healthier raspberry + lemon cheesecake bars

INGREDIENTS

BASE:

  • 1 ¼ cups digestive biscuits, blended into fine crumbs (similar to almond meal)
  • 1 ½ cups almond meal
  • ½  cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

FILLING:

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 cup coconut cream (from a tin)
  • 125g cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½  lemon (juice only)
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

RASPBERRY SWIRL:

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries

METHOD

  1. Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees fan forced and line a baking tray (30cm x 20cm) with baking paper, overlapping the sides so you can easily lift out the cheesecake once its done. I usually put a tsp of coconut oil under the baking paper to help it stick to the tray.
  2. For the base, once you have blitzed the digestive biscuits, add all the base ingredients to a large bowl and mix well with clean hands, once combined, press the mixture evenly into the prepared baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until golden in colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  3. For the filling, add all the filling ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy, this can take a little while to ensure the cashews are smooth.  Set aside and prepare the raspberry swirl.
  4. For the raspberry swirl, heat the raspberries in a saucepan over a low heat until they become jam like in consistency. Let them cool a little and then blitz with a hand held blender or food processor. I then strain the raspberries to remove the seeds, this is definitely optional and it would be fine to leave the seeds in.
  5. Pour the cheesecake filling evenly over the cooled base, then carefully with a teaspoon spoon the raspberry onto the filling leaving about 2cm between each drop. Using a toothpick or skewer and starting at the centre of each raspberry drop, make a figure eight to get the swirl effect.
  6. Place the cheesecake in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, check once at 20 minutes to check the colour. Remove the cheesecake once it is golden and the filling is set, slightly wobbly in the middle is fine. Once the tin has cooled a little, place the cheesecake in the fridge to set, this should take at least 1 hour (maybe more, depending on your fridge). It should be firm and completely cooled.
  7. Once the cheesecake has set, carefully remove from the tin, it is helpful to use 2 people for this, one on each end of the baking paper lifting together so that the cheesecake does not break in the middle.
  8. Slice into squares and enjoy!

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