Wednesday, 25 January 2012

lavender & lemon "cheesecake"


Oh my. This is raw, vegan, and absolutely divine.

I know the flavours are rather summery, and yet it's January. But I thought "what the heck"... I doubt anyone will complain.I highly suggest you make this as soon as possible, and feel your world come alive. This is actually my first raw cheesecake, and I now know it will become one of my stand-by special desserts. It's delightful, truly. 

It's wonderful how first you get that taste of lemon, fresh and light; then right after, you begin to taste the subtle lavender coming through and are surprised by how much you like it!


Who could have imagined a handful of raw, whole foods could create such a beautiful and elegant dish? Well I'm not gonna lie... I could easily imagine it. But that's only because I'm so in love with raw desserts (and food).

Share this delicate and lovely cheesecake with your loved ones; and enjoy the tastes, textures, and simple happiness they all bring.


Lavender & Lemon Cheesecake: makes 1 cheesecake 

Crust:
1/2 cup dates
1 1/2 cups nuts (I used soaked walnuts and almonds)

Surround the inside of a cake pan with wax paper or plastic wrap. Process dates and nuts together until you get a rough, sticky mixture that you can pat down with your hands into the bottom of the cake pan. Do so. Set in fridge.

Cheesecake:
3 cups cashews (preferably soaked for 3-4 hours)
3/4 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup honey/agave/maple syrup
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1-3 teaspoons dried lavender  (depends on how much you like lavender; I used 3)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract/seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod

Blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy. It will taste... glorious. I'm not kidding, angels may start singing. Pour onto crust in cake pan and set in the freezer or fridge until it has the hardness you want (probably 3-5 hours or overnight). Take out of cake pan holding the wax paper or plastic wrap and put on your favourite plate. Slice and enjoy.


119 comments:

  1. Pardon me, but when did honey become vegan...? This looks amazing though!

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    1. I'm sorry about that. You can easily just use agave or maple syrup! =)Because you're right, it does come from animals. But after a lot of critical thought, I myself am comfortable eating raw, organic and local honey.

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    2. Hey, it's not a big deal if you eat honey. Some vegans will strip you of the name "vegan" because you eat honey. Who cares? I'm a vegan myself but I eat honey. Doesn't make me any less of a plant-based eater!

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    3. Hi(:

      Not trying to start an argument or anything but the honey industry is really sad, i read this article from peta a while ago talking about what's wrong with honey. I'm not sure about organic and local honey though but here's the article anyway. Please read it. http://www.peta.org/about/faq/Whats-wrong-with-eating-honey.aspx . Thankyou.

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    4. Hey! I'm with 100% I despise the honey industry, it's equally as immoral and damaging as factory farming. Having said that, local, humanely retrieved, organic honey is a beautiful thing. I recommend you watch a doc called Queen of the Sun to get the other perspective :D I'm not telling anyone that they should eat honey, but just saying that it is unique among other animal products in that in can be a 100% humane and positive process.

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    5. Thankyou for understanding my concern :) I will make sure to watch that documentary.

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  2. this was soo good! i'm not really a dessert person-but i would totally have this again and again-it's mult-layered just like a good scotch!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, someone else told me that too... =)

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  3. i LOOVE this blog. it is so rare i come across a blog that i love so much from the start. you write beautifully and i like your ideals. especially the "i eat what i want" thing. so true. i couldn't agree more. thank you! i will keep following you!

    jamie

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    1. Thank you SO much, Jamie! I can't tell you what that means to me. Looking forward to see your comments in the future =)

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  4. I am sooooo loking forward to try this one!!

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    1. Thanks! You should be. It's ridiculous; my lil bro even loves it =)

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  5. Ah-mazing! I am totally going to make this, except tweak it a bit as I cook with YL essential oils and so I will use my lavender and lemon essential oil! I am SOOO excited and cannot wait to make it. Cheesecake is my favorite. We will also make ours dairy free. Hope it turns out as delicious as yours looks! Thanks so much!

