Baked Nutty Pumpkin and Orange Cheesecake

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I fell head over heels for sweet pumpkin this year.

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I have long been betrothed to squash in it’s savoury guise. Squash and sage are one of my all time favourite flavour combinations, making a simple risotto of even the basics of just rice and stock sing a beautiful hymn. I love it’s rich, creamy texture, subtle sweet flavour and vibrant colour in pasta dishes, especially in a lasagne with spinach and mushrooms. I adore it simply roasted, perhaps filled with a blend of Mediterranean roasted vegetables and a grain – in fact how I first tasted it in a restaurant in my early teens. Honestly, I remember that day very clearly.

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Back in September, however, during Vegan Mofo, I baked up An Unrefined Vegan’s Maple Pumpkin Spice Quickbread to then make her French Toast Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches.

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It all made sense to me. It was just so delicious and that bread in particular reminded me of something I had eaten in my past, but I didn’t know what. I just knew it was taking me back to a food memory that I missed and was glad to experience again. It was something about that perfect blend of warm, snuggly spices in a perfectly sweet, moist cake. That was it, I was in love and I have since thoroughly enjoyed experimenting with pumpkin in sweet baked goods over the last couple of months. I have used all kinds of squash where pumpkin is called for – gem, crown prince, kabocha, from my bedroom cupboard full which is now down to just 3 crown prince and one spaghetti. I best get on to order more…

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This cheesecake, is barely adapted from the PPK but was just too delicious not to share. As usual, I have edited the crust for an even thicker biscuity layer and used glorious cinnamon biscuits to add to the sweetly spiced goodness; I also removed the sugar from the crust as the cookies are sweet enough. I edited the filling to make for a richer experience, replacing the white sugar with unrefined brown, increasing the spices and increasing the orange. I used homemade coconut butter which makes everything creamy and delicious.

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This is my second vegan cheesecake, this time not using a commercial vegan cream cheese but cashews and tofu. The next one will be a raw version, then I will see which I liked best..

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I urge you to make this…

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Ingredients: Serves 10

Base:

  • 250g/2 1/4 cups cinnamon or ginger biscuit crumbs
  • 5 tbsp melted vegan margarine (75g), melted coconut oil, or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp non dairy milk

Topping:

  • 65g/ 1/3 cup unrefined brown sugar
  • 15g/1 tbsp vegan margarine or coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 100g/1 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews soaked in water for 2 to 8 hours until very soft
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana (about half of 1 medium-sized banana)
  • 350g/12 oz silken tofu, drained
  • 165g/1/2 cup + 5tbsp unrefined brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp coconut butter or oil, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp cornflour/starch
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange + 2 tbsp juice
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 420g/1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (or other orange fleshed winter squash)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Method:

Make the topping:

  1. Mash together the brown sugar, margarine, and salt with a fork until crumbly, then stir through the nuts until coated in the mixture. Set aside until ready to use.

Make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180’C/350’F and lightly spray a 9 inch round springform tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix together the crumbs and oil or margarine until all the crumbs are moistened then stir in the milk to form a crumbly dough.
  3. Press the crumbs firmly and evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the tin then bake for 8 to 12 minutes until firm. Set the crust aside to cool whilst you prepare the filling.

Make the filling:

  1. In a powerful blender or food processor, blend the drained cashews with the banana, tofu, brown sugar, coconut butter or oil, cornflour, orange zest and juice, vanilla, and salt until completely smooth.
  2. Add the pumpkin and spices and blend until fully combined, then pour onto the crust.
  3. Bake the cheesecake for 45 to 50 minutes, removing the cheesecake halfway through baking and sprinkling on the topping.
  4. The cheesecake will be done when the top is lightly puffed and the edges of the cake are golden. Remove it from the oven and let cool on a rack for about 20 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or preferably overnight before serving.

Calorie Count :: New Recipe

Nutritional Benefits

No cholesterol

Very high in vitamin A

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ARE YOU READY FOR THE VIRTUAL VEGAN POTLUCK?

