150g(1cup)raw cashew nuts soaked in cold water overnight or in hot water for 15 minutes
300g(10.5oz)silken tofu *** (NOT firm tofu)
16tablespoonsmaple syrup(or sub any other similar sweetener)
6teaspoonscornflour (cornstarch)(or sub arrowroot)
For the crust and topping:
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, milk, ground almonds, brown rice flour and salt and mix well – add an extra splash of milk if it’s looking too dry to combine.
Divide the dough in half.
Transfer one half of the dough into a square or rectangular baking tin lined with greased baking paper – I used a 23cm/9inch square baking tin.
Use your fingers to push the mixture all the way to the edges, then use a spatula to press down on it until the surface is completely even.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes - you don't want to over-bake at this stage as you'll be baking it again later.
Place the remaining half of the dough in the fridge while you make the rest (this will help it firm up and make it easier to crumble over the top after).
For the cheesecake filling:
Drain the soaked cashew nuts.
Place the cashew nuts, tofu, maple syrup, lemon juice, cornflour (cornstarch) and vanilla 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.
Use your fingers to crumble the rest of the dough mixture over the top until it is all used up and the cheesecake filling is completely covered.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown - the cheesecake filling will be a bit jiggly when you take it out, but it will firm up as it cools.
Make sure to leave it to cool completely before removing from the baking tin and slicing, ideally placing it in the fridge for at least 2 hours to firm up.
Taste best eaten on the day or the day after they're made, but keep covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
*You can alternatively use almond flour.**You can use white rice flour or gluten-free 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. Tips for making this recipe
For optimum lemon flavour, I would recommend using fresh lemons (not ones that you've had sitting in your fruit bowl for weeks!) and organic ones if possible.
Even so, the acidity and lemon flavour can really vary depending on the lemons you use, so I recommend tasting the lemon juice you're using and adjusting the amount of lemon juice you use accordingly.
The cheesecake filling will still be soft enough to jiggle a bit in the middle when you remove it from the oven - it will firm up as it cools down.
The cheesecake filling will sink a bit as it cools down - this is normal, so don't worry about this.