Vegan Rosemary Fig Cheesecake
Vegan, Gluten-Free Rosemary Fig “Cheese”cake
START TO FINISH: 45 minutes
1 cup packed pitted dates (soft and moist)
1 cup raw walnuts
1-2 sprigs candied rosemary (from syrup)
For Fig Layer
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 bag figs, very ripe (Nawara Farm)
1 1/4 cup cup cashews, quick-soaked*
1/3 cup coconut cream**
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
For Rosemary Syrup
1/3 cup water
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
For Rosemary Cream
3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary, each about 2 inches
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut cream**
For Rosemary Layer
1/3 cup rosemary syrup
1/3 cup rosemary cream
1 1/4 cup cashews, quick-soaked*
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
For Salted Caramel
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 heaping tablespoons coconut cream, cold
* Pour boiling water over cashews to fully submerge and let soak for 1 hour before draining.
** To get the cream, simply place a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge at least a day before needed. Remove from fridge and gently invert the can and open. Pour off the layer coconut water and scoop out the coconut cream for use.
Prep (up to one day beforehand, or while cashews are soaking)
Rosemary syrup — In a saucepan over medium heat, combine syrup ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves and regularly thereafter until mixture begins bubbling and thickens. Pick out or strain out rosemary sprigs, saving 1-2 for the crust.
Rosemary cream — In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup coconut cream with fresh rosemary sprigs over gentle heat until cream begins to simmer. Continue cooking for a few minutes until thickened, then remove from heat. Pick/strain out rosemary sprigs. Mix in vanilla and let cool.
Fig jam — In a saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and vinegar until dissolved and starting to caramelize. Add figs, stirring frequently and mashing figs with a spatula to incorporate. Continue cooking for about 8-10 minutes, or until figs darken and thicken into jam-like consistency. Set aside.
Salted caramel — Heat sugar over medium heat until begins to caramelize, stirring continuously; add coconut oil when sugar is light amber color and stir to combine. When caramel begins to simmer, remove from heat and add coconut cream—mixture will fizz! Stir until combined and resembles caramel. Add salt and mix well.
In a food processor, blend dates until it resembles a soft ball of dough. Remove and set aside. Then process walnuts and candied rosemary into a coarse meal. Add dates to the meal and continue blending briefly until just incorporated. Remove from blender and work the ‘dough’ with hands until dough is well mixed. Line the bottom pan of a 9” springform pan with wax paper, then press down crust down into the pan to form an even layer.
For the fig layer, combine half of the fig jam with rest of filling ingredients in blender—blend until very smooth. Stir in remaining half of fig jam before spreading over crust.
To make pictured swirl pattern in cheesecake, use salted caramel to make a whirl starting from the outside rim inwards. Use a toothpick to draw a curved line inwards, repeat every inch or so about the circumference of the cake. Cover and freeze until hard, usually overnight. Before serving, garnish with fresh slices of fig and sprigs of rosemary. Serve each slice with an additional drizzle of salted caramel.
Recipe adapted from The Minimalist Baker by Hannah Chen