TOMORROW, SATURDAY 16TH NOVEMBER 2013…

vvpLOGO

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This entry was posted in Cheesecake, Desserts, vegan, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to Baked Nutty Pumpkin and Orange Cheesecake

  1. foodbod says:

    I was exactly the same as you: wedded to butternut squash and only really tried pumpkin properly recently and fell in love with that too!! The geese cake looks great, I like the use of the different ingredients 🍌

  2. This looks fabulously delicious! I have to try this, vegan food is amazing!!! :DDD

  3. Oh Poppy – I’ve just gone sugar-free!!!! But, I’ve decided that I’m going to make an exception for Thanksgiving, and I like that this doesn’t have a lot of sugar. I think I’ve found my Thanksgiving dessert Poppy – this just looks AMAZING!!! Hope all is well in your neck of the woods girlfriend! Celeste 🙂

    • Poppy says:

      Celeste, I totally think you are doing the right thing in making a sugar exception for Thanksgiving! I love that you are thinking of making this as your dessert – I hope you do!
      All is fine here thank you, although very chilly – bbbrrrrr – and I hope all is well with you, Paul and Mambo too…. 😀

  4. Oh gosh…so decadent! Wonderful flavors, Poppy!

  5. I’m not a vegan but I think your blog is fantastic. The quality of your writing and the detail in your posts is great, as is your photography. This recipe looks delicious.

  6. Looking good, room for one more at your table?!

  7. This looks melt in the mouth fantastic!

  8. saplingvegan says:

    Everything you posts makes me so happy!

  9. Oh what a beautiful looking cheesecake! It sounds fantastic!

  10. Julie says:

    What is your opinion on using soaked sunflower seeds in place of cashews-it works well in savory dishes…would a little sugar be in order to be more similar to cashews?

    • Poppy says:

      Hi Julie. I honesty don’t know if that will work, I’d love to know if you try! I don’t think adding sugar would make it more similar as the cashews don’t add any sweetness.
      Good luck!

  11. Hey Poppy! I just wanted to let you know that I made this recipe today and it was AMAZING!!! I wanted to try it ahead of time so I can be prepared for Thanksgiving and all I can tell you is this cheesecake is going to knock the socks off my omnivore friends and family. I might play with the recipe to reduce the sugar and oil a bit for the one I make for Thanksgiving, but maybe not. I’m a bit nervous about messing with perfection. You are one awesome baker chica! 🙂

    • Poppy says:

      Ah I am so happy to hear that Celeste! Good idea to try it ahead of time, it’s the worst thing when you try something new on a big day and it goes wrong!!
      As for reducing sugar and fat – I definitely think you can reduce the fat from the base and both fat and sugar from the topping. I wouldn’t advise altering the filling as the sugar contributes to the structure. You could sub something like granulated xylitol in the filling however, basically something that has a similar structure to sugar.
      For the base, I have done completely dry cookie bases before. You just put the crumbs in the base and add the topping. It’s not as decadent and more crumbly but it works. Or you could moisten the crumbs with more vegan milk if you still want that dense, compact filling.
      The topping you could just use pure nuts without the sugar and oil.
      I hope that helps!
      Thank you for the great feedback! 😀

      • Since I’m cooking my first ever Thanksgiving, and a vegan one for omnivores at that, I’m trying everything out ahead. Tonight I’m trying out a mushroom wellington recipe that I plan to have for the main dish – yum! Anyway, thanks for your tips to make the cheesecake lower sugar and fat. I’m going to try your suggestions of reducing the margarine in the crust and using plain nuts on top. I think it will still be wonderful! 🙂

      • Poppy says:

        Oooh mushroom wellington is my favourite! Amazing that this will be your first time cooking for Thanksgiving! I hope it goes wonderfully smooth for you! I’m sure it will be great!
        I made the cheesecake one time with plain nuts and it was still delicious! You could toss them with a little cinnamon too for an extra treat! 😀

  12. Reblogged this on AverageVeganDude and commented:
    Man this looks like a great Thanksgiving dessert…

  13. roodonfood says:

    That looks amazing. I’m always up for new pumpkin recipes. Thanks for sharing.

  14. chef mimi says:

    This is one fabulous looking dessert. Vegan or not!

  15. Pingback: Vegan Thanksgiving Main Dishes They’ll Love | Honk If You're Vegan

  16. Thanks to this post, I’m desperately craving cheesecake now but given it’s 9.40pm on a Saturday night and I’m all out of pumpkin, this one’s gonna have to wait till tomorrow 🙂 Cant wait to try it though x

  17. This cheesecake looks soooooo delicious! What a phenomenal recipe! Thank you for sharing it 🙂
    I just wanted to let you know I love seeing your recipes. I nominated you for the Sunshine Blogger Award. You can view the post here- http://arthealthandhappiness.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/sunshine-blogger-award/
    Thank you for sharing your great recipes, Poppy! 🙂

  18. Wow! Mouth watering! 🙂

  19. vanessak27 says:

    Cashews and tofu can create some very delicious desserts and I’m sure this is not one exception! Thanks for liking my blog. I really appreciate that you value blogging about the plant-based diet and your concerns for poverty. I will keep reading you!

  20. AgileWriter says:

    You can also try Crazy Currants Christmas Pudding Recipe. It is gluten free as well!!!

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