yes you read that right! lower calorie cheesecake... zero sugar added, zero fat added!
A low calorie decadent tasting vegan cheesecake that tastes like the love child of a regular cheesecake and ice cream cake ;)
i must admit, i had a few epic (yet tasty!) fails before this final version came out just right.
I also have to acknowledge "The Minimalist Baker" food blog, who's beautiful vegan cheese cake creations were the inspirations for mine :)

Nutritional information per cheesecake:
115 calories
7 g carbs
3 g protein
9 g fat

ok lets get down to business

difficulty level: intermediate

equipment needed:

  • food processor
  • a really good blender (yes yes i know me and my Vitamix)
  • a silicone mini muffin mold; this is a MUST! Lets just say that epic fail #2 had to do with non silicone mini muffin mold. yes i used non stick, still a TOTAL disaster! due to the lower sugar content and fat content, these beauties only pop out of their mold perfectly if it is a silicone mold! the silicone mold i got makes 12 perfect little cheesecakes.

what you need:

for crust:

  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, soaked in warm water for 10 min then drained; do not soak longer... epic fail #1 involved overzealous soaking
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries soaked in warm water for 20 min then drained
  • 1/2 + 1/4 raw walnuts, divided

for filling:

  • 3/4 cup cashews quick soaked (pour boiling water over cashews and let sit uncovered for 1 hour)
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk full fat; i actually skim the coconut cream off the top and use that. since we are not adding any other fat this helps the creaminess. so do not shake you can of coconut milk, just open and scoop up the coconut cream. if you find a can of coconut cream at your store, get that, the whole can is full of this goodness.
  • 2 tbsp water
  • zest of 3/4 of a lemon
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp stevia powder
  • 1 "vegan egg" which is 1 tbsp of ground flax meal + 2.5 tbsp hot water, mix and let sit 5 minutes before using.

what to do:

for crust:

  • put pre-soaked and drained apricots and cranberries in food processor, blend 25 seconds
  • remove from processor and set aside
  • put 1/2 cup walnuts in and process into a meal, add processed fruit back in and process until a ball forms. then add remaining 1/4 cup if walnuts and process for another 15-20 seconds, or until the walnuts are in small yet still visible pieces.
  • the crust is now ready, remove it from processor.

for filling:

  • place all filling ingredients into blender, and blend until mixture is very very smooth, taste the mixture, add a touch more vanilla, stevia or zest according to preference.
  • you can add a bit more coconut milk (one tbsp at a time) if you find your mixture is too dry, and not blending smoothly.

Assembly:

  • lightly spray/grease mini silicone muffin molds, place silicone mold on a small baking sheet
  • cut a square piece of parchment paper (about 3"x 3") this is not necessary, but makes pressing the crust into the molds much easier and less messy.
  • put a little less then a tablespoon of crust mixture inside each little mold. place parchment paper over the crust mix and press each one, with fingertips, pressing well. lift parchment, take a look, and make sure to correct any unevenness.
  • once all molds have crust, using a tablespoon, sppon in the filling carefully over the crust, i recommend to fill the little molds just under the top line, this way the tops of your little cheesecakes will come out looking great.
  • using the baking sheet, Tap (lift and tap counter with sheet)a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover with plastic wrap or parchment paper and freeze overnight.
  • trust me you must let these freeze for at least 12 hours, again the lower fat and sugar content makes this long freezing necessary... epic fail #3 ;)

serving:

  • take these beauties out of the fridge and immediately while completely frozen popp them out onto a plate with parchment paper on it. work one at a time, inverting the little silicone molds one at a time. if a little piece of crust falls off, gently glue it back on with fingertips.
  • you must wait a minimum of 10 minutes to let them defrost a bit before eaitng.
  • I line a Tupperware with parchment paper, arranged the little cakes in a single layer without touching. it keeps beautifully in the fridge for a whole week. and can be stored in freezer for a month if kept in molds with plastic wrap on.
  • I serve these with my no sugar added Blueberry coconut compote(will post recipe soon)... heavennnnn!! :))