Cashew Peanut Butter Mini-cheesecakes
1 cup walnuts
1 cup whole pitted dates, soaked for 1 hour in hot water
1 pinch salt
1.5 cups raw cashews, soaked in boiling hot water for several hours (2 hours is usually all it takes for me, but they can take up to 6 hours according to many recipes)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup (scant) melted coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut milk, full fat is imperative, chilled in the fridge (see tip in Directions)
1/3 cup agave nectar (or maple syrup...or honey...)
2 tbsp (heaping) natural unsalted peanut butter
1/2 tsp salt (or use salted peanut butter)
After soaking and draining the dates, put them in the food processor and chop them until they start to form a paste. Remove them from the food processor (don't bother washing though) and add the walnuts and salt. Pulse-chop until you have a coarse meal. Put the date-paste back into the food processor and process until you have a sticky dough. Add more walnuts if you prefer a drier crust.
Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups. Drop 1 tbsp of walnut-date crust into each cup. Carefully spread the crust over the bottom of each cup with a small spoon. This might be messy and delicate and will take a bit of patience!
Drain the cashews if you haven't already. Place the cashews in the blender along with the other filling ingredients. Tip for the coconut milk: put the entire can of coconut milk in the fridge a few hours before construction of the cheesecakes, then scoop the creamy mass off the top of the coconut milk and use only this semi-solid cream for the cheesecake filling. This will lead to more solid and creamier cheesecake!
You'll blend the filling for a few minutes until completely creamy. Add a tiny bit of water if needed just so things blend a bit easier. The texture should be completely smooth (if you haven't soaked your cashews long enough, you'll have problems with texture - make sure you can squish the cashew between your fingers to ensure it's soaked long enough).
Pour the filling into each muffin cup and place the whole muffin tin in the freezer for 3-4 hours.
You'll be able to tell when it's ready because the filling will have hardened completely. It's nice to take the cheesecake out of the fridge for 5-10 minutes before consumption because then it'll have softened to a heavenly consistently!