Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave
Add the maple syrup, ground almonds, brown rice flour and salt and mix well – add a splash of any plant-based milk if it’s looking too dry to combine
Transfer the dough to a round springform baking tin (I used a 18cm / 7 inch springform baking tin) – line the bottom and sides of the tin with greased baking paper to make it easier to remove the cheesecake afterwards
Use your fingers to push the dough all the way to the edges, then use the bottom of a glass (make sure to use one with a flat bottom!) to press down on it until the surface is completely even
Bake in oven for 10 minutes – you’ll be baking this again so you don’t want to over-bake at this stage!
For the filling:
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit)
Drain the soaked cashew nuts
Place the cashew nuts, tofu, pumpkin purée, maple syrup, lemon juice, cornflour (cornstarch), vanilla, mixed spice and ginger in a food processor or blender
Whizz until completely smooth – you will have to mix it around a few times to make it easier to blend up
Pour the cheesecake filling over the baked crust until it’s completely evenly covered and make sure the surface is smooth
Gently tap the baking tin on the counter a few times to get rid of air bubbles
Bake in the oven for 1 hour, until surface is golden brown – it will be a bit jiggly when you take it out, but will firm up as it cools
Make sure to leave the cheesecake to cool completely, keeping it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, before removing it from the baking tin (and pouring over the caramel sauce, if using)
For the caramel sauce (optional):
Only make this caramel sauce once the cheesecake has been kept in the fridge for at least 2 hours and removed from the tin and is ready for the sauce to be poured over
Place all the ingredients in a pan
Mix very well before turning on the heat, ensuring that the cornflour (cornstarch) has dissolved completely - otherwise the sauce will clump up as you heat it
Cook on a medium heat, stirring continuously, until thickened and bubbling gently
Pour the sauce over the top of the cheesecake immediately - otherwise it will firm up as it cools and won’t be pourable
Leave the sauce to cool slightly and firm up before slicing the cheesecake - otherwise you will end up with a gooey mess!
Tastes best eaten on the day or the day after it’s made, but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
*You can alternatively use almond flour.**You can use white rice flour but the texture is much better with brown rice flour.***You can replace the tofu with a thick plant-based yogurt, but the texture is better with tofu.
Top tips: Make sure to bake the crust and the filling at different oven temperatures – you’ll need to bake the filling at a lower temperature to ensure it cooks evenly without burning.
I’d recommend using a springform baking tin with a clasp, which makes it much easier to remove the cheesecake from the baking tin.
The cheesecake will sink a bit as it cools down – this is normal, so don’t worry about this.