Mini chocolate cheesecakes with raspberry sauce.

Despite not being a massive fan of cheesecakes myself, my boyfriend is, and so I wanted to recreate one of his favourite styles of cheesecakes – a chocolate one – in a plant-based way. There is one good recipe that I found & adapted, and I’ve tried it a few times and it has turned out to be the easiest, simplest and really delicious no-bake cake with plant-based ingredients that I have tried and managed to not ruin.

Lately I’ve been trying my luck with no-bake plant-based cakes. I must admit, though, I’m not yet hooked on no-bake cakes. One of the main reasons being the fact that most recipes that I tried at home turned into disugsting, hardly edible pieces. So why do I keep trying then? Two simple reasons. First, because I am not the biggest fan of gas ovens. Don’t get me wrong, I love gas stoves, but having to work with a gas stove from… I assume the 80s… for the first time in your life – this takes a super long time to get adjusted to, at least for me. And I happen to have on of those buggers in my kitchen. Yay me! Second, I just don’t wanna give up on them. And that’s why I keep trying. But because I haven’t had a lot of luck with no-bake recipes yet, I am always super stoked when I actually do find a recipe that works on the first try, like this one!

It is a chocolate cheesecake with raspberry sauce, and actually, it is not one cake but several mini cheesecakes. What I like best about this recipe is the combination of dark chocolate & berries, which is perfect if you ask me. Especially because of the syrup and the store-bought cookies, the cheesecake itself tends to be on the sweeter side already, so I like to balance this by adding unsweetened raspberry sauce. This is such an easy dessert option. There’s not a lot that can go wrong (as there is no baking involved), they taste very delicious, and, in my opinion, they don’t have that no-bake feeling to it that some other no-bake-cakes do (if you know what I mean?). So there you go, here’s the recipe and an easy step by step instruction on how to make them.

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What you need for the crust / chocolate layer / topping, for a serving of 8:

  • 10 plant-based cookies
  • 30g plant-based butter
  • 150g raw cashews
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla sugar
  • 60ml maple syrup
  • 60ml coconut milk
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 2-3 plant-based cookies
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil (optional!)
  • a handful of frozen berries
  • some water

How to make them – 3 easy steps:

The crust
Melt the plant-based butter. In a food processor, process the cookies into fine crumbs. Add the butter and mix until everything is evenly mixed. Spoon some of the crust mix into your cupcake tray covered with parchment paper. If you have silicone forms, you can just spoon it in them, no need to cover them with parchment paper. Make sure to pat it down with a spoon so you get the typical cheesecake bottom. Place them in the freezer so they can set.

The chocolate layer
Soak the raw cashews in a bowl of water for 1 hour, then drain the water and rinse the cashews. Heat the coconut milk in a pot until it reaches a simmer. Remove from heat and add the chocolate so it can melt. Whisk the chocolate & coconut milk until relatively smooth. Pour all ingredients (cashews, lemon juice, vanilla sugar, maple syrup, chocolate & coconut mix) into a blender jug or food processor, and mix them until very smooth. The cakes taste a bit better if the mix does not have a grainy texture. Add the mix with a spoon on top of the cookie crust and put them back into the freezer so they can set. This might take a few hours, though.

The topping
Right before you serve the mini cheesecakes, you’ll prepare the topping. For this, melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler. Add the coconut oil to get a more liquid and shinier chocolate topping, and it gives you a subtle coconut flavour. But this step is optional, and you can skip it. Take the cheesecakes out of the forms, spoon the melted chocolate on top. In a small pot, heat the berries of your choice, mix in a little bit of water, add a bit of sugar if you like it sweeter, and bring to a boil. If you want to, you can also make a fancy raspberry sauce where you add cornstarch and let it reduce etc, but this is a quick one, so we’ll just wait until we have a sauce-like texture. Let it cool for a bit, then add the sauce on top of the chocolate cheesecakes and finish with crushed cookies. They are ready to be served!

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Good to know... you can store any remaining mini chocolate cheesecakes in the freezer and you don’t need to thaw them before serving. I prefer eating them straight from the freezer, whereas my boyfriend prefers them from the fridge. Just try whichever way you’d like them yourself. And if you want chocolate galore – skip the raspberry sauce ;)

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What is your take on cheesecakes and no-bake cakes? Let me know if you try out the recipe :)

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Quick & easy dessert treats for your guests.

In need of some quick and super easy dessert for the guests that are coming over in an hour? You’re hosting a party and don’t want to make a huge deal out of it but still want to present your guests with a wide range of delicious-looking treats? Or it’s one of those days where you just can’t be bothered to be in the kitchen for a super long time but still want something yummy to go with your afternoon coffee (or your Sunday breakfast)? In this post I’ll be sharing four quick, super easy, and plant-based recipes with you that have saved my ass a few times already.

