I was given some oranges by a friend recently. Some big, juicy, bright orange oranges.
The first thing that came to mind was orange coconut cheesecake. I’ve been meaning to make cheesecake for a while but haven’t got around to it. You know, life gets in the way, you’re out enjoying the days and then suddenly you remember cheesecake! And you just have to make it. Well, that’s what happens to me anyway. And orange coconut cheesecake was the one to make.
During the raw food module of the cooking course I’ve been doing I learnt a few new things about making raw cheesecakes. One of those is using agar agar. I had never used agar agar before in cheesecakes but it helps them to set without relying on coconut oil.
I bought some agar agar a while back but haven’t used it. It’s just been sitting in the pantry waiting patiently for me to figure out what this stuff is actually used for. Now I know it’s used for raw cheesecakes. So I’ve had a few practice attempts at using agar agar and it’s really quite simple. The key is the temperature and you need to work quickly. In this case it goes into the cold water and is heated and whisked together with the water. Then when you pour it into the cashew mixture you should also work quickly and whisk it thoroughly so it doesn’t clump.
The best thing, though, is that the agar agar stops the cheesecakes from melting when they are out of the fridge, like most raw cheesecakes.
It also gives the cheesecake a smooth, creamy texture, which is just how you want your cheesecake to be.
And what better flavour to pair with orange than coconut, giving this cheesecake a tropical twist. It’s a great winter / spring cheesecake – the oranges are at their juiciest and this cheesecake can make you feel like a summer holiday is just around the corner.
The addition of the coconut flakes on this orange coconut cheesecake makes all the difference when you’re eating it. You get the good crunch of coconut, the juiciness of the orange and the creaminess of the cheesecake. Perfecto!Print
Orange Coconut Cheesecake
- Prep Time: 40 mins
- Total Time: 40 mins
- Yield: 25 squares 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Cuisine: Australian
- 15 dates (pitted, approx 250g)
- 2 cups macadamias (raw)
- 3 cups cashews
- 1 cup orange juice (fresh)
- ⅓ cup agave (or maple syrup)
- ½ cup coconut oil (melted)
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- orange zest (from the oranges you juiced)
- pinch salt
- ½ tsp agar agar
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 orange (extra for decoration)
- coconut flakes (for decoration)
- Soak cashews for at least 2 hours.
- Blend the dates and set aside.
- Blend the macadamias until they are chopped but still chunky.
- Add dates. Blend until combined.
- Press into the base of a 21cm square cake tin with a removable base.
- Place in freezer while you make the cashew cheese layer.
- Drain the cashews and then add them to a high speed blender with the orange juice, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt.
- Blend in a high speed blender until very smooth.
- Pour into a large bowl.
- Heat ½ cup water into a saucepan and whisk in agar agar.
- Heat until it thickens slightly and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Whisk the agar agar mixture through the cashew mixture until fully combined.
- Stir in the orange zest and desiccated coconut.
- Pour onto your crust and put in the freezer for 30 minutes until set.
- Store in fridge.
- Decorate with extra orange wedges and coconut flakes
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