This month's Recipe ReDux theme is Spring Cleaning. It's all about using those things you find in the back of your cupboard that you've maybe been ignoring for a little too long. For me, this usually includes an insane amount of nuts and some chocolate that has "bloomed" some time ago. Well, that's a pretty good place to start, don't you think?
Another item I've had in my pantry forever and rarely use is coconut oil. I know, I know, it's a wonder ingredient that you can use anywhere, blah blah blah. But the thing is, I don't like coconut. Like, at all. So I use the oil sparingly, and occasionally I'll try it out in a recipe and the flavor is so strong and overpowering to me that I simply cannot eat it. This is not one of those recipes. This recipe hides the coconut flavor wonderfully, allowing me to slowly use up this pantry item, one spoon at a time.
Anyway, I took one of the many bags of cashews I usually have on hand, soaked them, and put them through a food processor with some maple syrup, vanilla, coconut oil, and lemon juice. Then I poured the mixture over some melted then re-hardened chocolate deliciousness (you'd never know that chocolate had looked all funny just a few moments before!), stuck it in the freezer, and called it cheesecake. Surprisingly, it does feel a lot like cheesecake. Just chalk it up to the magic of cashews.
I've made this cheesecake as a single, whole pie before, as small individual sized cakes, and this time, as something in between. The cashews and chocolate make for an incredibly rich cake, so I highly recommend lightening it up with fresh strawberries. I also strongly suggest eating it in the sunshine on a warm day. But that's just me.
What's been hanging out in your pantry?