Food

Rose-Halva Cashew Dreamcake

By: Nisren Metwally

By: Nisren Metwally

Iftar is done; now what’s for dessert? That’s the question I find myself asking every bl…blessed night! There’s nothing quite like satisfying your cravings after a tough day’s fast during Ramadan.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll need a good hit of something sweet and naughty – something a few good medjool dates just can’t satisfy alone. It’s a constant dilemma: to eat or not to eat that whole block of chocolate? It’s ironic that many of us actually put on weight after a month of fasting – or rather, thirty days of overindulging on feasts and sweets. Maybe you too feel the need to change into elastic waisted pants after iftar.

But what if I told you that you could have your cake and eat it too? It sounds crazy, but that’s exactly what the Rose-Halva Cashew Dreamcake allows you to do. This cake is healthy and actually tastes delicious. It’s satisfying because it is made with wholesome ingredients, so you won’t find yourself going for seconds and thirds. It freezes well for a gift that keeps on giving from your freezer, or it can be demolished on the spot if you have a sweet-toothed family like mine.

This no-cheese-cheesecake is a nut based dessert. It is dairy-free, refined-sugar-free and gluten-free, yet still oh-so creamy like a real cheesecake.

“It’s noice, it’s different, it’s unusual. I like it.” Now say that again with Kath and Kim’s voice in mind.

I adapted this from Sarah B’s “Cashew Dreamcake” flavoured with one layer of vanilla and another layer of raspberry. The recipe below is my Arabian inspired, East-meets-West adaptation: the delicious Rose-Halva Cashew Dreamcake.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1/2 c raw almonds
  • Handful of raw pistachios and some extra for topping
  • 1/2 c soft Medjool dates
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Filling

  • 1 ½ c raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours; overnight is best
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Seeds of 1 whole vanilla bean (or 1 tsp alcohol-free vanilla extract)
  • 1/3 c raw coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 c raw honey
  • 1 c raspberries (thaw completely if using frozen) + extra for topping
  • 5 tbsp hulled tahini
  • 1-2 tbsp Rosewater

Method

  1. Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness. Process a finer crust longer than a chunky one. Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect.
  2. Scoop out crust mixture in a 7 inch spring-form pan (Use a lined pie plate if you don’t have a spring-form pan). Press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Rinse food processor well.

    Store leftovers in freezer. By: Nisren Metwally

    Store leftovers in freezer. By: Nisren Metwally

  3. Warm the coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.
  4. In the most powerful food processor or blender that you own, place all the filling ingredients (except the raspberries, tahini and rosewater) and blend on high until very smooth. This may take a couple minutes, so be patient.
  5. Pour half the mixture into a small bowl and add the tahini then mix to combine. It’ll thicken up a little, so add a splash of water until the consistency is around the same as it was before adding the tahini. Taste as you go it may need some extra honey.
  6. Pour this mixture onto the crust and smooth out with a spatula.
  7. Add raspberries and rosewater to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling and smooth out once more.
  8. Place in the freezer until solid.
  9. To serve, remove from freezer 30 minutes prior to serving. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own or with fresh berries, turkish delight or halva – it’s your call!
  10. Store leftovers in a sealed container in the freezer. (What leftovers?)
Naughty Nutella version. By: Nisren Metwally.

Naughty Nutella version. By: Nisren Metwally.

I’ve also used the base of this recipe to suit a choc-hazelnut, Nutella-inspired variation. I have only two words for it: Oh my! It is seriously a fabulous flavour combo.

For the base I substituted the almonds for roasted hazelnuts, added a tablespoon of cacao and an extra medjool date. The vanilla layer remained unchanged. I substituted the raspberries for some cacao powder – probably about a few tablespoons, depending on your taste.

I topped this second cake with a handful of raspberries and extra crumb from the base. If you’re feeling really naughty, drizzle generously with Nutella – however, I will not be held liable for any weight gain. Go on, treat yourself!

Wishing all Sajjeling readers a tranquil month of Ramadan.

From my home to yours.

By Nisren Metwally

Nisren is a 20-year-old lover of all things dessert, coffee, travel and all-day-breakfast related. That is pretty much the theme of everything she posts on Instagram. Find her on @heyitsnisren and tag her in your creations! 

 

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Categories: Food, Ramadan Cookbook

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