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    1. Mmm thanks, Carrie! I was thinking about doing that next time I make it - add lavender oil I mean. It'll bring out the flavour way more.
      I don't think you'll be disappointed! =)

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  6. Gorgeous photos. I've never used lavender in desserts but this recipe is awfully persuading! Yum!

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    1. Thank you, Ashley. Yes! I definitely recommend using lavender. I was skeptical at first too, but then my mind was changed =)

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  7. looks lovely. is there a particular type of lavender you use or just any old kind? do you find it in the spice isle? i've never used it before in food :) also what size cake pan does this recipe fit? really looking forward to making it! sorry for all the questions hehe.

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    1. No worries, Rachel. I use the kind we grow in our garden... which seems to be normal old lavender. I think any kind would work though. We dry it, and then I mashed that into a powder in a mortar and pestle. If you're making a lot at a time, you could also put it in a blender. Or just leave it whole!
      I don't think the pan size matters too much, but I'd say it was probably 9 inches across and an inch and a half in thickness?
      I hope you like it! It's now one of my favourite recipes =)

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  8. This recipe is like a combination of Fergie and Jesus. Score 1 for Emily

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    1. Ahaha that's my new fave comment. Thank you.

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  9. I just discovered your blog this morning and I'm already obsessed! Your pictures are absolutely beautiful and your recipes (particularly this one) look and sound incredible. I've been vegan for three years and am trying to lean more raw. Your blog is very inspirational!! Keep it up :)

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    1. Hey thanks so much! Kind words and I'm glad to hear that =) If you ever have questions about raw food, feel free to email. It's an incredible lifestyle and diet, just when you thought being vegan couldn't get any better!

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  10. Thank you Em! I got your link from Linda Wagner's blog. I am her client. This looks delicious and I have bookmarked your site!
    Karen
    SoulCentsCoaching.com

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    1. Thank YOU, Karen =) Thrilled to hear that!

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  11. Hi miss Em,
    I made a variant of this for our family easter party. Most of them are strictly beef and cheese Italians, but everyone seriously DUG it. Like, it was gone before the cannolis dug it. It tastes so much like real cheese, it's kinda freaky actually... I called it "cheesecake" all day and no one even noticed ;)
    Unfortunately my lavender isn't blooming yet, so i omitted it (so bummed, I can't even imagine the flavor). I ended up adding the bottom of a bottle of limoncello that's been in my fridge for eons. Also I stuck a layer of crushed blackberries stirred with ground chia seeds on top. It. Was. Grand. This recipe seriously rocks my world. You are a cashew wizard.

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    1. Hey, Lentils! THANK YOU.

      LOL that's hilarious and splendid indeed. Don't worry, something I've noticed about lavender - it grows. So hopefully it will continue it's destiny and make it's way to your cheesecake when it's blooming!

      Your version sounds mind-blowingly delish anyways. I wanna do a strawberry one when ours grow. Before that I think I'll make vanilla.

      I think this and the coconut chocolate banana cream pie recipes are my two faves. You should try that one next =)

      Woot! I have now been called a Wizard.

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  12. Oh wow! this is magnificent! I've reposted to twitter, tumblr and facebook because I'm in food idea heaven! If Just the Goods handmade vegan skin care were to have an official recipe, it would be this! THANK YOU!!

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    1. Woah thanks so much. That is a huge compliment! Love the lavender on your site ;)

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  13. I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your thoughtful commentary on eating what works for you and eschewing labels and rules. There's nothing more off-putting than a cult-like rigidity and finger wagging from people who have come to a different conclusion about what makes sense to put in their bodies.

    That said, your food is absolutely delicious and your photography humbling in its beauty. Thank you for sharing your journey...you are a real inspiration.

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    1. GOSH! You just made my day! Thanks SOO much =) I love to hear those kind words and it reminds me why I do this blog, and makes me remember how much I love my life.

