There aren’t many better ways to experience the taste of summer than eating fresh, sweet, juicy strawberries straight from the punnet. This will always be my first choice when it comes to the question of how to eat this beautiful fruit. This cake might very well be a close second. Raw, naturally sweetened, filled with fruit and goodness… it’s pretty damn magical.
The sweetness you get from fresh Scottish strawberries in the summer is almost like they have been dipped in sugar. Pair that natural sugary taste with the creaminess of thick, luscious coconut milk and you get the most beautiful summer flavour. The base is made up of almonds, shredded coconut and dates. I snuck in a layer of dark chocolate between the nutty base and petal pink topping, which was a great decision. I am always up for adding in some dark chocolate, the darker and more bitter the better. I think it works well to tone down the sweetness here, adding a little more depth to the overall flavour.
This recipe would work well with other summer fruits, like raspberries, blackberries or blueberries. I was incredibly lucky that Steven’s mum had picked up a couple of fresh punnets of strawberries on a day out and very generously gave us one of them.
It’s a simple recipe that only really requires some blending and the time for freezing. I can see myself bringing this to any gatherings that may happen before the end of summer as a no-fuss dessert. Even the most plant-critical people wouldn’t be able to resist, I mean who says, ‘no’ to strawberries?!
Raw Strawberry & Coconut Cheesecake
For the base
1 cup medjool dates, pitted (approx. 7 dates)
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup dark chocolate (plus a little extra set aside if you want to drizzle)
Line a cake tin with baking paper. Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend until everything starts to combine. It should be sticky and stay together when you pinch it. Spoon the mixture into your cake tin and press down firmly until everything is even. Set aside. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over some water in a pan on a low heat (make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water). Once the chocolate is smooth and all melted, pour it on top of the base evenly. Set in the fridge to chill.
For the filling
1 can coconut milk, (only the thick creamy part, separate it from the coconut water) chilled in the fridge overnight.
1 cup strawberries, rinsed and chopped
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp lemon juice
Rinse your food processor and dry it thoroughly (you don’t want any extra water in here as it could cause the filling to go icy when frozen). Add all the ingredients and blend until silky smooth. Take the base out from the fridge and pour this on top of the chocolate layer. Tap the tin on the counter top a few times to make sure there’s no trapped air and the filling sets correctly. Place in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
If topping with chocolate drizzle; just before it’s time to take the cake out of the freezer melt the extra chocolate and drizzle when the cake is straight out of the freezer. I find it best to cut this and then put it back in the freezer to save time later on when you want to serve. Wait 5 minutes before serving from the freezer.
p.s. I am not one of those incredibly talented people who can fold their baking paper to minimise crinkles… wavy edges forever.