Thank you to Soar Organics for sponsoring this recipe!
Are you in the Christmas frenzy yet? I hope so, because we are only a week away from the big day! And if there is one thing I truly look forward to during Christmas, is ALL the yummy food (ermmm, obvs!).
Recently, I've heard that Christmas calories do not count, so I will be happily working my way through all the delicious meals, especially the sweet ones! As we all will agree, this is the time to indulge and just enjoy the food, without feeling guilty about it. Because comes January (!!!), and we all will be making those New Year resolutions to eat healthy again! Am I right?
Anyway, before we all turn into detox juices and smoothies, there are still good couple of weeks worth of eating as many cookies and cakes as you wish, or can get your hands on! As you know, there's been quite a few cookies recipes here lately (Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies, Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies, Cinnamon and Maple Cookies just to name few...), so it's about time a cake makes an appearance too, don't you think?
And I do have a very special recipe for you today. Matcha cheesecake with ginger flavoured base, the creamiest and smoothest cake you will eat during this holiday season!
Super nice guys from Soar Organics, Megan & Chris, have sent me some of their fantastic organic matcha tea to try, and it was a love from a first sip! For someone who didn't really tried matcha tea before (I'm always late to the party!), I wasn't really sure what to expect, as I've heard mixed opinions about it. Some people absolutely love it, and others...well, not so much. But friends, let me tell you, when prepared correctly, taste of matcha tea is out of this world, and strangely addictive!
But first things first, some of you may ask what the heck is matcha? Let me explain...
Matcha is finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. The green tea plants for matcha are shade - grown, in order to slow down the growth and to stimulate an increase in the level of chlorophyll. This way of growing also turns the leaves a darker shade of green and causes the production of amino- acids, in particular theanine (source- Wikipedia).
There are like gazillions health benefits from drinking matcha tea, so it will be hard to list them all, but here are few main ones, to give you an idea:
- matcha powdered green tea has 137 times more antioxidants than regularly brewed green tea, this includes a very powerful EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate), which in the simplest terms contains metabolism boosting properties associated with weight loss and management
- matcha detoxifies your body effectively and naturally
- it's an incredible source of L-Theanine, the amino-acid which recent studies suggest can promote relaxation, reduced stress, boost in concentration and artfulness (this is why high- quality matcha is often used in tea ceremonies and has been historically used in meditation practices in Japan)
- it lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
So, what about the taste of this green gold? As many said before, it's a bit tricky to describe, but the best I can describe it, is it's a creamy, full- bodied vegetal taste, with a sweet and smooth and delicate aftertaste. Taste of your matcha depends on few factors, like the water temperature or amount of powder you use, and what grade your matcha tea is (main ones being ceremonial or culinary grade).
What I really like about Soar Organics matcha is the fact that it's sourced from Kyoto, Japan, which is a home to some of the oldest green tea farms. Also, Megan and Chris have ensured that their matcha is certified organic. That means there are no nasty chemical fertilisers, pesticides or any other artificial agents used in any of their farming activities. It's also gluten- free, vegan- friendly and free of any GMOs! That is a winner in my eyes for sure!
Plus, at the moment, Soar Organics are offering 20% off and a free shipping to it's customers, just because they are awesome like that! So make sure to visit their website and grab yourself some of that precious green powder!
Now, quickly back to this fabulous matcha cheesecake! The recipe is really simple and straight- forward, but remember that the prep and cook time, does not include chilling it. And there are couple of ways you can chill your matcha cheesecake- using a fridge, ideally overnight, that will result in a softer finish and softer texture of your cheesecake (personally, my favourite), or, for much firmer texture- store in the freezer, just take it out for few minutes before serving, so it can thaw a little.
It's velvety- smooth, creamy texture, with hints of ginger and matcha flavours will satisfy even the fanciest of taste buds. This matcha cheesecake will be a great addition to your Christmas table, with its lush, green colour that goes so well with festive season! Plus you can prep it ahead of time, meaning you can spend more time having fun with family and friends!
Hope you enjoy it, and until next time!
Matcha & ginger cheesecake
For the base:
- 150 g vegan digestive biscuits (or look at the recipe notes for alternative)
- 50 g vegan butter or spread (melted)
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
For matcha filling:
- 120 g raw cashews
- 200 g vegan cream cheese
- 60 ml coconut oil (melted)
- 80 ml maple syrup or agave nectar
- 120 ml almond milk (or any other dairy-free milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ tbsp organic matcha powder
- To make the base, butter and line baking tin with baking parchment. Put 150g of vegan digestive biscuits in a plastic food bag and crush it to crumbs using rolling pin. Transfer the crumbs into medium bowl and pour over the melted butter. Mix well, then tip the mixture into baking tin and press it firmly into the base to create an even layer. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so it can firm up.
- To make filling, place cashews in a small pan of water and bring to boil. Cook for 20 minutes, then set aside to cool a bit.
- Once cashews have cooled slightly, place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until completely smooth.
- Pour the filling into cake tin and smooth it over with spatula or the back of dessert spoon. Leave to set in the fridge overnight.
- Top the cheesecake with some fresh strawberries and dark chocolate flakes, or any other toppings of your choice. Enjoy!
- This recipe is based on using 15 cm/ 6 inches loose- bottomed tin.
- Prep time does not include chilling
- As far as the internet can tell me, the equivalent for vegan digestive biscuits for my friends over the pond is a vegan version of graham crackers
- You can also make your own shortbread base, instead of using crushed biscuits: simply mix 30 grams of vegan butter or spread with 65 grams of all-purpose flour, pinch of salt, ½ tsp of vanilla extract, ¼ tsp ground ginger and 2 tbsp of sugar. Rub it all together until you have crumbly, sand- like texture. Press the mixture into prepared tin and bake at 170 C for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
- You can also soak raw cashews overnight, rather than boiling them.
- Make sure you use the high quality, ceremonial grade matcha tea. I've used this Soar Organics Ceremonial Matcha