Peanut Butter & Banana “Cheesecake” – vegan friendly

Who doesn’t love a good cheesecake? Creamy, rich, indulgent… And you’d have thought that being vegan means giving up on decadent treats such as these, but you’d be wrong.

I love finding a dairy-free, vegan friendly alternative to some of my old favourites, and this one is sure to impress even your non-vegan friends.

5

The perfect combination of deliciously crunchy base, created from homemade Dark Chocolate Digestive Biscuits, and creamy smooth “cheesecake” topping of blended, protein-rich cashews and peanut butter.

1

2

8

 

3

The banana element gives this cheesecake a hint of Banoffee Pie, which let’s face it, is never a bad thing!

7

6

5

PEANUT BUTTER + BANANA “CHEESECAKE” WITH DARK CHOCOLATE DIGESTIVE BASE

Now obviously you could buy the biscuits for the base, and choose practically any type you want (Oreos – vegan friendly – work great!), but these digestives are so easy to make, and I like knowing I’ve created something entirely from scratch.

Author: My Vegan Kitchen

Recipe Type: Dessert

Cuisine: Vegan

Serves: 8 – 12

Ingredients

BASE (makes 10 so you have some leftover for eating)

  • 170g wholemeal flour
  • 170g medium oatmeal
  • 150g cold vegan butter, diced
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 55g dark muscovado sugar
  • Pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 2-3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 150g vegan dark chocolate (optional)

FILLING

  • 2 bananas
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • ¾ cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup maple syrup (or your choice of liquid sweetener)
  • ¾ cup peanut butter (your preference of smooth or crunchy)

CHOCOLATE GANACHE TOPPING

  • ¾ cup vegan dark chocolate
  • 50ml coconut milk

 

Instructions

For the biscuits (if making):

  1. Preheat your oven to 170C degrees and in a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour and oatmeal. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (best to get dirty and use your hands for this bit).
  2. Mix in the bicarb, sugar and salt, adding just a little almond milk to bring it all together to a dough-like consistency. Flatten in to a disk, wrap in clingfilm chill for at least 30 minutes (like pastry, this makes it easier to roll out and cut in to biscuit shapes).
  3. Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper and set aside. Roll out your biscuit “dough” between 2 sheets of clingfilm, to around 4-5mm thick, then cut out your biscuits. Arrange on your baking trays, leaving a small gap in between each, prick each one several times with a fork and bake for between 12-15 minutes. Baking time will depend on you oven and whether you prefer your biscuits to be soft or crisp (crisp is probably better for the purpose of your cheesecake base).
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, whilst you melt your chocolate (if using) over a saucepan of simmering water. Remember this step is optional, you may only want to coat the biscuits you won’t be using for the cheesecake base, but I did them all so my base would have little chunks of chocolate!
  5. To coat biscuits, dunk one side in to the melted chocolate, repeating to build up layers, set aside to cool.

For the base:

  1. If not still on, preheat your oven to 180C degrees and, using either a food processor or a good, old fashioned rolling pin, crush up 140g of your biscuit choice. Add 5 tbsp of melted coconut oil and mix together.
  2. Lightly grease a 20cm cake tin, either spring form or one with a removable base is best. Fill the bottom of cake tin with your crushed biscuit mixture, and use either the back of a spoon or a small cup to pack it down tightly and as evenly as possible.
  3. Bake for 5 minutes, remove and set aside to cool.
  4. Add you bananas, cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup and peanut butter to a blend a blend together until very smooth. This will take around 4 – 5 minutes and you’ll probably need to stop the blender and scrape down the sides to mix back together a couple of times.
  5. If your peanut butter doesn’t already contain salt, you may want to season with a pinch at this point. Also, if your mixture is too thick, you can add a little more coconut milk to loosen.
  6. Pour evenly over your cool biscuit base and set aside. At this point you can either put in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours – although overnight is best – or you can whip up whatever toppings and decorations you want to add. For example:

