A little (cheesecake) celebrating

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The mini cheesecake above was made by adapting this recipe by Bare Root Girl – made tiny so it could be shared between the two of us as we celebrated one year of marriage (As an aside: I would love to keep working with these cute little pans and come up withe a range of pint-sized desserts for moments when only a few need feeding but a treat would be nice!). Food manages to establish itself as central to special occasions almost unconsciously … birthday: cake, Christmas: pud (and feast!), Thanksgiving: turkey and pumpkin pie, Valentines Day: chocolate … we almost can’t help ourselves (no pun intended!). Somehow, it seems that eating allows for the fullest participation as we actually em-body, consume, assimilate, special foods symbolising the celebration by taking them into ourselves. Without thinking it all through, we just know that when its time to commemorate, party, toast, honour and remember – there needs to be some thing fit to eat. And, so, when it was time to celebrate the 12 of October one year on, Asher’s favourite dessert was in order – Berry Cheesecake. I will probably keep tweaking the recipe (I do like yoghurt, nuts and berries, I just don’t love coconut), but this was approximately what I did on the day …

Ingredients:

Base:
1/2 c. raw almonds
5 dried dates
1/4 t. sea salt
1 tbs (or 15g) melted butter

Cheesecake Filling:
2 1/2 tsp gelatin
1/2 the juice of one small lemon
1/2 cup full-fat plain greek yogurt
90g light coconut cream
30g cream cheese
45g honey
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 vanilla bean
1/8 tsp sea salt

Berry Topping:
1/2 cup frozen berries (I used a mix of blueberries and raspberries)
1/2 a small lemon, juice & zest
1 tsp honey
1 tsp arrowroot flour

Method:
1. Roast almonds in the oven at 220°C for 10-15 min. Blend almonds, dates, butter and salt using the food processor till fine. Press the mixture into the base of a 10cm diametre springform pan, lined with baking paper. Let it sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so it becomes firm.
2. Add the gelatine and lemon juice to a small bowl or enamel heating vessel and then place this in a slightly larger saucepan of simmering water. Stir the mixture till the gelatine is dissolved.
3. The rest of the filling ingredients need to be combined in the food processor. While the processor is going, carefully pour the gelatine mixture in through the top and keep processing till the mixture is fully blended (shouldn’t take longer than another 30 seconds or so).
4. Pour over the base and leave in the fridge over night to set!
5. To make the berry topping, combine all the ingredients in a little saucepan over a medium heat, keep cooking till the berries have begun to disintegrate and the whole mixture starts to thicken. If you would like it smooth to spread over the cheesecake, it can be blended using a stick blender or food processor or you can leave it chunky. Depending on the look the berry topping can be poured over just before serving or it can be given time to set in the fridge too!
6. Enjoy!

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