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  14. Just ate this at Choco Canyon in Seattle for Mother's Day Brunch. My granddaughter found your recipe (on her phone) before I even finished eating it- sharing with my daughter. They make it with a top layer of yellow lemon and the whole inside lavender in color, as well. It's truely beautiful. You can see in on their website. I'm looking forward to making it. I've been on raw foods for 40 days! Thanks! Pat

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    1. Thanks, Pat =) Just checked out their website... YUM! Next time I'm in Seattle I am SO GOING!

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  15. Just made your cake:) I actually made 2 since it is a Holiday weekend here in the US - that way we can eat one all weekend here at home and also take one to a party on Sunday. Can't wait to taste it! I can't find my old fashioned lemon juicer - you know the old glass ones that you put half of a lemon on top of and grind back and forth? I had to roll the lemons, but and squeeze them by hand! Used almost a pound to make 3/4 cup! My friend gave me some culinary lavender to use and I have some pretty stalks coming up on mine in my garden. So excited! Thank you!!

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    1. very smart. two cheesecakes are better than one! sounds lovely, i am glad you like the recipe, carolyn =)

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  16. thank you, caroline! that sounds like a fun weekend ;) congratulations on squeezing all those lemons! our lavender is going to start growing here soon too i think. summer is so wonderful when all the flowers are blooming.

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  17. When you use dates, do you use fresh or dried? I have searched everywhere for dates but I can only find dried. Help please? :)

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    1. hey leandra, i use dried dates (fresh ones are a totally different ball game so use dried for my recipes). where do you live? these days they should be pretty easy to find... :/ you may have to buy them online. or just substitute in raisins!

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  18. I live in Utah. But thank you so much for the help on the question! I can't wait to try this and all of your other recipes! :)

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    1. i hope you find some! and thanks :)

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  19. Wow, this is sooooo delicious, I think thats the best cake I ever had. My first raw vegan cake I made and I am sure it was not the last time I made it. Thanks
    Pia

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    1. =D oh my goodness thanks so much! can't ask for a better compliment than that.

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  20. I so want to try this for the birthday of my twins! Would you need a high speed blender for this? Or do you think an 'ordinary' blender would work as well?

    I absolutely love your website. It's such an inspiring place! Thank you so much for sharing :)

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    1. Hi there - I clicked on your website and love it too! Awesome work.
      A normal blender would probably be fine, it just won't be AS smooth... but I'm sure it'll still be delicious :)

      xox em

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    2. Oh my. I made this cake and I am speechless. It came out as beautiful as in your pictures and my guests LOVED it. And some of them are the biggest processed food lovers I know of! I even received hugs and kisses after they tasted the cake.
      One of my in-laws said: "I don't get it. I have never been a cake lover. I totally dislike almonds and I hate coconuts. But this cake is extraordinary, I can't stop eating it!".

      Emily, thank you for sharing this recipe, I'll definitely be making this again. You are awesome!!

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    3. Oh, and I forgot to add: this comes from someone who has been making dishes with edible flowers for more than 10 years. But I've never had a lavender cake as delicious as this one!

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  21. Went to Christmas lunch and was served this. Divine! Never knew Vegan - or even dessert - could taste sooooo good.

    And it is summer down here at Christmas, so "summery' is good.

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    1. Simone - I LOVE to hear that! ANY praise is wonderful and appreciated but especially when it's from people who normally wouldn't be into vegan or raw food. Thank you!

      xox

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  22. Would lavender oil work? I know that's slightly blasphemous but I'm struggling to find lavender anywhere but online, and it seems pricey. And I am not sure if it will keep well in my pantry, or how long it lasts in general. If oil would not work, I would understand completely, but I'm just curious. I have wanted to make this for MONTHS because it looks so incredible, but the only thing holding me back is the lavender! What should I do?? Thank you, because you are such an inspiration!

