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No-Bake Vegan Desserts
No-bake cakes tend to be rich and heavy. Using coconut milk along with a gelling agent gives desserts a light end result. With a light and creamy filling and fruity strawberry jam, this one’s perfect for summer! Although you can use store-bought strawberry jam, I recommend taking this recipe to the next level with my Strawberry and Vanilla Bean Jam.

Makes one 9-inch (23-cm) tart

Note: Agar-agar is a plant- based gelatin obtained from red algae. This is a flavorless yet powerful setting agent for tarts, jelly and desserts.

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© 2022 Leopold, Christina / Melia · Reproduced with permission.
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  • Step 1

    To make the crust, put the cashews, oats and salt in your food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes until the ingredients form a light crumb consistency. Add the maple syrup and creamed coconut and blitz again until the mixture sticks together when you press it between your fingers.

  • Step 2

    Take a 9 x 3–inch (23 x 7.5–cm) cake pan with a removable bottom and line the bottom with parchment paper. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan (working approximately 2 inches [5 cm] up the edges). Ensure that the dough is firmly packed by pressing down on it with the flat bottom of a glass.

  • Step 3

    Spoon some of the strawberry jam onto the base of the tart in an even layer, about 1⁄4 inch (6.5 mm) thick, and place in the freezer while you prepare the rest of the tart.

  • Step 4

    To prepare the filling, cut the vanilla pod in half lengthways and scrape out the seeds with a knife. Put the scraped vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan with the coconut milk and bring to a simmer. (Reserve the remaining half of the pod for another use.) Add the vanilla extract and maple syrup and whisk well.

  • Step 5

    In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and agar-agar. Pour approximately 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) of the warmed coconut milk mixture into the bowl and whisk well to form a paste. Add the cornstarch paste back to the pan with the remaining coconut milk and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow to simmer for 2 minutes, lowering the heat back to medium, while continuously whisking. Then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl.

  • Step 6

    Pour the mixture into the cake base and allow it to cool slightly for about 5 minutes before placing it in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours. Once set, carefully remove the tart from the pan, using a sharp knife to loosen around the edges and make sure the crust isn’t sticking to them.

  • Step 7

    Garnish with fresh strawberries and serve.

  • Step 8

    Store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or alternatively freeze and defrost as needed before serving.

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