Ultra smooth in texture, this easy-to-make coconut cheesecake has a subtle and delicate refreshing flavor brought by the yuzu. Much healthier than a traditional recipe, it is also raw, vegan, and gluten free!
Cheesecakes are among my favorite desserts as they are very refreshing and soft in texture, which makes them perfect to enjoy at the end of a meal. My all time favorite is the Pecan brownie cheesecake, followed right after by the Salted apple caramel cheesecake and the Saffron cheesecake (lactose free) for a deluxe version. Also, many of you are crazy about my Honey lavender cheesecake, which has a subtle lavender flavor with a very soft texture. A must try!
These last years, I tried other cheesecake versions that happen to be raw, vegan, and gluten free! What was in the beginning a simple challenge for fun soon become an obsession for me as these cheesecakes actually taste amazing! Don’t expect the same texture or taste than a regular cheesecake, just try them as a new dessert experience and I’m pretty sure you’re gonna love them too. Among them, the Vegan raspberry cheesecake (gluten, lactose and refined sugar free) has become one of your favorite on the blog, along with the Raw coconut mango cheesecake in an exotic version.
And here I am today with a brand new version, featuring coconut and… yuzu! Yu-what? The yuzu is actually a citrus fruit from Asia. It comes originally from Central China and Tibet, where it grows wild, and was introduced later on in Japan and Korea. It’s in these two countries that it is now cultivated most widely. The fruit itself looks like a small grapefruit with an uneven skin, and it can be either yellow or green depending on the degree of ripeness.
The culinary use of the yuzu is however different from what we would expect from a fruit and to be more specific from any kind of citrus. It is indeed rarely eaten as a fruit, essentially due to its flavor which is very tart. However, its aromatic zest is used to garnish some dishes in Japan, and its juice commonly used as a seasoning. They are also many other uses of yuzu in the cooking, and even in beer by a number of breweries. Beginning in the early 21st century, yuzu has been increasingly used by Chefs in the US and in Europe.
If you go in your nearest spice shop, you might be lucky to find yuzu in the form of a powder, which is how I used it in this recipe. I received my yuzu powder as a present from my sister in law a little while ago and kept it precious until now. She got it in a beautiful spice shop named Des épices à ma guise, and based in Ancenis in France – this place is a little paradise for all tea, coffee and spice lovers and you should definitely check their webshop for high quality products.
In the cheesecake, the yuzu gives a subtle and delicate citrus flavor that is also enhanced by the lemon zests used in the base made of nuts. In the end, you’ve got a perfect balance of crunchiness brought by the nuts used in the base and a smooth texture brought by the coconut-cashew filling. The yuzu adds a little something that definitely takes this cheesecake to the next level!
- ½ cup (75g) cashews
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup (60g) shredded coconut
- ½ cup (75g) almonds
- 1 pinch Himalayan salt
- 7 medjool dates, pitted
- Zest of 1 organic lemon
- 2 cups (300g) cashews, soaked
- 2 organic lemons (juice + zest of 1)
- ¼ cup (60ml) full fat coconut milk
- ⅔ cup (150 ml) maple or agave syrup
- 1 pinch Himalayan salt
- 2 tsp yuzu powder
- ½ cup (120 ml) coconut oil, melted
- Soak the 2 cups of cashews for the filling: place them in a bowl, cover with filtered water and leave to stand overnight or at least for 4 hours. Drain off the water and rinse the cashews well.
- Line a 8x10 inch (20x25 cm) form or a 9 inch (23 cm) round form with parchment paper. Set aside.
- For the base: gently melt the coconut oil for a few seconds in the microwave. Place the coconut, cashew nuts (the ones that are not soaked), almonds and salt into a food processor and blend until the mixture looks like chunky crumbs. Add the pitted medjool dates and blend until well combined. Add the coconut oil, lemon zest and blend.
- Press the base mixture into the prepared form, then place in the refrigerator to set.
- For the filling: place the soaked and drained cashews into a food processor, along with lemon juice, zest, coconut milk, maple syrup and sea salt. Blend until smooth. Add the yuzu powder and stir well. Add the melted coconut oil while the motor is running to get a perfect smooth texture.
- Pour the filing onto the prepared base, smooth with a spatula and place in the freezer for a minimum of 1 hour. Transfer to the fridge up to 20 minutes before serving.
- Place on a chopping board and cut into slices.