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    1. not blasphemous at all :) lavender oil would work fine. Be careful with it though! essential oils are quite strong.
      I recommend you getting some dried lavender if you can though, it's lovely to just have around and smell. It pretty much lasts forever haha

      xox

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  23. Thank you for another fabulous recipe! I didn't have the lavender, so I made it without and it was still so delicious. I think I did hear an angel singing. The whole family enjoyed this and even asked for seconds! This is by far the best raw dessert I have tasted yet. :) I really appreciate all the work you do on here.

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    1. Haha beautiful! Thanks very much, Amy. xox

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  24. I dont know how to use lavander, I have a plant at home but Im so clueless about what to use and how to do it, can you help me?. Thanks!

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    1. Sure! Just pick the flowers (the purple part) and let it dry naturally. Then just keep that in a container and use it as decoration or an ingredient. =)

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  25. I bought a lavender, I like to make it very soon! <3

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  26. MMMMMMM. This looks so yummy, I have to make it. So, maybe a dumb question but should I use raw nuts? Should I do anything to them after soaking them or just soak and then blend? I don't have a fancy blender or food processor do you think just a regular blender will work? Have you tried a spring form type pan?

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    1. Raw nuts are definitely preferred haha. Nope, justsoak and use. Yep a blender should do the trick. I used a spring form pan =) Thank you!

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  27. I am making this tonight, for my bosses bday!
    I made your Chocolate Banana Coconut Cream Pie with the Coconut Whip Cream.
    AMAZING!!!!!

    Thank you so much

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    1. Haha! I hope you got brownie points from your boss ;)

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  28. i wonder how to make a pie that you can cut into real pieces.. my pies are always to be eaten with a spoon and the crust falls apart when i cut it... i made this one today (put in the freezer like you told:)) and the cheese part really stays together but the crust doesnt (have to say i dont have a foodprocessor, i do it handmade :) ) but i dont know if that is really the reason... by the way, i really love your blog,(i also made your chocolate recipe today, have to say i'm not sure if that is a good thing, i tend to eat low fat and this is really addictive...but i think it's genius, the recipe..) thanks a lot for the great inspiration! eva

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    1. haha raw chocolate IS addictive. There's different versions of it though. Like if you really want to eat a large amount (me... lol) blend cacao powder with some dates and a banana or two. Yum! Low fat!

      Hmm it's probably because you do it by hand. Food processors can be bought for like $50 so I recommend getting one when you can afford it =)

      Cheers! em

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    2. i dont have a food processor yet , but what i do is put my nuts and dates i add either a little water very little or vanilla. just for a bit of extra moisture since im not processing them like food processor and do this in my ninja blender .. pulse it all together. than press it down in the pan with a spoon.. than i chill it in the freezer to set it..

      hope that helps.

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  29. waw, no i havent seen one that cheap really, made another pie for my sisters birthday yesterday, i put in agar agar(as an attempt to make it a pie with real pieces..), but the thing wouldnt stick together either...(the whole thing was a failure :( , oo i so want to make a vegan pie that my family will enjoy.. :( ) maybe its just me and i'm doomed for "spoonpies" instead of decent ones.. (i'm gonna try that lowfatchocolat now! :)) eva

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  30. Holy cow, I made this the other day and I couldn't believe how much it tastes like real cheesecake! It must be due to the tanginess of the lemon combined with the creaminess of the cashews. I've had other vegan cheesecakes, but nothing that came so close to real baked cheesecake flavour and texture (if that matters to anyone at all). Really great recipe. The only thing was that I had to make a bit more of the nut mixture to adequately cover the bottom of my pan. But that was easy enough to do. Thanks!

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  31. My first raw cheesecake! It is so tasty (the decadent, multi-layered, creamy, taste-buds-surprising way!) I just can't wait to "bake" another one :). It's a shame cashews are sooo expensive here in Poland :(.

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  32. This looks amazing! Definitely will try it for a party soon. By the way, any thought on reducing the oil in the recipe? 3/4 c seems like a lot.