1. Chocolate Raspberry Bites

What you need (for 8 bites):

  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 tblsp. maple syrup / rice sirup / agave nectar
  • 150g + 100g dark chocolate
  • 8 muffin liners

How to make them:

Heat the frozen raspberries in a small pot on medium heat and mash them until there are no chunks left. You can add any sweetening of your choice (or skip it). Set it aside to cool for a bit. Melt the first batch of chocolate in a double boiler. Then carefully place around 1.5 teaspoons in a muffin liner and tilt the liner so the chocolate can spread and form an edging. Repeat this for all your liners and put them in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes so the chocolate can harden.

In the meantime you can start melting the second batch of chocolate. While you’re waiting add about 1 teaspoon of the raspberry filling into the chocolate coated muffin liners and then pour over a bit of the melted chocolate so everything is covered with it (this doesn’t mean you should fill up the entire liner with chocolate, only so much that the raspberry filling is covered). Repeat the process for all your remaining liners and put them in the fridge or freezer to harden (this only takes a few minutes). Carefully remove the muffin liners and you can finally enjoy your chocolate raspberry bites!

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2. Apple Pie

For this easy apple pie you can be extremely lazy (like I was for the one in the pics) and buy puff pastry in the store (most of the stores offer plant-based puff pastry these days, so check the ingredients), or just quickly make your own dough. Either way – it’s simple, easy, and you don’t need a lot of ingredients.

What you need:

  • 3 apples
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. of any other flavour you might want to add (pumpkin spice, nutmeg etc)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla sugar
  • 1 tbsp. coconut sugar / brown sugar / cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp. corn starch (can be skipped)
  • 1 package of (plant-based) puff pastry

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 170-180°C. Peel the apples and chop them into small slices. Combine the apples and the spices + sugar + starch, add them to a large pan and put them on medium heat. Let the mix stew for a few minutes until slightly softened. In the meantime you can cut the dough so it fits whatever baking dish you are taking (a spring form, or a casserole dish like I used). Make sure to have a bit of dough as your edging and keep a bit of dough for the finishing touches. Fill in the apple mix and cover it with a nice lattice layering. Put your apple pie into the oven for around 30-40 minutes until the dough is golden brown. Enjoy!

If you want to make your own dough: Add 350g of flour, 4 tbsp icing sugar and 225g of dairy-free butter to a food processor and blend them until they are well combined (you can also do this by hand as well, but it’s just faster/easier with a food processor if you’ve got one of these at home). Slowly add water to the mix (in total around 80 ml, maybe more) until the dough clumps together. You can still kneed the dough a bit by hand, roll it into a ball and cover it with clingfilm and leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

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3. Simple Banana Bread (or banana muffins)

What you need:

  • 225g flour
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 75g vegetable oil
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 50g nuts, chopped

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Mash the bananas with a fork and mix them with the sugar and oil. Combine all the dry ingredients and add them to the banana-sugar-oil mix. Add any other ingredients (like chopped nuts, raisins, a tablespoon of maple sirup). Pour the dough into a loaf tin (or into muffin forms if you’d rather have it like that). Let it bake for at least 30 minutes, check whether the muffins are already done or if you should still keep it in the oven (the loaf definitely needs more than 30 min).

For a marble banana bread: mix 1 tbsp. cocoa powder with a bit of plant-based milk or water. Pour only half of the mix dough into the loaf, add the cocoa mix to the remaining and pour this into the loaf onto the other dough.

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4. Nut rolls

Another really easy recipe and finger food dessert are mini nut rolls. I’ve already introduced the nut roll recipe a few months ago, but instead of making a yeast dough  from scratch you can easily just swap it with store-bought puff pastry. Still delicious, and very easy to make!

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I hope you enjoyed this small collection of quick & easy plant-based dessert recipes. I’ll enjoy the last piece of apple pie with a cup of coffee now!

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Traditional Austrian desserts

I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of Austrian food. Too fatty, too meaty. But I love Austrian desserts. Applestrudel, Kaiserschmarrn, Sachertorte – I’m in. However, when I am in Austria I hardly ever eat it at restaurants (as I don’t go to typical Austrian cafés or restaurants to eat sweets there). So when I was at home with my parents I used our kitchen equipment and my mom’s knowledge of traditional food/sweets to make them myself.

