How to make Raw Desserts, Cheese Cake, or Vegan No-Bake Cake better
In this Blog Post, I am going to show you some easy tricks, on how you can make your no - bake or raw cheesecake even better!
Common Problems with Raw Desserts
Overuse of Nuts
Raw desserts including cheesecakes rely heavily on nuts and seeds. And a lot of the time there is good reason for it. Using nuts and seeds helps to standardize the recipe, which makes them easier to follow by others and to repeat yourself.
In addition, nuts, like dairy, contain a combination of a high ratio of protein and fat, with lower amounts of carbohydrates (depending on the nut).
This specific configuration of macronutrients, enables us to use both nuts and seeds to create dairy – like consistencies.
By soaking nuts in water, the fats become saturated with it, which creates smooth and, yes, dairy like textures.
However, one problem is that the nuts are often not easily digested, and if eaten excessively, I see many people become bloated, with light cramps or other digestive issues that lead to many things from weight gain to skin rashes.
Why nuts are indigestible
Nuts are by nature intended to help a plant, like a tree, propagate. However, animals and humans have found nuts and the fruit around them to be delicious and nutritious – and started to eat them.
So in order to ensure their survival, plants have made their seeds indigestible and in that way made animals and humans their helpers in their proliferation: As the animal travels with the nuts in their digestive track to a different place, at some point it will excrete it on hopefully fertile soil, and the plant can start to grow there.
It is a really clever trick of nature
TIP 1: Soak Nuts and Seeds
So if we as humans want to trick nature back, we need to soak nuts and seeds. This releases their enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid and activates the sprouting or germination process.
Once that process has been initiated, the nut doesn’t need to protect itself anymore, so to speak, and is easier to digest for us as humans.
Every nut has different soaking and sprouting times.
For the purpose of making Raw Vegan Cakes, we can say to soak nuts in water at room temperature over night. This is enough time for any nut to be fully saturated with water and the enzyme inhibitors to be washed out.
Be sure to rinse your nuts carefully with fresh water, also in order to get rid of any dust, dirt, and some of the fat as well!
TIP 2: Fermentation
For many people, this is not even enough. They still find nuts are heavy, and difficult to digest.
In this case, adding a probiotic will help the bacteria in our gut break down the cake more easily.
And we are talking about cheesecake after all. And cheese indicates fermentation!
Blend up your nuts for your cheese with some probiotic powder or liquid and let it ferment for up to 48h in a warm place (85°F) in a cheese cloth with good airflow all around.
This is enough time for the bacteria culture to grow, which will help you digest the cheese easier.
In addition, the fermentation process also results in little air pockets within the cheese.
This makes your whole raw cheesecake filling lighter, less dense and more palatable.
Do note that fermentation will create a slightly sour flavor. So always taste test as you ferment, and reduce any amounts of acid in the recipe to balance the flavor.
Fermentation also always bares the risk of mould, so always check with your eyes, nose and lastly your mouth whether any mould has occurred. If your cheese has black – pink fluff or streaks, discard it! As some of the mould can really be harmful.
TIP 3: Mix and Substitute with Fruits
This can be as easy as using avocado or young coconut, but can also get more advanced through using banana, mango or berries.
On the first glance you may wonder, why are these other fruits more advanced?
The reason is their acid and water content, which may change every time you use them. Using only these fruits can create unpredictable results, so if in doubt, add some soaked nuts and seeds to a large quantity of fruits to stabilize the mixture.
Problem: Setting Raw Cake
A problem that I see with most raw cheesecakes, and most raw cakes over all, is that many recipes require freezing in order for them to set.
Most recipes rely on a saturated fat that is stable below room temperature, like coconut oil.
However, as soon as it is warmer and you are not in a chilled room, your cake melts away with the coconut oil.
Because of that very same reason, cafes all over the world freeze their raw cakes.
This has further implications: You need to be able to take out your cake 20 minutes before serving for the perfect consistency, maybe store some pieces earlier in the fridge.
Too often the timing is not perfect, which means that you end up with a block of frozen cake on a plate.
This has never been a positive experience for anyone.
Alternatively, people like to use dates or other dried fruit. Which most often results in a very sticky, rustic and dense texture.
Tip 4: Setting Cakes
I am not saying that any of the techniques that are commonly used, shouldn’t be used.
Instead we can use different tricks to make our cakes better: Experiment with thickeners, like Irish Moss, Agar, Xanathan, Cacao Butter and Change Up ratios of Coconut Oil.
By really understanding how different thickeners and stabilizers work, we know how to use them and can create delicious raw cakes that set perfectly and melt only once on your tongue.
Tip 5: Balancing Sweetness
Because so many raw desserts rely on freezing as the main technique to get them to set, a higher amount of sweetener is needed.
You wonder why? When something that is frozen touches our taste buds, these taste buds become numb.
This means that their ability to taste is reduced – and we need to add more flavors and flavor intensifiers to make these foods tasty.
As soon as we stop relying solely on freezing, we can start to play around with sweetener ratios. Reduce sweetness AND Sugar intake.
In addition, the world of raw vegan desserts really offers such a wide array of options for sweeteners – from fresh and dried fruit, over syrups and dried sugars and nectars.
Many of these sweeteners are not actually raw, but are often accepted in the raw food world as of raw quality, or have just generally been accepted because of practicality.
Vegan Raw Cakes as a step to a healthier Diet
When it comes to raw cheesecake, surely it is not the holy grail to health. For sure, it is still an indulgent dessert. However one that has the added benefit of intact nutrients and minerals, which make raw desserts distinct from standard sweets in the supermarket.
Especially for anyone who is trying to make the first steps towards a healthier diet, they are a fantastic solution that help for an easy transition to a new lifestyle.
The tips above will help you make the most of it!
Want to learn more about Raw Cakes?
In my Online Class I teach how you can make delicious raw desserts, and I share with you the tricks of the trade to make them beautiful and tasty!