Vanilla Yoghurt Cheesecake with honey almond crust

Have you ever lost your heart to a cookbook?  I have.

A month ago my heart was officially lost to the gorgeous ‘My Petite Kitchen Cookbook’ from NZ blogger/author Eleanor Ozich.  So simple and beautiful are her recipes and images, that I have found myself not only cooking from it, but quite often I will just sit and read it as I would a novel, as I have my afternoon coffee.

2014-12-11 16.49.13(the Rosewater and Almond Cake from the book that I made for my birthday, for my son’s Christmas concert and for Christmas Day sweets!)

2014-12-15 11.38.11(Simple.  Delicious. Another of my favourites from the book that I made for a long overdue catch up with my girlfriend)

The recipe for the base of this cheesecake is taken from the book.  I had made the tart shell, thinking I would make the strawberry pie for Christmas lunch, when I had to quickly change plans after discovering my strawberries had all been eaten!  2 days later, I unwrapped it from the fridge to find it in perfect condition still, so I set about filling it with something lovely and creamy, using what I had on hand.

To be honest, if you’re not queasy about gelatine and can access a good, grass fed version, I think it will benefit the overall end result.  I found with the agar agar I used (perhaps I needed to use a little more) that the filling didn’t quite set as well as I’d hoped, (the base, was of course, perfect!)

 I um’d and ah’d about including this recipe, but I know that many of you like a good challenge and are happy to fiddle with a recipe, so make any adjustments you feel like and see how you go!

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Ingredients for the Base:

(makes one 25cm tart shell)

4 T melted (cooled) coconut oil

3 cups almond meal (I grind my own using blanched almonds in the Vitamix)

2 Tablespoons of honey

Ingredients for the Filling:

2 T agar agar powder or gelatine powder

100ml lemon juice

1 x 270ml can coconut cream – kept in the fridge to thicken for a minimum of 12 hours

2 cups thick, natural Greek yoghurt

1/2 cup honey

2 tsp vanilla extract

teeny pinch salt

Sliced strawberries to top the cake. (about 15 sliced into 3 thick slices)

Method:

Base:  Combine the honey, almond meal and coconut oil in the food processor and add just under 2 T water.

Pulse to combine the mix.

Pres into the well greased (and line the base) tart shell and bake in a preheated oven (160 degrees) for about 10-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool and remove from the shell.

Filling:

Dissolve the gelatine or agar agar (I used the agar agar) in 100ml of lemon juice, warming over a pot of simmering water on low heat.

Once the thickener has melted, remove from the heat.

Scoop out the thick coconut cream and combine it in a food processor with the yoghurt, honey, vanilla and salt.

Run the processor until the mix is well combined.

Slowly drizzle the agar agar liquid with the motor running.

To Assemble:

Pour the mix into the tart shell and top with the strawberries.

Leave to set overnight in the fridge.

Serve cold, straight from the fridge

Keeps in a covered container in the fridge for around a week.

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(tart case recipe credit here.)

(filling recipe adapted from here)

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