When the ‘Hemsley and Hemsley’ book was published we all fell in love with their avocado cheesecake and spiralised veg to replace noodles. I bought their book based on the avocado and lime cheesecake recipe that appeared on their twitter feed one afternoon. Intensely green, it looked wonderful. My dinner guests agreed and I couldn’t help thinking about all the possible versions you could make using their recipe as a formula. Here is my first attempt, which although rather dark in colour owing to the use of dried blueberries, was astonishingly good. When I make this again I will experiment with fruit for a lighter hue.
Before you start you need a food processor to make this and an oblong loose-based tin measuring approximately 10 x 36cm (use a round one if necessary). You also need to soak the cashew nuts and blueberries overnight. This is a great dessert to make if you are entertaining vegetarian or vegan guests. Brilliant also when soft fruits are not in season.
125g nuts (not roasted), pecans and walnuts work well (or use a mixture)
45g desiccated coconut
85g raw cocoa nibs (optional)
185g dried fruit (I used a blend of cranberries, sultanas, cherries & goji berries)
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
225g raw cashew nuts
200g dried blueberries
125ml almond milk
1 tsp Manuka honey or Agave nectar to taste
4 tbsp melted coconut oil
Edible primrose petals or other flowers to garnish
The day before you want to make the bars put the cashew nuts and dried blueberries into a bowl and pour over the almond milk. Cover and leave overnight, mixing a couple of times.
First make the base. Place all the ingredients apart from the oil in the food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add the coconut oil then pulse and tip the mixture into the loose-based pan. Press down evenly with the back of a metal spoon until tightly packed and chill whilst you make the topping. Use the food processor again for the topping. Place all the ingredients into the bowl and blitz until the mixture is smooth. It may look like a lot and be quite gloopy but it will set. Pour the mixture onto the base and chill for at least 2-3 hours before serving. Cut into bars but not too thick this is quite rich!
For the base: Use the recipe as a formula here. You need to keep the ratio of nuts to fruit with the coconut oil. Stick to the amounts by always using 125g nuts to 185g fruit.
For the topping: Keep the ingredients the same ratio but experiment with different fruit. Blend dried and fresh fruit but be careful not to make the mixture too sloppy. Cashews are the best nuts to use for this as they blend down to a creamy texture more easily than others.