For the chocolate ganache:

  1. Heat 50ml of coconut milk over a low heat, bringing it to a simmer. Meanwhile break up ¾ cup of vegan dark chocolate (I like Green & Blacks) in a small heat proof mixing bowl and, once the coconut milk is bubbling, pour it over the chocolate. Then just leave it for 3 – 4 minutes, before stirring and mixing together. Have a taste at this point, as you may want to sweeten with a little maple syrup. I however I like mine a little bitter, to combat the richness of the cheesecake.
  2. Spoon your ganache over the top of your cheesecake, in whatever pattern takes your fancy. Go wild, be as creative as you like! Once you’ve exhausted your creativity, pop your cheesecake in the fridge to set, as stated above, for at least 3 hours.
  3. Once set, remove your cheesecake from its tin and serve! I like to serve mine with a bit of salted caramel sauce, veganised from this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s website, and any leftover ganache.

Vegan Easter Eggs

Do you have a vegan in your life? We can be hard to buy for, especially when the gift is food related. So I thought I’d round up some of the great vegan Easter eggs and chocolatey treats available for all the vegans in your life!

1. Hotel Chocolat have a great selection of vegan friendly chocolates and this Easter they haven’t disappointed with a Milk-Free Milk Goose Egg, Milk-Free Milk Scrambled Egg, Dark Egglets and Milk-Free Milk Bunnies, priced between £3.75 – £15. Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know I was given a box of dark chocolate vegan bunnies by a friend at work, which I can’t wait to crack open!

Hotel Chocolat

  

2. Marks & Spencer have also jumped aboard the vegan wagon with their dairy-free Easter egg this year. Did you also know that Colin the Caterpillar’s range is now 100% vegetarian. Not quite vegan, but a step in the right direction! Priced at £6 with an added dairy-free chocolate bar too.

Marks & Spencer

3. Booja Booja have some beautiful hand-painted, papier-maché Easter eggs made in Kashmir, India & hand-packed in Norfolk with delicious chocolate truffles. Perfect for friends or loved ones who adore chocolates & beautiful things. Dairy, gluten, soya-free and organic. Available at Holland & Barretts and Waitrose, among others. Small eggs, 3 truffles RRP £9.99. Large eggs, 12 truffles, RRP £24.99. 

Booja Booja

4. Choices Dairy-Free Confectionery is a brand I wasn’t aware of, until a lovely friend of mine bought me the below Easter Egg yesterday! It was delicious and great find a new, potential favourite, brand. Available at Holland & Barretts, priced around £2.79.

Choices Confectionery

5.  Plamil have made an organic, fair trade, vegan Easter Egg. I haven’t had the pleasure of trying this one (yet) but it comes highly recommended by PETA and topped their list of vegan Easter treats this year. It’s only £3.69 and available at Holland & Barrett and other independent health-food stores.

Plamil

6. I’ve had a couple of Moo Free‘s bunny bars before. They were nice but not necessarily the richest vegan chocolate I’ve had. Their Easter egg however, is made with organic rice milk, infused with vegan-friendly honeycomb toffee! Find it for around £4.25 at Waitrose, Holland & Barrett and many other health-food shops and online retailers.

Moo Free

7. Fancy something different to a regular Easter egg? Divine have made these Dark Chocolate Mini Eggs. £4.25 from Oxfam, Tesco & Waitrose, or online from their website. They do regular eggs too, priced around £10.

Divine

 

7. Last but no means least, Green & Black haven’t forgotten about us vegans this Easter. If you’re a dark chocolate fan, these are the ones I would buy. They have a huge selection, ranging from about £12 – £38. Watch out though, though most of their dark chocolate is accidentally vegan, they still use dairy products in their milk chocolate.

Green & Blacks

 

Let me know if you’ve found any other great vegan Easter treats out their. I’m sure there are so many more!