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    1. Thanks =) True about the oil - this was one of my first big recipes and now I would never use that much >< I recommend trying this recipe if you wanna use less coconut oil:

      http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/2013/03/vanilla-chocolate-chunk-cheesecake-with.html

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  33. Hi! I live in Vancouver as well. Where do you buy your vanilla bean pods? They are extremely expensive; the only one I have ever been able to find is at safeway for about $7 a pod!!
    Thanks :)
    I am so excited to try this recipe!!
    PS: you go to SFU as well right?? I do too :) And if you ever want a few sprigs of lavender, it grows abundantly on the roof of west mall centre overlooking the mountains.

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    1. Hey! My mom buys it from costco actually :) oh sweet thank you!

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  34. yum, healthy and beautiful, the best combination!

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  35. You think it would taste good if i use orange instead of lemon? I forgot the lemons and it would be annexpensive flop :)

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  36. Errrrr maiiii god this is so good!
    Mine is hardening in the fridge at the moment but I sampled the filling and it is DIVINE.
    In case you are interested I made a couple changes by using soaked buckwheat groats in the crust instead of nuts and also threw a few figs in the crust mix as I was low on dates.
    Thank you for this gorgeous recipe!! I am going to take a slice to the friendly clerk who sold me the springform pan. EVERYBODY WINS! :D

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  37. Hi ive tried making the cheesecake. Store it in the freezer overnight. But after i take it out and put it in the fridge it doesnt have that cheesecake texture. It liquidfy and melted. Is this because i soaked my cashews more than 5 to 6 hours ? Thanks for the help.

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    1. Honestly I have no idea why it would be like if you followed the directions but it sounds like there is too much liquid. Next time try adding as little liquid as possible.

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  38. Soooo good!! I used dried apricots instead of dates, it goes beautifully with the almonds :)
    Of course this is more healthy than a normal cheesecake, but I think calorie-wise this is probably more "nutritious" ..? ;)

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  39. Just curious, what do you use to soak the nuts in before you use them? Thanks!!

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  40. Looks delicious! I was just reading that recipe at Roost blog ;)

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  42. Your recipes are awesome :)
    Want to ask if i can make it without the coconut oil, and a add a bit of water or more of the lemon juice instead?
    Thanx in advance.
    Greetings from Macedonia :)

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  43. Emily, you've got such an A-MA-ZING blog !!!!! Which is now in my favorites :)
    Every single recipe blows my mind and this one in particular! I can wait to make it as I loooooove lavender in deserts (especially with apricots).

    Thanks a lot from France !! Bises

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  44. Emily:

    I just wanted to let you know that since you posted this two years ago, I have made this cheesecake upwards of fifteen times. I have shared it with my boyfriend, family, friends, co-workers.. it has made it to the mouths of at least a couple dozen folks who otherwise would never have tried a raw dessert. It makes a regular appearance in our house, and has a card in my recipe binder.

    When I share the recipes I create with others, I get more joy in finding out that my creation has become a staple at their table than anything else- the sharing of food is so personal and warm- so I share this news with you. I love your blog and your creations are consistently amazing. Keep doing your rawsome thing!

    - Genna

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    1. Aw thank you so much, Genna!!! That is so wonderful for me to read. Much much love to you and yours. xo em

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  46. this is heaven....on....EARTH!!!!

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  47. Hi Emily,

    Can i replace lavender with lemongrass? Would that work too?
    Thanks so much! Your website is amazing and it've been my guidebook to raw cooking!

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    1. Lemongrass? Um sure... if you like the taste!

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  48. I made this last night and am currently nibbling a slice for breakfast...it is outstandingly delicious. It sings in my mouth. It is going to be new go to favorite to impress people at pot luck parties. Its is just simply incredible.

