Saturday, 25 January 2014

Raw Chocolate and Orange Cheesecake

This week has zoomed by and it has been a super busy one. On Thursday it was my turn to host our fortnightly 'Coffee morning' that the Mums from our reception class started doing shortly after the October half term. The objective of the morning is to raise money for our school and so far we have already raised nearly £150 between a few Mum's, so really not bad going considering that we all get to chat and drink coffee or tea. It is the first time that I have hosted and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I absolutely LOVE tea parties and I think the thing I enjoy the most is the preparation, not that this small gathering required much. I have however had to be very organised as I had a funeral to go to on Wednesday and be there to support dear friends.

Fortunately you can make these Flourless Chocolate Brownies a few days in advance and they keep really well for up to a week, and if you like you can also freeze them. They are really delicious and are always a big hit with everyone, you can read more about it here. On Wednesday I quickly made my all time favourite lemon drizzle cake that I wrote about here, and I must say as always this was devoured. The thing that sets this lemon drizzle above any other is the use of ground almonds, which makes it really moist. It is also very lemony, which I love, not that I had a single morsel I will add.

Seeing that I am now officially on day 19 of my NO sugar diet, I had to find something that I could eat, so I thought I would have a go at making this vegan raw cheesecake. I have seen various recipes for raw cheesecakes over the years and despite wanting to try it, I have never actually gotten around to it. I must confess it ended up being quite a kerfuffle, but fortunately it is seriously DELICIOUS!! Basically the biscuit base is made up of almonds, dates and melted coconut oil, which was pretty straight forward, but the actual cheesecake, well lets just say a little less so and a little more prone to release a good repertoire of choice language.

It seems that my food processor just doesn't live up to the job. You see the cashew nuts, which I will add is an entire bag of 400g (so not the best low fat option!), has to be processed down into a nut butter paste, which was clearly just a little to tough going for my Kenwood Food processor. So in the end I had to blend down the cashew nuts, freshly squeezed orange juice, a few dates, cocoa powder and coconut oil in my teeny weeny electric spice grinder, a couple of spoons at a time, which turned this happy camper into a rather grumpy one.
Every cloud has a silver lining though!! Hubby saw and heard my mutter flowery language under my breath and kindly suggested that we needed to sort this out. You see, I am on a mission and when this girl gets going there is no stopping here. I am seriously looking at my diet and possibly moving into more of a raw food diet. It is slow steps, but I am reading heaps about this and trying to inform myself as best as possible. Despite starting The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt after finishing Bridget Jones's 'Mad about the Boy', I have now been side tracked and am reading Sweet Poison and researching the benefits of raw diets, but more on that at a later date.
I have a great deal to learn though as it seems that raw eating involves large quantity of fat every day and even though this is healthy fat, it is still unnecessary pressure on our livers. It is all a steep learning curve and I promise to share some information here soon for anyone interested. Anyway I digress, back to the silver lining. About three years ago my nutritionist, whom I have been working with since I fell ill, seriously suggested that I INVEST in a Vitamix, with INVEST most certainly being the operative word. After close consideration at the time and few pennies to spare we decided against it and bought a Kenwood blender to replace our then burnt out blender instead. In hindsight we should have saved the £140 we spent then and put it towards the Vitamix, but hey that's life.

So on Thursday after the girls had left I started doing a little research and within a few minutes of watching this video the decision was pretty much made. Even though we can't really afford it hubby was happy for us to make it work, and that is what we will do. So needless to say I am one very lucky and excited girl waiting with bated breath for the right knock on the door, even though I know it most probably won't be here for another week. A girl can be hopeful!

On Friday we had our 'stitch and bitch' and it was such a lovely morning. I actually picked up my quilting squares again as I didn't know what I wanted to work on and it felt so lovely to carry on where I left off at the end of last summer.

Even though it is only in the early stages, it is lovely to see a little progress. Needless to say I am working completely out of my comfort zone, if I have such a thing when it comes to sewing, but this is all new to me and without any training or help, I am just relying on my trusty Quilters Bible by Linda Clements. I must say I do wish I knew another quilter or someone interested in it as a little practical help here and there won't go amiss.

I love that both my friend and I always carry our cameras around with us and feel so at ease to snap away at random things without a blink of an eye lid from the other. The fun bit is that we have the same cameras too, and even though we are both pretty clueless we will hopefully learn a little together. I think more and more people take photos of everything, but as a blogger and instagram junkie, it often feels like I have my camera on me 24/7. I love how we get to see the different angles of life through a single lens.
This is a joyous sight that is making me smile every day. I am really enjoying seeing a little more life in the garden and in the home.


For anyone interested in joining in on my Weekly Bake, please feel free to do so. For my new readers, I generally do a post once a week about some or the other bake. This year I suspect you will largely be seeing healthy options, not a bad thing, but for anyone wanting to join in you can find the button on the sidebar of my blog to add to your blog and you can just click on the link below the post to link up your bake. There is no pressure and that includes myself. My aim this year is not to feel pressurised by anything, so if I miss a week, please feel free to go ahead and blog about it anyway. You can find quite a few recipes in my Weekly Bake and Gluten and Dairy Free Baking section, but now there will be a new section for Raw baking or food. At the moment I am seriously contemplating a 21 day raw food detox, anyone fancy joining in??

