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.
© 2023 Leopold, Christina / Melia · Reproduced with permission.
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You Will Need
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Garnish with fresh strawberries and serve.
Store the cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days or alternatively freeze and defrost as needed before serving.