Today’s creation was completely inspired for a dear friend of mine, Gina. She shared with me some time ago that she loved chocolate. Say no more my dear friend…your wish is my inspiration! This cheesecake turned out amazing. The rich flavor of chocolate danced a beautiful duet with a hint of espresso on the back of your palate. The smooth, creamy, texture was luxurious as your lips swept across the fork. It was an explosion of flavor that just melted in your mouth.
For decoration I used a raw chocolate recipe that hardens once it is chilled. I put the chocolate into a piping bag and with a free-hand technique I created the triangles. I then chilled them in the fridge, placing them on parchment paper and once hardened I peeled them off. What a gorgeous way to dress up a dessert. This was my first attempt and I am really excited about playing around with this technique in the future.
Gina and I shared a lunch at Zinburger. Their food is fresh and amazing, the atmosphere is welcoming and the service is top-notch! They were so kind to keep the cheesecake in their fridge while we ate. I got there before Gina and asked them to keep it a secret. After we were done eating they brought the cheesecake out as a surprise, and they even put a few candles in it all on their own accord. What a special touch! The waitress was so impressed with the cheesecake that she took a piece and shared it with the staff in the back. We got several compliments and rave reviews on it. Thank you Gina for creating a wonderful memory for me…your birthday celebration.
Recipe inspired by Cafe Gratitude, slightly modified by Amie Sue
Chocolate Almond Crust:
- 3 cups raw cashews, soaked 2+ hours
- 1 1/4 cup espresso (see the bottom of the post)
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 1 cup raw agave syrup
- 2 oz raw cacao powder (weight) – approx. 3/4 cup
- 1/4 cup liquid vanilla
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 Tbsp lecithin, powdered or liquid
- 1 1/4 cup raw coconut butter, softened (I used cacao butter)
- You will be using your food processor for the crust.
- Add to the FP, the nuts, salt, vanilla and 1/2 the amount of date paste.
- Process all ingredients until the crust starts to rise on the sides of the bowl. Be sure to stop and scrap the sides down.
- Repeat a few times until the nuts are broken down well.
- Add the remaining date paste and continue processing until the mixture is consistent. The final crust dough should hold together when you pinch it between your fingers.
- Assemble the Springform pan with the bottom facing up. Opposite way from how it comes assembled. This will help you when removing the cheesecake from the pan, not having to fight with the lip). Lightly grease the pan with coconut oil.
- Distribute the crust evenly on the bottom of the pan, using even and gentle pressure. If you press to hard it might stick, making it hard to remove slices. You can either just make the crust on the bottom of the pan or you can also bring it up the sides. It is up to you.
- Set aside while you make the cheesecake batter.
- After soaking the cashews, drain and rinse before adding to the recipe.
- To make liquid vanilla: Chop up 3 vanilla beans. Put in a blender with 1 cup of water and blend for a couple of minutes… long enough until the blender craft starts to feel a little warm and the vanilla beans are broke down. Store in a glass container in the fridge. It should keep for several weeks.
- Add to the blender all of the ingredients except for the coconut butter and lecithin. These will be added towards the very end.
- Blend until nice a creamy. This can take 3-5 minutes.
- Stop the blending and add the coconut butter and lecithin .
- Resume blending until all is well incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the Springform pan. Fill to the top.
- Place your cheesecake in the freezer to set for 1-2 hours or until the middle of the cake is firm to the touch.
- Storage and life shelf: This cheesecake will keep for at least 4 days. Store in fridge, covered.
To make the chocolate decorations you can use this hardening chocolate recipe.
I made a special little dessert for my sweetheart as he was a wonderful helper with the dishes….
To make cold brewed espresso:
- They make cold- processing kits but you can just use a French press.
- To make in your French press: (this makes 1 cup)
- Start with 1/2 cup freshly ground coffee.
- Put in the French press with 1 1/2 cups of filtered water.
- Stir to break apart any chunks and let it sit for 24-48 hours.