Kanyah and Lime Cheesecake

I’m back to making desserts, and I have nailed this one – my niece (much older now) approves of this dessert so there was no brushing of the tongue!

Kanyah is a popular homemade snack, in both Liberia and Salone, that you pick up on the roadside. It’s almost similar in consistency to the peanut butter filling in a Reece Peanut Butter Cup (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about!) but a little more coarse when either parched rice or gari is added to the two other ingredients, sugar and raw peanuts (which are also parched and shelled).

I rediscovered and fell back in love with this sweet and addictive treat on holiday in Liberia, with all my childhood memories instantly flooding back. My cousin and I would grab a (second or third) piece from the pot, brought back to London by whoever had recently been on a visit to Salone, and run under the dining table and scoff it all. We’d eat so much that our mouths would clang up as it does when you eat too much peanut butter straight from the jar!

I decided to try substituting the traditional biscuit base for a set cheesecake with a kanyah base and it works beautifully! Usually a laborious task pounding all 3 ingredients together in a large mortar, I cheat and throw it all in the Magimix, and of course, we can buy raw shelled peanuts and peanut butter here so I use the latter. It’s so simple that you’ll be making it for every dinner party you host.



Serves 10

The prep. part

The kanyah base

700g gari (can be found at most supermarkets in the world food aisle)

3 tbsp granulated white sugar

200g smooth peanut butter

8” spring tin

The topping

260g cream cheese

250ml double cream

Juice of 2 limes and zest of 1

35g icing sugar

Garnish – lime zest and crushed shell on raw peanuts

Photo taken by Kenzie Greene, Studying Graphic Design at Central St. Martins

Photo taken by Kenzie Greene, Studying Graphic Design at Central St. Martins

The assembling part

  • Place all of the kanyah base ingredients into a food processor and blitz for about 4 minutes until all is mixed in and clumped together.
  • Turn the base mixture into the spring tin and spread evenly, pushing down with the tips of your fingers to level it out.
  • Place in the fridge.
  • Turn the double cream into a mixing bowl and whisk until stiff.
  • Now add all the remaining topping ingredients in with the cream and mix together with a wooden spoon.
  • Remove the base from the fridge and using a palette knife spread the topping onto the base, which should now have firmed up a little.
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and serve, garnishing with lime zest and some crushed shell on raw peanuts.
Photo taken by Kenzie Greene, Studying Graphic Design at Central St. Martins

Photo taken by Kenzie Greene, Studying Graphic Design at Central St. Martins

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