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If you missed it, Eve was one of our winners of the F&F Recipe competition! Eve is a talented young baker who created this delicious Autumnal Vegan Maple & Lemon Cheesecake. We thought it looked too good not to share so we've posted it here for everyone to have a crack!
We've asked Eve a few questions about being vegan, baking and what her favourite products are at F&F. Have a read and get to know Eve!
Interview with Eve
How long have you been baking and cooking for and what is your advice to people that are just getting started?
I have baked since I was a young kid. I remember as a 4-year-old my Dad and I would make packet cakes every Saturday. As I got older, I started baking from scratch and then dove into helping create meals. At around 12 I experimented with making healthy vegetarian food, then transitioned into vegan, needing to make most of my own meals. Cooking has always been a part of my life and I’m still experimenting every day.
For those getting started, my advice would be to experiment! Don’t give up on a recipe just because you don’t have an ingredient- think about what might do well in its place. I’ve made many a bad meal but it’s the only way I’ve learnt to understand how flavours work well together and what substitutions will have the right texture in the dish.
What is your favourite meal ever?
My favourite meal is a seasonal one. In mid-autumn and winter, we often have our harvest of pumpkins and sweet snap peas to enjoy, while the air is cool and having the oven on is a comfort in the dark evenings. Roast vegetables like brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes and pumpkin and my rendition of red lentil dhal cannot be beaten.
How long have you been shopping at F&F and what are your favourite products?
I’m fairly new to the store. A few months ago, I was in search of eco-cleaning brushes, scrub pads and earbuds; areas in my household that I identified could easily transition away from plastics. I was pleasantly surprised that I found it all in one place, to say the least.
However, in my shopping endeavours, I came across my guilty pleasure- candles. I love the Mojo Candle Co. recycled wine and beer bottle candles. They have to be the best smelling ones I’ve found. In my collection at the moment, I have the tobacco and hay scent and the frosted berries and violet. I love burning them at the end of the day.
I’ve been vegan since just before my sixteenth birthday- so about 6 years now. As a teen, I wasn’t provided with information about animal agriculture (embarrassingly not knowing that mother cows must be continually pregnant and with a feeding calf in order for milk to be produced, until way after I had become vegan), but I always had a sense something was off, choosing vegetarian a few years earlier at 13. The moment I swore off all animal products was simply when I saw someone fishing, and being angry about how people could treat animals that way. It wasn’t until years later, after becoming vegan, that I truly understood the magnitude of animal agriculture and animal exploitation. Today as an Environmental and Marine Science student I am still learning more and more about how simple changes to our lifestyle can make a big difference.
What do your family and friends think of your recipes? Can they tell they are vegan?
My sister transitioned to veganism a few years ago, and her partner is in the process, and my partner is also vegan! So, when the family gets together the vegans almost outweigh the meat-eaters, but they have no complaints since we’re happy to do all the cooking.
As for the sweets, there is definitely no struggle. I’ve always been the birthday-cake maker and the Sunday afternoon-tea baker. Once I transitioned to using all vegan ingredients the quality and taste of the treats and desserts improved if anything. I was surprised how the ingredients we’re led to believe are essential for a good cake (like eggs, butter and milk) are totally unnecessary, and no one can tell the difference without them.
For birthdays my family members always requested cheesecakes. When I no longer felt comfortable using cheese, I took to experimenting. Over the years I’ve made a multitude of different flavours, and with the chocolate-based ones, you generally can’t go wrong. However, this time I felt inspired by the autumnal colours with lemons growing on the trees and marigolds in the garden. I also wanted the hues without artificial store-bought colours, so included in this recipe is how to make orange colour from carrots.
Bringing together the colours and flavours used in this recipe creates a perfectly smooth and light afternoon tea or dessert. I hope you enjoy!
Autumnal Vegan Cheesecake by Eve Wallace
Natural orange colour:
1 medium carrot, grated
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dried dates, soaked in 1/2 cup water until soft
¾ cup shredded coconut
2 cups raw unsalted cashews, soaked overnight, liquid discarded
Rind of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp maple syrup
½ cup coconut cream
½ cup plant milk (less if looks too wet)
Natural orange colour (from above)
Extra- 1-2 tbsp maple syrup
To make the natural orange colour:
Using an immersion blender, roughly blend carrot and coconut oil together
Spoon mixture into a sieve and push gently until most of the oil passes through
To make the base:
Line the bottom of an 8”x2.5” springform pan and grease the sides
To a food processor or blender add dates, walnuts and coconut. Blitz until the mixture comes together
Press into the pan and smooth out with the back of a spoon
Freeze while moving onto the filling
To make the cheesecake filling:
Place all cheesecake ingredients into a food processor or blender. If your appliance is low powered (like mine) it will take 10-15 minutes of intermittent blending to make sure your blender doesn’t blow up! Blend until smooth
Pour into pan and freeze overnight
Once frozen, thaw for 10-20 minutes before serving. Drizzle over extra maple syrup and enjoy!