Raw Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

In light of a dinner party I decided to try my hand at a raw dessert, I mean who best to experiment on than your closest friends!

Lately I’ve really been into raw cooking. A lot of health professionals say that cooking your food destroys the vital and essential nutrients that we need to stay healthy. You won’t know this until you try it yourself, but eating raw gives you a MAJOR boost in energy! Despite all that, the BEST part of eating raw, is you can eat as much as you want, guilt free… well most of the time!

Anyways, this raw vegan chocolate cheesecake was an excellent find to say the least. I mean raw cheesecake sounds disgusting right? Trust me, try it, its amazing!

You can kinddddd of see the 3 layers of the cheesecake! I made small portions because its so rich

You can kinddddd of see the 3 layers of the cheesecake! I made small portions because its so rich

(Mostly) Raw, Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

 
Adapted from comfy belly
To make a full-sized cheesecake, double the recipe and form it in an 8 or 9″ springform pan. Do allow 4-12 hours for soaking the cashews, and four or more hours for the finished cheesecakes to set up in the fridge (you can try setting them in the freezer as per the original recipe if you’re in a hurry). If you can make them a day in advance, do, as it gives the flavors a chance to meld. If you don’t have raw cacao powder, substitute unsweetened cocoa powder. See the original post for more substitutions, including nut-free options. All ounce measurements here are by weight.
 
Makes 4 hefty or 8 dainty servings (four 1-cup mason jars or eight half-cup jars)
 
Crust:
3/4 cup (3 ounces) sliced or whole almonds (optionally toasted and cooled)
3 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) raw cacao powder
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons (1 ounce) maple syrup
Well blended crust !

Well blended crust !

 
Filling:
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 1/2 ounces) raw cashews, soaked in cool water for 4-12 hours
1/4 cup (2 1/2 ounces) maple syrup
seeds scraped from 1/2 a vanilla bean (or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) raw cacao powder
2 teaspoons (1/4 ounce) strained lemon juice
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 ounces) water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (3 ounces) melted extra-virgin coconut oil
 
Ganache topping:
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) extra-virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) maple syrup
2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) raw cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
 
Make the crust:
Have four 1-cup wide-mouth mason jars (or eight half-cup jars) at the ready. 
 
Finely grind the almonds, cacao powder and salt in a food processor. Drizzle the maple syrup over the mixture, then process until the mixture begins to clump together. (No need to wash the food processor, just scrape it out.) Divide the crust crumbs evenly among the jars/cups, and use your fingers or a flat-bottomed drinking glass to press it flat. Set aside.
 
Make the filling:
Drain the cashews, rinse them well, and drain again. Place the cashews, maple syrup, vanilla bean seeds, salt, cacao powder, and lemon juice in the now-empty food processor, and process to a paste, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. With the motor running, drizzle in the water. Blend well until very smooth, a couple of minutes, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. With the motor running, drizzle in the melted coconut oil, and blend until combined. It should be the consistency of softened ice cream.
 
Divide the filling evenly among the cups and set aside.
 
Make the ganache:
In a small, heat-proof, metal bowl, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, cacao powder and vanilla extract. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of gently simmering water, and whisk until the oil is melted and the ganache is smooth and glossy. 
 
Drop spoonfuls of ganache over the cheesecakes, and use a toothpick to swirl the two together. Cover the cheesecakes and chill until firm, 3-4 hours. (If you’re in a hurry, you can try chilling them in the freezer, as per the original recipe. If making one large cheesecake, it may take longer than 4 hours in the refrigerator to solidify.)
 
The ganache thickens really quickly so as soon as it looks well mixed pour it on top of your cheesecake asap!
Decorative chocolate hearts, made from melting chocolate and shaping on wax paper. A cute topping I added to my cheesecake!

Decorative chocolate hearts, made from melting chocolate and shaping on wax paper. A cute topping I added to my cheesecake!

Store the cheesecakes in the refrigerator. The flavor improves after a day, and the cheesecakes will probably keep for up to a week.

 

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