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Maple Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

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Maple-Cinnamon-Swirl-Cheesecake21I do my best to use healthy ingredients in all the foods I make. Today, my new discovery is in using cultured nut cheese in the cheesecake filling.  Makes total sense, how come I never thought of that before?

If you wish to skip the process of making the cultured cheese, you can simply omit it.  I will say that it does give the cake that “cheesy tang” that is achieved when using dairy in cheesecakes.  It wasn’t just the flavor that I was going after when I had this revelation in adding it to the recipe. Keeping the gut healthy is a high priority for me.

Probiotics

Broken down, the word probiotic means “for life” or “promoting life.”  Probiotics hold the key not just for better health and a stronger immune system, but also for healing digestive issues.  There are many wonderful benefits to probiotics but I won’t get into all that now.  I just wanted to plant a ” healthy seed” within you. :)

Why I add sunflower lecithin.

Sunflower lecithin is made up of essential fatty acids and B vitamins.  It helps to support healthy function of the brain, nervous system and cell membranes.  It also lubricates joints; helps break up cholesterol in the body.

It comes in two forms, powder and liquid.  I prefer the raw sunflower lecithin.  It has a thick, dark and sticky consistency with a nutty-seedy rich aroma and surprising pleasant flavor.  Setting aside all the nutritional benefits, it is a natural emulsifier that binds the fats from nuts with water creating a creamy consistency.

In the end, my husband had 3 servings of this cake in 2 days.  He has declared this as his all time favorite, and that it reminds him of the cheesecakes his mother use to make.  I take that as a deep compliment and an incredible achievement.  :) One thing that I want to point out is that the cinnamon sauce that gets swirled into the cake, doesn’t freeze or set up solid. When you serve up a slice on a plate, the sauce will puddle around the slice which is DEVINE!!   I hope you enjoy this recipe and please keep me posted if you make it. Blessings, amie sue

Maple-Cinnamon-Swirl-Cheesecake32Ingredients:

Yields 9″ pan

Crust:

Filling:

Cinnamon Swirl Sauce:

Topping:

  • 1 cup raw crushed walnuts

Preparation:

Crust:

  1. Process the walnuts and salt in a food processor,  fitted with the “S” blade, until it becomes a fine meal (small pieces).
  2. Add the sweetener and vanilla until it is well mixed and sticks together when pinched.
    • Be careful that you don’t over process the nuts, or they will release too much oil.
  3. Line the pan base with plastic wrap and press the crust mix into the Springform pan.
    • To get an even crust, sprinkle the batter all around the bottom of the pan.  Then press down gently.
    • To create a smooth and clean crust, I use the base of a straight edge measuring cup to press it all down evenly.  Clean any crumbs off of the sides of the pan.
Filling:
  1. Drain the soaked cashews and discard the soak water.  Place in a high-speed blender.
  2. In a high-powered blender combine the; cashews, coconut milk, sweetener, cheese (if using) lemon juice, vanilla, and salt.
    • Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is important to use a high-powered blender.  It could be too taxing on a lower-end model.
    • Blend until the filling is creamy smooth.   You shouldn’t detect any grit.  If you do, keep blending.
    • This process can take 2-4 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender.  Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth.  If the batter is getting too warm.  Stop the machine and let it cool.  Then proceed once cooled.
  3. With a vortex going in the blender, drizzle in the coconut oil and then add the lecithin.  Blend just long enough to incorporate everything together.  Don’t over process.
    • What is a vortex?  Look into the container from the top and slowly increase the speed from low to high,  the batter will form a small vortex (or hole) in the center.  High-powered machines have containers that are designed to create a controlled vortex, systematically folding ingredients back to the blades for smoother blends and faster processing… instead of just spinning ingredients around, hoping they find their way to the blades.
    • If your machine isn’t powerful enough or built to do this, you may need to stop the unit often to scrape the sides down.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan.
  5. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.  They will come to the surface
  6. Cinnamon Swirl Sauce:
    • Blend all ingredients together until smooth and transfer into a squeeze bottle that has a long tip with a small hole.
    • Take the squeeze bottle of the cinnamon mixture and poke the tip of the bottle down into the batter, give the bottle a gentle squeeze, only letting up on the pressure after your withdraw the bottle tip from the filling.  If you release the pressure while the tip is in the filling, it will suck the filling into the sauce. Do this in a random pattern all over the cake.
    • Using a long skewer or knife, run the stick through the areas where you squeezed in the sauce.  Be careful that you don’t disturb the crust down below.
  7. Top with crushed walnuts.
  8. Chill in the freezer for 4-6 hours (or overnight) and then move to the fridge for 12 hours.
  9. Store the cheesecake in the fridge for 3-5 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.  Be sure that they are well sealed to avoid fridge odors.

