By: Susan Joy
This decadent Salted Caramel Cheesecake has a beautiful lemony smooth and creamy filling. It’s topped with a delicious layer of pecans and salted caramel. My healthy dessert is perfect for those that need a dairy-free and gluten-free option. Your friends and family will love this dessert, they won’t know that it’s healthy for them because it tastes so indulgent.
Serves: 8 – 10 | Prep Time: 00:30 | Cooking Time: 00:12
* Plus extra time for chilling & setting
- 5 Medjool date(s), pitted
- 1 cup (105g) almond meal/flour
- 1/2 cup (60g) pecans
- 3/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 2 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups (200g) raw cashews, soaked in water for 1 – 2 hours, then rinse and drain
- 1/2 cup (125ml) coconut cream, (a thick brand like Ayam)
- Fine lemon zest, from 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup (80ml) lemon juice, (approx. 2 lge lemons)
- 3 Tbsp honey (unprocessed)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tsp vanilla extract (organic)
- A pinch of fine sea salt
- 60g raw cacao butter, melted
SALTED CARAMEL TOPPING:
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans, plus 1 tsp ghee for toasting
- 1 cup (250ml) coconut cream, (a thick brand)
- 1/4 cup (60g) ghee, or grass-fed butter (coconut oil can also be used)
- 1/3 cup honey (unprocessed)
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract (organic)
- TOPPINGS optional: a drizzle of 80% dark chocolate, and extra pecans
Line the base of a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper. Place your sheet of baking paper over the base and clip the sides closed, leaving a little hanging out. Grease the sides with coconut oil and a little over the paper to allow the set cheesecake to slide off onto your serving plate easily.
Add the dates to a food processor and process until chopped into small pieces. Add the remaining base ingredients to the dates and process for 10 seconds or until the mixture comes together when squeezed between your fingers. Transfer to the prepared cake tin and spread the mixture evenly over the base, and press down using your hands. Place into the freezer to firm up.
Add the softened cashews, coconut cream, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, coconut oil, vanilla and salt to a high-speed blender and blend on high for 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the jug, then add the melted cacao butter. Blend for a further 30 seconds until the filling mixture is silky and smooth with no bits of nuts.
Remove the base from the freezer and spoon the cheesecake filling evenly over the base and return to the freezer to set while you prepare the salted caramel topping.
Add a teaspoon of ghee to a medium-size saucepan on medium-low heat and add the pecans. Stir often for 1 – 2 minutes until lightly golden but watch carefully as the nuts can burn quite quickly. Remove to a small bowl and set aside.
Let the saucepan cool a little then add the coconut cream, ghee, honey and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat to allow the caramel to gently simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Turn off the heat and add the vanilla and the toasted pecans and stir. Allow the caramel mixture to cool to room temperature or once it’s cooled down a little you can transfer it to the fridge to speed up the cooling.
Once the caramel is cool, remove the cake tin from the freezer and pour it evenly over the cheesecake filling. Place the cheesecake in the fridge for 3 hours (or overnight) for the caramel to set or add to the freezer to quicken the processor. The caramel topping will have a softer texture than the cheesecake filling.
To serve, run a blunt knife around the inside of the cake tin and gently release the spring sides. Slide off the baking paper and place onto your serving plate. Optional, place a few pecans into the centre of the cheesecake and melt 20 – 30gms of 80% dark chocolate and use a teaspoon dipped into the chocolate to drizzle over the top.
You can make the cheesecake several days ahead and store covered in the freezer. Serve thawed and straight from the fridge.
Article supplied with thanks to The JOYful Table.
About the Author: Susan is an author of The JOYful Table cookbook containing gluten & grain free, and Paleo inspired recipes for good health and wellbeing.
Feature image: Supplied by Susan Joy