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  49. Hi Emily, I was searching for a raw vegan lavender blueberry cheesecake, and came across your website, and decided to give it the try. The only thing I did diferent was that I saved part of the cream and added a cup of frozen blueberries, so I would have a second layer. DELISH! It was my first raw vegan pie, and I can't thank you enough! Hugs from Brazil xxxx

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  50. Hey, is it possible to process the dates and nuts without a food processor? Thanks! :)

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    1. If you chop them up very finely. Or you could put the nuts into a blender and grind them into flour. Then separately blend the dates into paste, and then combine the two in a bowl.

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    2. Cool, thank you! I love your recipes xx

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  51. Hi Emily, can't wait for your book to come out (already pre-ordered). So excited and happy for you, especially that you're so young and are the future of RAWesome food :)
    Question about the nuts - straight walnuts ok for the crust? And no need to dehydrate after soaking? I'm allergic to almonds.
    Second question about the lavender - do you grind it up first or just add in as little flowers? I'm making this for my best girlfriends birthday afternoon tea on Sunday and can't wait. Hoping to serve it with a blueberry compote.
    Thanks, hope you are staying warm!

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    1. Sure, walnuts are great. Umm actually you could dehydrate if you want but it's not mandatory. I added the dried flowers whole. Lucky girls!

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  52. I just found your blog and I am making this for the first time today! Love your writing style and the music you post as well. <3

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  53. Love this recipe! I was wondering if instead of lemon juice you could use tea. I drink mint with lavender tea and my mom drinks earl grey with lavender. The lemon is great, but it's just a thought.

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  54. What size pan did you use? I only have a 9-inch and 10-inch springform pan.

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  55. Freaking AMAZING! This cheesecake is soooo good! I sprinkled some dry lavender on top for some extra goodness.

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  56. Emily, thank you so much for this awesome cheesecake, I made it today for Easter and it was delish. I wrote about it on my blog and linked to your blog. Are you on Instagram, facebook or Twitter? I'd like to link the recipe to your acct. Thanks again!
    Nicole

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  57. @Nicole - yeah! check out the links near the top of my blog :)

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  58. Quick question! I'm planning on making this next week for a work party :] I'm very allergic to coconut. Can I substitute something else for the coconut oil? Thank you in advance for a reply and I can't wait to try this.

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  59. @Joni - sorry for the late reply! You can use cocoa butter or cacao butter instead :)

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  60. Awesome thank you!! I'm going to make it today so your timing was perfect!

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  61. Hi Emily,
    This might be a silly question considering your diet is raw, but this recipe calls for RAW cashews correct? Just wanted to double check since it's the first time I am trying one of your recipes :)
    Thanks!

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  62. @coastalwalker - yep :) and you can soak them if you like!

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  63. Hi Emily, Love your gorgeous blog! Thank you for sharing such beautiful recipes, images and lovely writing :)
    I just made the lavender & lemon cheesecake. Mine turned out very 'darkish caramel' looking as opposed to your lovely creamy/white cake. I used dark agave, and the almonds in the cheesecake part had their skins on. Could this be why mine isn't cream/white in colour? Cheers, Tasch

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  64. Hi Emily! I made this cheese cake and it was AWESOME !!! Thanks for recipe!!!

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  65. Just made this. Good Lord. How am I gonna wait the three hours for it to harden?! Thank you for creating and sharing this!

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  66. is it necessary to soak nuts if not raw?

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  67. Hi I'm creating a blog about how my 3 year old sons diagnoses of cancer inspired us to eat healthy food... can i use your cake recipe?

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  68. @Anonymous - yes just please link it back here and give me credit :)

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  69. Ok... Thank you so much... my recipe is a little different... but you inspired me! Mine is a lavender lemon-berry but I will definitely give u credit for the Inspiration! By the way... I Love your Blog!

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  70. I made this cake with half the amount of ingredients so it was a bit smaller. I absolutely loved it but friends took a little more convincing as I don't think they could get away from the idea of lavender as a cosmetic smell/flavour, perhaps they need plying with more so they can get used to it! I'm going to try a rose one next (still on the cosmetic theme). Thank you Emily for sharing all your amazing recipes.

    ione
    Dartmoor, Devon, UK

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