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Channel warm-weather vibes with this dreamy dairy-free dragonfruit “cheesecake”


Thumbnail for Channel warm-weather vibes with this dreamy dairy-free dragonfruit “cheesecake”
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Photo: Lone Jensen
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If a week’s worth of beaches and sunshine, spring break-style, is out of reach at the moment, this cheesecake inspired by the tropics may be the next best thing.

Lone Jensen, a Danish plant-based chef and lifelong traveler, was jet-setting when inspiration struck to create this dragonfruit “cheesecake.” Familiar with the tropical fruit from her travels through Thailand and Bali, Jensen brainstormed the dessert while catching a flight out of London.

“We took off as the sun was setting and the sky was turning the most beautiful colors. There were streaks of pink and swirling white clouds. I suddenly thought about making a cloud cake, which became this cheesecake,” says Jensen.

Want to whip up this dreamy dragonfruit treat for yourself? One tip first: Jensen notes that the dragonfruit powder can be swapped for frozen dragonfruit in a pinch; just be sure to let it completely defrost and omit the strawberries.

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Dairy-Free Pitaya Cheesecake

Makes two 4-inch cakes

Ingredients
For the crust:
1/4 cup macadamia nuts (raw and unsalted)
1/4 cup cashews (raw and unsalted)
1 Tbsp shredded coconut
1 Tbsp liquid sweetener
1/2 to 1 tsp pink pitaya powder
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt

For the pitaya and strawberry filling:
1 cup cashews (soaked for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight)
2 to 3 fresh strawberries (coarsely chopped)
1/4 cup coconut water kefir
2 Tbsp liquid sweetener
1 Tbsp pink pitaya powder
2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
3 Tbsp melted coconut oil

For the coconut dream filling:
1 cup macadamia nuts or almonds (soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight)
1/4 cup coconut milk
2 Tbsp liquid sweetener
2 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt
3 Tbsp melted coconut oil

For the crust
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until the mixture comes together.  Be sure to leave some texture to the nuts.

2. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the removable bottom of each pan.  Position the springform on top of it and close the pan.  This will make it very easy to remove the cheesecake from the metal bottom.  Press half of the crust into each pan and set them aside.

For the pitaya and strawberry filling
1. Place all of the ingredients, except the coconut oil, in a high-speed blender.  Process until the filling is silky smooth.

2. Drizzle in the melted coconut oil and process until combined.

For the coconut dream filling
1. Place all of the ingredients, except the coconut oil, in a high-speed blender.  Process until it is silky smooth.

2. Drizzle in the melted coconut oil and process until combined.

To assemble
1. Pour half of the pink pitaya and strawberry filling in each springform pan.  Pour half of the coconut cream filling in each pan. Using a toothpick or a small spoon, gently swirl to create a decorative pattern. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. One hour before serving, remove the cheesecakes from the freezer and allow them to thaw in the springform pan.  Unmold and slide the cheesecakes off the plastic wrap.

3. Sprinkle with pitaya powder and serve your dream cakes.

For more dessert inspiration, check out Megan Markle’s healthy-ish wedding cake selection. If you’re crazy about coconut, you’ll be thrilled to know this Coconut Cult news.

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