Mini Chocolate and Strawberry Cheesecakes (Vegan, No-bake, Gluten-free)
Valentine’s day is around the corner, so if you’re looking for a healthy, easy and delicious valentine’s day dessert, then look no further! These mini No-bake chocolate and strawberry cheesecakes are vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and are packed full of healthy ingredients!
WHY YOU'LL LOVE THEM
These cheesecakes taste like a combination of cheesecake and ice-cream, two desserts that are hard not to love! The base is a combination of crunchy walnuts, cocoa powder and sweet and sticky dried apricots. The cheesecake filling is mainly made of creamy cashews, tangy strawberries, thick coconut cream and sweetened with agave syrup. The element that really gives these refreshing cheesecakes a decadent feel is the smooth chocolate ganache on top, and of course, no valentine’s day dessert is complete without chocolate! This recipe requires a combination of simple ingredients that you’ll be able to find in almost every supermarket. These mini cheesecakes are a breeze to make and the small cupcake size is ideal for portion control, because let’s face it, it’s hard to cut yourself a small slice of a regular sized cheesecake. Also, they’re great because they can be made up to two weeks in advance and stored in the freezer, so you can take them out as and when you want to eat them.
EASY NO-BAKE VEGAN CHEESECAKES
If you want to make a special dessert for your loved one, but are not much of a baker, then these mini no-bake cheesecakes are perfect for you! They require minimal effort to prepare, and your freezer will be doing most of the work while you sit back and relax. A lot of us will be celebrating valentine’s day at home this year, which means we’ll probably be preparing more than one course. I don’t know about you, but I know that whenever I cook more than once course, I can never be bothered to spend hours on making a dessert, so these mini cheesecakes are my go-to, hassle-free dessert recipe. The prep time for these cheesecakes is less than half an hour, which means you can focus on cooking your main course while they set in the freezer.
GO NUTS, AND GET CREATIVE!
I’ve used walnuts as the main nuts for my base, but the beauty of these cheesecakes is that you can use whatever nut your heart desires. Some of the nuts that I’ve tried and tested that work just as well are pecans, almonds and brazil nuts. Also, you can substitute the dried apricots that I’ve used in the base with the same amount of soft pitted dates - it’s important to use the soft and moist dried dates, but if you have some hard dried dates at hand, then no problem! Simply soak your dates in boiling water for about 10 minutes until they’re soft and plump. The purpose of the dried fruit in the base is to act as a binder to hold the crushed nuts in place, so really you can use any dried fruit that has a soft and sticky texture.
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
HOW TO MAKE THESE VEGAN MINI CHEESECAKES
STEP 1: Preparing your muffin tray
I used a flexible silicone muffin tray which doesn’t require any prep, but if you're using a regular muffin tray, lightly grease each cup and then cut & place some baking paper in each base to make it easier to remove the cheesecakes once they’ve set. I would highly recommend that you use a flexible silicone muffin tray; they make it incredibly easy to remove the cheesecakes because you can turn them inside out. Alternatively, you can use mini cake tins with a removable base or you can line a regular muffin tray with baking paper or cling film so the cheesecakes are easier to lift out.
STEP 2: Making the crust
Start creating these mini cheesecakes with a healthy 4-ingredient crust. Add the walnuts, dried apricots, salt and cocoa powder into a food processor & blend until a textured dough starts to form. Evenly press 2 tbsp of the crust mixture into 6 of the muffin cases using your fingers or a small spoon. Place them in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
STEP 3: Making the cheesecake filling
Add the soaked cashews, strawberries, melted coconut oil, salt, lemon juice and agave syrup to a blender & blend until completely smooth. Take the tray out of the fridge and evenly pour the filling into each cup to fill about 2/3 of the cup. Lightly tap the tray on a surface to remove any air pockets. Place in the freezer to set for around 2 hours.
STEP 4: Making the ganache
To make the ganache, place the chocolate into a bain-marie and melt on a low heat. Add the coconut cream and stir on a low heat until the chocolate and cream are well combined. Remove the cheesecakes from freezer once they have set & pour 2-3 tbsp of the ganache into each cup. Place in the freezer for 1 more hour to set.
STEP 5: Freeze and enjoy!
Check that the cheesecakes have fully set before removing them. They should feel completely hard and frozen before you try the remove them from the cases. Once they’ve been removed, leave them out for about 20 minutes to soften slightly. If you’re not eating them straight away, then store the thawed cheesecakes in the fridge to prevent them from melting.
I would recommend that you use a silicone muffin tray; they make it incredibly easy to remove the cheesecakes once they’ve set. Alternatively, you can use mini cake tins with a removable base or you can line a regular muffin tray with baking paper or cling film so the cheesecakes are easier to lift out.
If you don’t have a freezer, you can set these cheesecakes in the refrigerator, but this will add an additional 5 hours to the time they take to set.
These cheesecakes can be stored in the freezer for up to two weeks. To serve, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw for 20 minutes.
You can either soak the cashews in cold water overnight or in boiling water for about 20 minutes.
Alternatively, you could make these cheesecakes in small (3 inch) ramekins instead of using muffin cases.