Cheesecake squares with strawberry coulis

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This no-bake vegan cheesecake is based on the amazing minimalist baker cookbook and made by my even more amazing boyfriend, it tastes so creamy and decadent yet it isn't even ~that~ naughty really, full of raw nuts, dates and the only added sugar coming from the maple syrup.

For the crust
200g packed pitted dates
180g raw walnuts

For the cheesecake filling
180g raw cashews *
235ml full fat coconut milk
120ml maple syrup
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 lemon zested (1tsp) and juiced (2 tbsp, plus more as needed)

*Cashews need to be soaked in boiling hot water uncovered  for 1 hour. Drain and proceed with the recipe.

Strawberry coulis topping
240g frozen strawberries
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp cornstarch
2-3 tbsp lemon juice

Prep time: 1 hr 30 min plus freezing time

Add the dates to the bowl of food processor (or blender) and blend until only small bits remains, remove and set aside. Blend the walnuts separately into a meal. Add the dates back in - a little at a time. Process until a loose dough forms it should stick together when squeezed between your fingers. If too dry add a few more dates or if too wet add more walnut meal.

Line an 8x8 inch or that of similar size baking dish with grease-proof paper and add the crust. Spread an even layer and press down with your hands so it is all flat then place in the freezer to set.

In the meantime, add the drained cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, lemon zest, lemon juice to a blender or processor and blend until it is creamy and smooth. If there is trouble blending add a little more liquid either coconut milk or coconut oil, to help the process along scrape down the sides as needed. Taste and adjust the flavors as needed - adding more maple syrup for sweetness or lemon juice for acidity.

Remove the crust from the freezer and pour over the cashew mix. Tap to remove air bubbles and smooth the top with a spoon. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and return to the freezer to harden for approx 3-4 hours.

To make the coulis. Add the strawberries, maple syrup and cornstarch and a bit of water to a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then reduce the heat and begin mashing the strawberries with a spoon to break them into smaller pieces. Cook for 3-4 minutes more, then turn off heat and leave to cool and thicken, Stirring occasionally. Transfer to a small bowl and cover then refrigerate to cool completely.

You can spread the chilled strawberry topping over the hardened cheesecake or you can serve separately pouring over individual slices.

Keep the cheesecakes in the fridge (this will keep for 3 days covered) or freeze and will keep for up to a month. If serving from frozen set aside for approx 30 minutes to soften before serving.
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