I am real excited about this cheesecake. I can’t remember the last time I had ‘real’ cheesecake, though I DO remember eating a lot of the frozen cheesecake bites at Dairy Queen in the time that I worked there. I had a terrible stomachache pretty much every night that I worked, but I never really put it together that I might be lactose intolerant.. Until I stopped eating dairy a few years after I stopped working there, and the daily excruciating stomach aches finally went away.
I associated eating dairy with a whole world of pain, so I really didn’t miss it when I cut it out of my diet. But within the past year or so I missed the extra dimensions that cheese can add to a meal, and the vegan cheese replacements weren’t always cutting it. I did a little research and discovered some anecdotal stories of people with lactose intolerance having an easier time digesting sheep and goat’s milk products. After some digging, I found out that this is because the fat and protein globules (yum, globules) are smaller in sheep and goat versus cow’s milk, and the membrane is thinner therefore making it easier to break down.
I very tentatively tried a tiny amount of chevre.. with no terrible side effects. So then I tried a bit more.. and was elated. I don’t know how it took me this long to think about making a cheesecake, but I’m kicking myself for not making it sooner. It’s rich and creamy and decadent, with the added bonus of being no-bake so you can enjoy it fairly quickly (if you plan ahead and soak your almonds), and avoid the stress of having an overbaked/cracked cheesecake.
There is a pretty generous crust to filling ratio, like 1:1, because I love crust and this one is super easy. But if you feel less strongly about crust you could halve it and it would still be awesome. This is also pretty wholesome as far as desserts go considering the crust is made of nuts and dates, and there’s only a small amount of added sugar (honey) in the filling.
no bake goat cheesecake with figs and honey (vegetarian, gluten free)
3/4 cup / 84 grams rolled oats
3/4 cup / 115 grams almonds
1 cup / 180 g pitted dates (bonus point if you use dried figs)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon softened coconut oil
120 g goat cheese
3/4 cup / 115 grams blanched almonds, soaked overnight
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup / 40 g cacao butter, melted
1/2 tablespoon softened coconut oil
ripe figs + honey (optional, top with whatever you want)
Crust: Heat the oven to 300F. Place half the almonds (only the ones for the crust) and the oats on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until they smell toasty. Allow to cool completely. Add the toasted oats and almonds, cinnamon, and salt to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until they become fine crumbs. Add the dates and coconut oil, and blend until a soft dough forms. Press into a 6″ springform pan, and place in the fridge.
Filling: Add the goat cheese, soaked + blanched almonds, lemon juice, salt, vanilla, honey, cacao butter and coconut oil to a high speed blender or food processor and let it run until it is very smooth. Remove the crust from the fridge, and pour the filling on top. Place back in the fridge and allow to set for at least an hour (you can speed it up in the freezer, probably).
Topping: Cut the figs into sixths, and arrange on top of the cheesecake. Drizzle with additional honey.
If you don’t have blanched almonds (I didn’t), you can easily do it yourself. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil, and add your almonds. Let them boil for one minute, then drain and rinse with cold water. The skin should be wrinkled. Now peel them by pinching an almond between your thumb and forefinger, and the skin should slip off and the almond will shoot into your other hand.