sweet

Baked Lemon Cheesecake Bars (vegan |gluten-free)

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I honestly can’t take this sudden abundance of raw imitation cheesecakes with their soft nut bases and their faux-cream fillings pumped with expensive fruit powders (another useless non-entity of an ingredient) just to hype up their appearance. They don’t really taste like real cheesecake and you normally have to spend at least a day’s salary on one slice if you’re out and about. I’ve had enough of it- I’m going to make a baked one and it’ll be vegan too.

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I don’t exaggerate when I say that I squeeze a gargantuan amount of lemon juice into ninety percent of the foods that I cook. I think I have issues, though I guess it could be worse. But in all seriousness, I do overly embrace the citrone (German word for lemon which I thought I’d shoehorn in to show off my progress in learning this language for the sole reason that I can finally understand my boyfriend’s family at our occasional gatherings during which I ordinarily miss out on the convo and laughs. My only input is to usually sit there like a nonce, so hopefully this year I’ll have upgraded to small talk)…

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Anyway, going off on a tangent here, when what I’d in fact like to continue telling you is that in every meal and almost every dessert, (applicable also to my baked goods such as breads and cakes) my obsession for this citrus fruit is vast and it’s likely that I’m never going to change. Admittedly, not every dish I assemble is distinctly lemon flavoured, but exists with a slight uplift of flavour provided by this fascinating yellow oval  that nobody can usually put their finger on, which is a good thing otherwise I’d be known as a lemon freak and that really isn’t good for my street cred.

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So why these lemon bars? Well I loved cheesecake back in the day, but given this passion occurred during my chubby days, I left it behind with my childhood and it never really came back because of my fat fear. However, time has passed me by and though my adoration for desserts hasn’t changed, my ability to make them a little less ‘junky’ has gone up 10-fold so here I am, making my new and improved version.

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Serving size:

Makes 18 bars

Ingredients for the base:

  • 300g gluten-free ground oats
  • 100g gluten-free whole oats
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 75ml agave nectar
  • 75ml rapeseed oil

Ingredients for the topping:

  • 100g cashews soaked
  • 400ml coconut cream
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 2tbsp cornflour
  • 100ml maple syrup

 

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. For the base, combine all ingredients to get a rough dough.
  3. Press into a square baking tin and bake for 20 minutes.
  4. For the topping, blend all ingredients in a food processor into a creamy paste.
  5. Pour over the base and bake for a further 20 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool and set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving.

Enjoy the biggest ever slice of summer with pretty much anything, any time of day and let go of those fat fears.

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