So before I sign off, I need to know have you all been watching The Great Interior Design Challenge??? Oh faint!!! I am just LOVING it. It was great watching some familiar faces on there such as Sarah Moore and Ooh Betty. It is so lovely to see the people we follow on our blogs and Instagram and to see them do so well at it. For anyone who has missed it you can watch it on iPlayer. DONT miss it!!
I have so many things to tell, but it will have to wait till next time as the family beckons and I think it might be time to play a game of monopoly or something. The wind is howling and it is throwing it down, the fire is lit and I think it calls for a cosy afternoon and a date with the telly later tonight to watch The Voice and hopefully a little time to do a little more crochet on my Spring throw. Tomorrow is Treacle market, but with weather like this, errm, time will tell.
That's it for now.
Warm Wishes


  1. Lovely post Hannapat with all sorts of wonderful things to drool over!! Your china is absolutely beautiful, it must be lovely to have a nice excuse to bring it out. We tend to use everyday crockery but I love eating and drinking from gorgeous china so am thinking maybe I ought to start collecting some! (Dont tell my hubby though, he already thinks we have lots!). I'm not sure I would be able to give up sugar so it will be interesting to see how you get along.
    Its funny that you mentionned carrying your camera around with you, I think most of us bloggers do anyway, well you never know what you might miss otherwise!

  2. Hello Lovely Hannapat what a fab post with so much going on - I tried the raw food diet many years ago when I decided to become a vegan, it wasn't the right time for me as the boys were tiny and I didn't have much time or money to spend on sorting out food. I have remained a vegetarian now for getting on for 45 years and have never regretted but I have been wanting to move on from this to a more healthier diet - I have put on a little weight over Christmas and also want to lose this - however when the old black dog is around I don't eat as well as I should as I have big chocolate urges! Would consider trying it with you lovely Hannapat. I was thinking of the Treacle Market tomorrow but the weather is just dreadful here at the moment and we have had wind, thunder and lightening today and it is still howling and absolutely pouring down with rain so maybe February? Cannot wait to meet up Hannapat, your tea party looked fabulous and I wish I could have joined you all. Sending you warm hugs and cuddles,
    Much love to you as always

  3. Hey Hannapat,

    I was given a couple of newspaper freebies from my father in law. They are recipies by Jenna Zoe. Some of them look very good. I am thinking of adopting a more gluten free diet and making a couple of other changes. Do you know anything about her? Do you have any advice/sites etc that I could have a look at.

    Your raw chocolate cheesecake looks delicious!

    Leanne xx

  4. The cheesecake looks and sounds wonderful. Well done you for persevering with your little grinder. And good luck with the new machine, it will inspire you I am sure. I was a vegan for 25 years, but unfortunately lapsed into being just a vegetarian now, and at the moment I'm not eating particularly well, and I'm trying very hard to do better. A raw food thing sounds great, but I really don't know if I could manage it, I always feel I need quite a lot of energy! I'll mull it over...

  5. Lovely post. Your baked goods always make me drool and once I get on a more even keep with the blood glucose I hope I can come back and try some of your culinary creations :-) I saw the link to your Vitamix. How wonderful! I was just responding to your comment on my blog and saying how I had purchased a good blender for making green smoothies. Mine isn't a Vitamix but is developed by Wolfgang Puck, chef to celebrities. I've had it now for about a month and I am quite pleased with it. It is very much like a Vitamix though I have yet to make hot soup in it. It turns out beautiful guacamole and hummus. Enjoy your quilting and your new juicer!

  6. Ag skattie, ek wens we lived closer so we could quilt together... and I'd get to taste those delicious looking bakes of yours too!
    It's pretty miserable weather down here today too, but just perfect for crafting and snuggling :-)
    Stay warm & have a lekker week,
    Hugs xxx

  7. I can smell those Hyacinths from here!

  8. I really admire you, sugar free, well it just processed sugar, or can't you have honey too? Yes I'm enjoying those programmes too :) x

  9. Your post today sounds so happy and jolly and cheery! It is lovely to read. Your selection of teacups and plates and so on is beautiful, your friends must really look forward to coming round to you for tea! You are doing well with your fundraising efforts. hope that you find a friend to quilt with! Have a good week. xx

  10. I think the cheesecake sounds delicious and as I am an agave user it seems like I could manage it. The flowers are beautiful and I am so glad yo have been able to spend time with friends, friends do make life tolerable as far as I am concerned.

  11. I think the cheesecake sounds wonderful. I've never eaten nor made a raw cheesecake but I'd love to try it. I am so jealous of your Vitamix! Those are really awesome. I always look at them in Costco. Your moms' tea sounds really nice, I would enjoy that too. I hope you have a great week.

  12. Hello lovely you're tea cups are soooooooo pretty, I've never try raw cheesecake but it looks really good, as of Feb I'm starting a anti imflamm diet full on no sugar yeast or gluten, so figer crossed it helps, hope you've had a good weekend, I went on a major wheelchair adventure and it was great, a wildlife adventure
    Clare xx

  13. What a wonderful post! Oh how I wish I could join in that beautiful tea party, and to praise your efforts with the cakes! Well done for persevering and really embracing this healthy change - I'd be so interested to learn more about the detox...and I have some patchwork to share in a day or two! Chrissie x

  14. Gosh you sure know how to put on a pretty tea party and your raw cheese cake looks very delicious. One of my colleagues bought a Vitamix and says she has never looked back (despite the steep price). I think it will be a very worthwhile investment Hanapat and should serve you very well, so exciting xxx take gentle care xxx

  15. LOVE your tea cups. The brownies and the cakes looks so delicious.

  16. I've been really enjoying your raw food/sugar free posts Hannapat. This cake looks intriguing, and your previous chocolate ganache raspberry cake looked so good too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this process with us. I was a bit late to the party with the GIDC but I'm watching them all on catch up now and loving them. x