real cheesecake with cream cheese, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
And maybe if you prepare it in a Vitamix and use all the agave nectar, it does taste like a real cheesecake, but I’m not convinced.
But don’t let me get you thinking that this isn’t rich and delicious, because it really is! But I had a little hiccup when I was making mine, that I hope you’ll avoid.
Are you a fan of dates? I mean fresh, whole ones, eating them straight from the container? Well, I’m not. They’re too sweet for me, and frankly, I think they look like cockroaches. I can only eat them when they’re blended into something, like in this cheesecake crust.
I get the trusty food processor out, which is a hand-me-down from my lovely Pater, and throw in all the ingredients for the crust. At first I think: Should I chop up those dates first? Nah, I say to myself. The processor will take care of all that for you!
And I throw the switch. Holy crap! The processor starts making a horrific noise and starts jumping around all over the counter. I literally have to hold it to keep it from scooting across towards the stovetop. I stop the machine, and mercifully the noise stops. I open the top and poke around, trying to figure out why my food processor is possessed all of a sudden.
Here’s my thought process: Hmmm. The food processor really shouldn’t be having such a hard time with a bunch of almonds and dates. [poke, poke. Stir.] The almonds are raw, so they shouldn’t be too hard for the blades, right? [Stir.] Wow, are those pecans? [Poke.] The recipe didn’t call for pecans! [Digs out "pecan".] Shit. That’s not a pecan. Those *#$!&# dates have pits in them!
The penny drops. I pull out about eight date pits from the crust ingredients. These things are like bullets, seriously. They’ve been going to town with the blades of my food processor for a full minute, and there’s not a scratch on them. Not. A. Scratch. They are absolutely untouched after kicking the shit out of the processor.
As stupid as I felt, I also felt relieved. OF COURSE they have pits, you idiot, and if you’d tried to chop them up, you’d have eliminated the psycho food processor incident. On the plus side, the crust was now going to be fine and my cheesecake a success! Which it was, I’m happy to say.
It lasts a long time, especially if you pop it back in the freezer between servings. But beware—just because this is raw and vegan doesn’t mean it’s low-cal, so serve small slices!