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients:

  • To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
  • Is agave a good choice?  Click (here).
  • Why do I specify Ceylon cinnamon?  Click (here) to learn why.
  • What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter?  Click (here) to read more about it.
  • Is coconut butter the same as coconut oil?  Click (here) to find out.

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It’s very important to protect your cheesecake when storing it in the

freezer. I find that Press’n Seal works great for the job.

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14 thoughts on “Maple Cinnamon Swirl Cheesecake (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

  1. kate says:

    This looks amazing. I clicked on the raw nut cheese link in the recipe, but nothing came up. Which nut cheese did you use in this cheesecake??

    • amie-sue says:

      Ooops, thank you Kate….would help if I released that recipe for the viewing, huh? haha. Done…you should be able to click on that link now. Thanks for letting me know. :)

  2. Anand-Sara Rodda says:

    This looks wonderful! However, since I am trying to avoid using any type of sugar in my recipes and using Stevia instead, can I just as successfully replace agave, etc. with Stevia?

    Thank you!
    Anand-Sara

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Ananda….I am working on figuring this out…:) I don’t normally use Stevia in such quantity for recipes. So I would have to figure out what the conversion ratio might be. It’s tricky even in that to find an exact answer because Stevia is one of those ingredients that people have particular taste buds for and tolerances. I know I only like ONE brand. They all offer different flavors, after-tastes, etc. I will see though if I can figure out a base-line to play off of. amie sue

      • Anand-Sara Rodda says:

        Amie-Sue, I certainly did not mean for you to go through any extra work. My main concern was if the liquid value in agave, etc. would have to be taken into consideration. Also, I would love to know the name of the Stevia you like best. I’ve purchased 2 different types, and one required more than the other to sweeten a dish.

        Thank you, Anand-Sara

        • amie-sue says:

          Anand-Sara,

          I only use NuNaturals brand. I use the liquid for my tea and the powder in smoothies when needed. For me, it doesn’t have a bitter taste, an after taste, etc. It is amazing how different they all are and how people respond uniquely to them as well.

          In the recipe above, the crust calls for agave. Are you avoiding dates or raisins as well? Those could be used in place. If you don’t want to use dried fruits, and are omitting the agave and just want to use stevia….you could increase the nuts matching the volume of agave and blend it a tad longer to get a smidgen of the oil out of the nut so it sticks together some. Just have to be careful that you don’t create an oil slick :P The filling uses maple syrup, are you wanting to omit that as well?

          • Anand-Sara Rodda says:

            Yes, I’m trying to avoid using even maple syrup, if at all possible. Would the extract give the dish enough of a maple flavor with the Stevia? Thanks for the brand name of Stevia that you use. Anand-Sara

            • amie-sue says:

              Anand-Sara,
              Hmm, boy I haven’t tried it so you are going to have to experiment with it. I would increase the extract perhaps, taste as you go…you will know what fits your pallet best. Let me know if you try it and how it comes out. amie sue

  3. Meagan says:

    Thank you! Last night 12 friends swooned over this Maple Cheesecake, Amie Sue. What a fabulous treat! It’s great when a group of people who’s numbers include raw foodies, vegans, and people with milk, soya, and gluten allergies were all able to appreciate this creamy treat.

    I’ve used several of your recipes now (hooray for your cashew cheese), and have always been pleased with the results.

    Thank you again, Amie Sue, for making it so easy (and tasty) for me to remain mostly raw.

    • amie-sue says:

      Meagan,
      It was wonderful to hear from you. Making raw foods brings me a lot of comfort in knowing that I can cater to many food allergens as well. It’s tricky these days to accommodate all the different “diet plans” that people need to follow to obtain health.
      I was tickled to read that the cheesecake was well received. :) Many blessings to you and your family. amie sue

  4. Joanne says:

    Amie-Sue

    My daughter recommended this cheesecake for me after she made it for a dinner party. I made it for a Christmas potluck I was invited to. Several of the gals are going wheat free and was thrilled at having a dessert that was not only wheat free but raw. For most it was the first taste of “raw”. All I heard were sighs of delight.
    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Joanne,

      Those silent sighs speak volumes don’t they? hehe I love it and thank you so much for sharing that with me. I be grinning ear to ear. Have a wonderful evening. amie sue

  5. Carmen Brisebois says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,

    Your receipes are decadent. Unfortunately, I am intolerent to nuts. Lately, I made your chocolate and peanut butter frozen cake. It is sooo good. This is frustrating. I adore desserts.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Carmen,

      I understand how frustrating it is to have food intolerance’s. *raises hand* Can you eat seeds, quinoa or buckwheat? Any other intolerance’s? Maybe I can help you find some treats that would fulfill your sweet tooth. Have a great evening. amie sue

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