It’s the final week! I can’t believe it, April went by so fast. So many more things I would’ve made, but I should maybe save some things so that I can possibly do this again next year since I enjoyed myself so much (hopefully I wasn’t the only one?). And if I can’t wait quite that long, there’s always “Fool”-bruary. That’s a month right? 😉
Anywhoodle, for this final offering, I bring you mashed potatoes and gravy (sure this looks absolutely nothing like mashed potatoes and gravy, but for the sake of my ego, please pretend that that’s what you thought it was. Agreed? 😉 ). But these puppies ain’t your grandma’s Sunday roast dinner offering. These are the kind of delicious that you’ll definitely be returning for seconds….and possibly thirds. Cheesecake? Salted bourbon caramel sauce? What’s not to love here? (unless you’re a crazy person of course). In fact, if you’re the kind of person who’s all about avoiding the carbs that occur in real mashed potatoes, you get to avoid all that here! …sure it’s because they’re completely replaced by the much lower (read: zero) nutritional value of sugar-carbs, but hey, I can only do so much for you people, I’m not a miracle worker. Well…maybe I am just a little since I just turned your mashed potatoes and gravy into cheesecake and caramel sauce (side note – where was that sleight of hand when I was a kid?).
My other favourite thing about this month has actually been how surprisingly easy everything I made was. Probably the most time-consuming/ complicated, was last week’s grilled “cheese”. But even that was really only time-consuming in that the cake itself needed to be in the oven for almost an hour. It’s true torture was smelling it baking for that long without being able to eat it. And then having to wait for it to cool down too? What is this, prison? Next you’ll be telling me dinner’s just going to be a big ol’ blob of mashed potatoes and gravy. Well joke’s on you prison warden, because with a wave of my hand, and a little “abracadabra” magic, and SHAZAMO!! Cheesecake and caramel. Suck it!
Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked overnight in water and drained
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey (or just use all maple syrup)
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- pinch of salt
- salted caramel sauce (I used this recipe, but you can use anything you want. You could even just melt some brown sugar into some non-dairy milk and just gently cook until slightly thickened)
- shaved chocolate
Peanut Butter Cookie Crust (feel free to replace with crust of your choice)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup PB2 or powdered peanut butter/ peanut flour
- 2 tablespoons icing sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Note: For the photos, I didn’t use the baked version of the cheesecake because the colour got too toasted and didn’t look right (not that this looks right either though 🙂 ).
- Preheat oven to 350°F and lightly grease 12 muffin tins.
- Make the crust – In a large bowl, sift together the flour, powdered peanut butter, icing sugar and baking powder.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients (brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and coconut oil) until fully combined.
- Divide the mixture between muffin teens and bake for 5-10 minutes (just enough to firm it up slightly).
- Reduce oven heat to 325°F
- Add all your cheesecake ingredients to a food processor (or blender would probably work too), and blend until completely smooth and creamy. Adjust sweetness and lemony-ness to taste at this point.
- Pour filling over crusts, filling muffin tin most of the way full.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove before it looks completely set (edges should be fairly set, but the center should still have a slight wobble).
- Allow to cool completely before refrigerating.
- For “mashed potato” look, drizzle with salted caramel and shaved/ grated chocolate.
- Store in the refrigerator.