I saw something while grocery shopping recently that made me so excited. Tiny little loves. Kumquats! Incredibly cute, perfect for a pucker. I decided to buy a handful of them (of course), then when I got them home I wasn’t really sure what to do with them. I mean, curd came to mind – some kind of a vegan curd. Maybe not a vegan curd. They were too cute and would be way too much work to try to juice or smoothie them. Dehydrate, well maybe – but I figured I should at least try to make something with them before I go sucking the moisture out.
Eventually, many serious puckers later – I decided to zest the heck out of them, and simply mix them with the abundance of other citrus in my fridge. Citrus that I had been planning to make a little vegan cake with, a raw cheesecake. Creamsicle style. No big deal, just a layer of smooth and creamy vanilla topped with a punchy orange lavender layer. No swirling, no extras, just simple summer-style creamsicle flavor. Not that it’s summer… or even anywhere close – but hey.
The subtle floral aroma coming from the lavender really pulls it all together for me, sort of changes the childhood favorite to a more adult, more classy option. Not that there is anything wrong with amazing orange creaminess on a stick, but there is just something so so satisfying about slicing into a cheesecake. You know?
Orange & Lavender Vanilla Cheese Cake
1.5 Cups Almond Meal
1/4 Cup Macadamia Nuts – Soaked for 30 minutes
3-4 Tbsp Plant Based Milk of Choice
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil – melted
3 Tbsp Lucuma Powder
Pinch of Dried Vanilla Bean Powder
Pinch of Himalayan Salt
In a blender or food processor, pulverize the soaked macadamia nuts, milk and melted coconut oil until it forms a thick cream. Transfer to a bowl and add the almond meal, lucuma,vanilla and salt. Mix until it forms a dough. Line a spring form cake pan with wax paper, then firmly press the crust mixture down into the bottom. Try to make it as even as possible, place in the fridge to set while preparing the rest of the cake.
1/2 Cup Coconut Cream
2 Vanilla Beans
1/4 Cup Plant Based Milk of Choice
1/2 Cup Coconut Oil – Melted
1/3 Cup Raw Honey
2 Cups Cashews – Soaked for at least 4 hours
Using a sharp knife, slice the vanilla beans in half and gently scrape out the seeds. Place both the scraped seeds and the whole bean to a bowl and cover with coconut cream. Allow the coconut cream to infuse for at least 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a high speed blender, blend the soaked cashews with the plant based milk, adding the coconut oil once it has cooled and following with the honey. Remove the whole bean pod from the coconut cream, leaving the seeds, then add the coconut to the cashew mixture. Pour over the prepared crust.
Orange & Lavender Layer
1/2 Tbsp Lavender Flowers – Dried
1/2 Cup Coconut Cream
1 Cup Macadamia Nuts – Soaked for 30 minutes
Zest From 1 Large Orange
1 Cup of Fresh Citrus Juice
(I used a combination of kumquat, blood orange and navel)
2-3 Tbsp Raw Honey
Using a pestle and mortar, crush the dried lavender flowers until they are soft. Place them in a bowl with the coconut cream and set aside. Using a high speed blender, blend the macadamia nuts with the orange juice and the honey. Allow the mixture to come together forming a thick cream, then add the coconut and continue blending. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the zest before pouring over the vanilla layer. Place the cake in the freezer for 3 hours, or over night. If allowing it to set up over night in the freezer, take it out 2-3 hours before serving.