A wee while ago, Elle took me on a dinner date to a gorgeous veggie/raw/healthy pop-up place called Redemption. It was incredible. Our desert was probably the best part: a raw, vegan, lemony cheesecake. It quickly became clear we needed access to the stuff more frequently in our lives, so I agreed wholeheartedly to create it.
I was planning to make it just like the Redemption one: nutty base layer, creamy, lemony top layer. Simple. Then, one day, I had too many ripe bananas, and so THIS happened…!!
Raw Banoffee ‘Cheesecake’ Pie
(Gluten free, diary-free, refined sugar free, can-be-paleo, raw, really easy, goddamn tasty…)
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup gluten-free oats (switch for another 1/2 cup nuts for paleo)
1/3 cup dates
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 cups dates
1tbsp coconut oil
1-2tbsp maple syrup
Pinch sea/Himalayan salt
Banana cheesecake layer:
3 cups raw cashew nuts
3 medium ripe bananas
Juice 1 lemon
2tbsp maple syrup/raw honey
1. Soak the dates and cashews, (separately!): put the dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to sit. Put the cashews in a pan of boiling water and let it sit at a rolling simmer whilst you make the base.
2. The base: blitz everything together in a food processor (I used the grinding blade in my nutribullet) until you get a crumbly, damp-sand kind of consistency. Press this into the base of 6 ramekins or a single 15cm(ish) pie dish.
3. Turn the heat off under the cashew nuts, drain the water and leave to cool.
4. The caramel: drain the water from the dates – they should have softened. Blend them up with the coconut oil and salt, adding a little maple syrup (and maybe a tbsp or two of boiled water) to create a smooth caramel-like paste. Layer this over the biscuit base and put the ramekins/ dish in the fridge to set whilst you make the cheesecake layer.
5. Blend all of the banana ‘cheesecake’ ingredients together, adding a tbsp or two of hot water to smooth the mix if necessary (careful, you don’t want it to become runny; it should be the consistency of cheesecake!).
6. Layer this mixture over the caramel and sprinkle with cacao nibs. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 30 mins (or freezer for 10 if you’re feeling impatient), then get your teeth into it!!
7. WAAAAAHHH! It’s all gone?! Go back to step 1.
As a singer, yoga teacher and lover of all things tasty, I’m constantly reviewing my connection with my body – and, by extension, the food I eat. I got into cooking in my early teens, when creating the perfect brownie was the biggest life problem I faced. Now, after digestive problems, sugar crashes and migraines have led me to a largely sugar-,grain-, and dairy-free existence, my love of cooking is driven by the search for food that is satisfying and nourishing. And just so you know, I consider eating almond butter from the jar (daily) both satisfying and nourishing…”