Sweet treats

Dairy-free banana cheesecake recipe

Serves 8

While this dairy-free cheesecake isn’t technically made with real cheese, this simple yet impressive dessert is also gluten and egg-free. Liz first made this recipe for her eldest son Guy (who is lactose intolerant). The base uses fresh coconut, but you can just as well use dried desiccated coconut flakes and a tin of coconut milk or just plain water.

Those who prefer a firmer ‘cheese’ layer can add a little gelatine (or the vegetarian version, agar) to help set the mixture. Without this, it will work just as well, but bear in mind it may be slightly soft. If you’re making your dairy-free cheesecake recipe in advance, brush the top with a glucose and lemon juice glaze to stop the sliced bananas on top from turning brown. Alternatively, slice the bananas and arrange at the last minute before serving.

Bananas are rich in potassium, which can help lower blood pressure. Feel free to experiment with a different fruity topping too. We particularly love adding strawberries, which are packed with vitamin C. These juicy berries work particularly well for a summer’s party.

You will need one 20cm (8”) loose-bottomed flan or pie tin and a food processor.

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Ingredients

For the topping

  • 4 heaped tbsp plain, unsalted cashews
  • 100ml coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or the inner scrapings of a vanilla pod
  • 2 medium-sized bananas
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp liquid glucose mixed with lemon juice (for the glaze, optional)

For the base

  • 4 tbsp coconut flesh, finely chopped & whizzed in food processor (or the dried packet version with 2 tbsp water)
  • 1 tbsp plain sesame oil (or similar light tasting such as rapeseed, almond or GM-free corn oil)
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Method

  1. Place your cashews, coconut milk and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix well. Leave for an hour or two so that the cashews absorb the liquid.
  2. Tip into a food processor and grind well for a minute or two until smooth, adding a small amount of water as necessary.
  3. Add one peeled banana and mix again until smooth. Set to one side.
  4. Mix the base ingredients together in a bowl. Use a spatula to press down into the base of an oiled, loose-bottomed flan or pie tin (approx. 20cms/8” in diameter).
  5. Cover with the ‘cheese’ mixture and put in the fridge for a few hours to chill and set.
  6. Remove the cheesecake from the tin (you may need to keep the metal base in place), top with sliced bananas and a fine dusting of sifted cocoa powder. If making in advance, lightly brush the banana slices with the glaze once they have been arranged in place to prevent discoloration, then dust with cocoa. Keep chilled until ready to eat. Enjoy!