Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
This ANZAC Cheese Cake was freakin’ awesome. I should know; I ate it for dessert, breakfast and somewhere around lunch. I got the idea from a recipe I saw on Taste and adapted it so I could eat it (all?). The base is made from crushed ANZACs, (you could use these ANZACs instead if you prefer less dates) the cheese cake is stabilised Coconut Cream and the caramel is made using ANZAC flavours. The great thing about this ANZAC ‘Cheese’ Cake is that it’s not overly sweet. Much of the feedback from the original recipe was that it was tooth-achingly sweet, this was not the case with my version. The reason is the subtleness of the Coconut Cream. I have found (in my ample tasting career) that creating a balance in the layers of a dessert helps with creating an even taste. There’s nothing worse than too many competing flavours; thankfully this ANZAC ‘Cheese’ Cake is a winner.
This ANZAC ‘Cheese’ Cake is Gluten Free, Dairy Free (as coconut cream is used) and can be made Vegan Friendly. The ANZAC biscuits are vegan friendly and instead of using gelatine to set the cream the Vegan version will just require longer in the fridge to set (or the freezer). The cream may not be as set but the flavours will still be amazing. You could also use these Gluten Free ANZAC’s which are much lower in fructose.
How amazing does the ANZAC caramel look oozing over the cake?! I have used Golden Syrup to maintain the traditional ANZAC flavour but Molasses or Maple Syrup can be used instead although it will alter the taste slightly.
Many Dairy Free Cheese Cakes use cashews to create the soft cream cheese experience. Whilst these faux cheese cakes do taste great I find that that many nuts makes me ill. I like to use Coconut Cream to recreate that cheese cake texture. There are a few tricks with using Coconut Cream. Not all cans are created equal. Some Coconut Creams are too watery, some have a grainy texture and others are just a flop. I am the crazy lady at the supermarket shaking the cans making sure they’re not too sloshy. The next trick is allowing the cream to thicken and separate from the water. To make this happen the can of cream needs to have the tin lid removed and the can placed in the fridge for at least overnight, but the longer the better. The cream will thicken and the watery component will separate to the bottom of the tin. Spoon the thickened cream from the can and whip it… whip it real good. The watery part can be kept and used in a smoothie, to set gelatine or in other baking. If your cream is still looking sad put it back in the fridge for a couple of hours to thicken (or the freezer) or use Gelatine. Gelatine is great for setting cream (or mousse or custards) so it can be sliced and served in a cake. Set the gelatine in water, then dissolve to a liquid again and add it the cream. Gelatine takes approximately 4-6 hours to set a liquid so make sure you factor that in to you preparation time. In the case of the ANZAC ‘Cheese’ Cake the cream will set in the biscuit base.
- ANZAC biscuit Base (see recipe below)
- 2 1/2 to 3 Cups Coconut Cream (this will require 2 400ml cans of Coconut Cream/Milk, lid removed and placed in the fridge overnight to thicken. only use the thickened cream, not the watery part)
- 4 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- 4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 3 teaspoons Gelatine (omit for a vegan version)
- 1 serve ANZAC Caramel
- 300 grams of ANZAC Biscuits (approximately 12 cookies)
- 1/3 Cup melted Coconut Oil
- 2 Cups Desiccated Coconut
- 1 Cup Dates
- 1/4 Cup Almond Meal (seed meal can be used for a nut free version)
- 1/4 Cup Golden Syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon Bicarb
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 3/4 Cup Coconut Cream (or Coconut Milk thickened in the fridge)
- 1/4 Cup Golden Syrup (can be replaced with Molasses or Maple Syrup)
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Dash of Salt
- Place the thickened coconut cream, vanilla extract and maple syrup in the bowl of a kitchen stand mixer with a whisk attached. Whisk until combined and thickened.
- In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatine over 2 Tablespoons of water and allow to sit for 3 minutes to set. Fill a larger bowl with hot water and place the gelatine bowl over the water and dissolve (alternatively do this in a small saucepan over a low heat)..
- Add the dissolved gelatine mixture into the cream and whipped until combined.
- Pour the cream into the set biscuit base and place on the fridge for 4-6 hours or until set (over night is ok). If you are pressed for time place the 'cheese' cake can be placed in the freezer for 1 hr to quicken the process.
- Once set, pour and and spread the cooled ANZAC caramel over the top of the cheese cake and serve.
- Keep the ANZAC 'Cheese' Cake in the fridge between serving.
- Line and grease a 20cm/8inch round springform cake tin.
- Place the biscuits into a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Add the melted coconut oil and process until combined.
- Press the cookies into the bottom and up the sides of the tin.
- Place in the fridge for 1 hour (or freezer for 30 minutes if you are pushed for time) to set.
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
- Line and grease 2 baking trays.
- Put all the ingredients into a blender and process until combined and soft.
- This will take up to 10 minutes depending on the strength of your blender. If your blender is not too strong soak the dates in boiling water for 10-20 minutes and then drain and dry thoroughly.
- Take heaped tablespoons of mixture and roll into a ball.
- Place the ball on the baking tray and flatten the ball with the palm of your hand to the desired thickness (this will dictate how crunchy the biscuits bake). Repeat with the remaining mixture; it will make approximately 15 biscuits.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes for thinner, crunchier cookies and 12-15 for thicker cookies.
- The cookies will still be soft straight out of the oven but will harden upon cooling.
- Allow to cool completely before using to make the base.
- Place the coconut cream and golden syrup in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium/high heat.
- Simmer over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until darkened and the mixture has halved in volume.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt and allow to cool completely before using. This can be done by placing the caramel in the fridge.