Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Raw "Candy Corn" Cheesecake

This post is a day late and a dollar short but I couldn't resist sharing! Bookmark it for next Halloween! It is a super cute Raw "Candy Corn" Cheesecake from the Unconventional Baker who specializes in food without the use of artificial colors, sweeteners, and flavors. I love reading this blog for the beautiful photos and wildly creative desserts.

Let me preface that you can easily mimic this cake with a more, "conventional" recipe if the whole faux-cheesecake thing isn't your scene. Simple make a no-bake cheesecake with minimal crust (i.e. No-Bake Cheesecake from Pretty. Simple. Sweet) and color the layers with food dye. Easy peasy!

For those with a sense of adventure or simply want to eat a more natural dessert - welcome! This was my first foray into the world of raw desserts and I am happy to report it was surprisingly successful. My cake isn't nearly as picturesque as the original post but that's okay- you get the general idea.

The first thing I want to address is does this taste like a sinful New York Style cheesecake? Oh heck nah. Even the Unconventional Baker notes this is more akin to ice-cream in texture. Don't spend your resources if you're looking for some old school Sarah-Lee. 

Next up. What in the world is in a "raw cheesecake?" Cashews. Lots and lots of cashews. Run screaming if you're allergic to cashews. You need a high-power blender to pulverize them into a silky smooth base. All the sweetness is coming from maple syrup and fruits.

The flavors that create the colors in this faux-cheesecake are what got me really jazzed. The orange is a combination of turmeric, cinnamon, and dried apricots. I actually omitted the recommended carrots because I was satisfied with color and taste of this layers so use your judgement. My preferred brand of dried fruit is currently Fruit Bliss (Whole Foods) which has divine Turkish Apricots. This layer was surprisingly my favorite because it was the softest thanks to the moisture of the fruit. 

The yellow layers is comprised of mangoes, turmeric, and cinnamon. I generally love mangoes but they tend to have a more subtle flavor and less moisture. This layer came out a little thicker but still softened nicely after a few minutes outside of the freezer. 

By a land slide, my least favorite layer was the plain cashew which had no additional flavoring. It was heavy, dense, and bland. It was like a cashew brick (is it possible I over blended it?). I actually worried it was going to seep into the more pliable fruit layers underneath it hence, the mystery fourth layer you see in some photos. Ahem.

As you can see, some of my candy corn had four layers, ranging from orange to crisp white. The mystery, bright-white layer was a result of panic. The plain cashew layer was so heavy that I feared it would sink into the rest of the cake. I whipped up some no-churn vanilla ice cream to serve as a sort of whipped cream - thus murdering the whole sugar-and-dairy-free part - but preserving the look of candy corn. 

Fortunately, the cashew layer mostly kept its constitution and didn't ruin the aesthetic of the cake. Aside from the mystery guest fourth layer. Whoops.

Overall, I enjoyed making this cake and it was cool to try something new. It's an easy, no-bake alternative with some super inventive (and yummy) flavors. I love that it's a 6-inch round cake that can live in the freezer - perfect portion size and flexible preservation! There are so many other raw recipes out there that I cannot wait t to try!

However. I, personally, would not make this specific recipe again. The plain layer totally ruined it for me. I actually ate around it. Even if it was lighter in composition, I simply didn't care for its taste because I've never been a big cashew fan. Now if it was an ALMOND cake, we'd have a whole other story! If you know someone who loves cashews - this would be excellent recipe for them!

Be bold. Be brave. Go raw! For the recipe, check out the Unconventional Baker's post for Raw "Candy Corn" Cheesecake!