Kaiserschmarrn
All you need for our former emperor (Kaiser in German) Franz Joseph I’s favourite sweet dish (hence the name) are eggs, milk, flour, raisins and a pinch of sugar. First you separate the egg yolks from the whites. Mix yolks, milk, flour and a pinch of (vanilla) sugar until it is a smooth dough. Then beat the egg whites till stiff and carefully fold the beaten egg white in. Add the raisins and you’re done! Now you need a frying pan, a bit of oil and make ‘pancakes’. After you’ve flipped the pancake for the first time, instead of leaving it like that you split it with two forks into pieces. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar and there you go – the Kaiserschmarrn is ready to be eaten up. Usually we eat it with stewed plums, but I’m not the biggest fan of it so I just made some applesauce.

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Bauernkrapfen
Bauernkrapfen are made out of a sweet yeast dough that is very traditional in parts of Austria (and apparently also in southern parts of Germany). The dough is shaped in a way that it is thicker on the edges and thin in the middle. I still don’t exactly know how to make the dough – only technically as I’ve only watched my mom doing so. But I know how to form the round buns (we even have a special verb for this) and how to make the typical shape afterwards. The frying part is also special, but I’m not going into this. ;) After they are fried we let them cool down for a bit and then eat them with powdered sugar or jam. Delicious!

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Sachertorte
Some time ago I came across this recipe from the lovely Eva of Electric Blue Food. So instead of posting her recipe you can just have a look at her page – it’s definitely worth a try! I wasn’t able to master the recipe as well as she did, but I also changed a few bits as I was lacking a few ingredients and had to substitute them with the things I had at home. Nonetheless, it made a delicious birthday cake for my Mom :)

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Admittedly, Austrian traditional sweets are very fatty and sugary but my mouth is already watering just from writing this post! Too bad that I have to wait a few months before I’m able to eat it again… :D

By the way – I decided to have a facebook page dedicated to this blog – go and check it out and maybe like it? pretty please :) –> just follow this link and do me the favour, yes? :)

Things I found out recently.

Have you ever thought to yourself: huh. This is new – I somehow like this now and I used to hate it. Or even just stuff that you have thought about before but just gotten around to the fact that this is what makes you who you are. So here are my top five things that I ‘became aware of’ in the past few months :)

Number 1: I am a nightowl.

Through and Through. I work best during the night. I am most productive during the night. I feel good during the night. I have always (kind of) known this. I used to stay up very late when I was younger so I could still finish this chapter of a book and the next chapter and the next chapter and the next. Then during high school I always studied late at night. I have never been one of those students who got up early in the morning to study right before school. And of course later at university it was a given to stay up til way after midnight ;) I had to write quite a few papers for uni in the past few months and that’s where it finally stuck. I don’t even have to try and start early in the morning. I’ll end up wasting my time anyways as I just don’t function well at certain times during day. With function I don’t mean that I can’t do anything. I just can’t focus on study-related things. The night is when I get my best work done. Or let’s say it like that: that’s where I get most of my work done :D

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Number 2: It is possible to turn from ‘hating’ something to ‘loving’ something.

Well, I never really hated coconut but I always went for the non-coconut flavour when I had the choice. And I am not actually at the loving point yet either, but I am getting to it :D I love the subtle taste of it on chocolate cake, I love it in my muesli. Before, I would have always opted out of it and would have disliked the subtlety of it. But now I feel like it makes the dish even better!

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My favourite Danish supermarket :)

Number 3: Chocolate from one of the finest chocolatiers still does not taste good if there’s liquorish in it.

Yes, I still haven’t gotten around to liking liquorish and I probably never will. There’s the liquorish border that divides countries – everyone above the line seems to like the taste and everyone below more or less hates it. So somehow there’s liquorish everywhere in the North. In everything. Yuck. To each his own! But don’t get me wrong – the ones without liquorish in it were delicious :D

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Number 4: I like living ‘by myself’.

I really enjoy living on my own without any flatmates. My landlady lives in the same flat, but she’s been travelling a lot and we spent only one month in total together in the flat. So basically – I have the flat all to myself most of the time. This is so convenient – I can do whatever I want whenever I want. As mentioned above – I am a nightowl and wander around during the night. With flatmates I always have to think about them and that I don’t want to disturb them. Also, with flatmates there’s always the risk that they wake you up earlier than you’d like to. :D

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Number 5: I now like Gilmore Girls.

I only watched a few episodes when I was younger and I never got the ‘hype’ of the show.  I was annoyed with the mom being the best friend of the daughter and all the superfast talking and the annoying voices they have and so on. Turns out – their German dubbing just sucks. The show is SO much better in English!  Except season 7. It sucks. I’m tempted to stop mid-season. Booh :(

 

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How about you? Any discoveries that you made about anything lately? :)