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Deep Dark Chocolate Berry Cheesecake (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

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Deep-Dark-Chocolate-Berry-CheesecakemainWarning: do not attempt to view, make or devour this recipe if you do not like chocolate. Just saying.  I thought it was only fair to forewarn you.

This crave-worthy raw cheesecake has a decadent foundation of deep rich chocolate, with juicy kisses of berries sprinkled into the creamy filling.

To top off this wonderful dessert you could allow a dreamy dark chocolate ganache to drizzle over the edges, pile fresh berries on top or give it a grand finally with whimsical chocolate curls.  Death by chocolate comes to mind. hehe

Raw Cacao Butter…

is the pure oil of the cacao bean. It consists of healthy fats and is an excellent source of healthy omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, and also contains natural antioxidants.  To read more about it, check out this (post) that I wrote about it.  I also share a great tip on how to melt it with grace and ease.

Pick Your Berries…

You can pretty much use just about any berry with this cheesecake.  I have used fresh blackberries and today blueberries.  Feel free to use fresh or frozen… again, I have used both forms.  If you use frozen, be sure to thaw and drain the liquid from the berries so it doesn’t get soupy when you add them to the batter.  I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Be sure to leave a comment below. Many blessings, amie sue

Deep-Dark-Chocolate-Berry-Cheesecake11Ingredients:

9″ springform pan

Crust:

Filling:

Toppings (optional):

Preparation:

Crust:

  1. Process the Brazil nuts, coconut, cacao powder salt in a food processor,  fitted with the “S” blade, until it becomes a fine meal (small pieces).
  2. Add the sweetener and vanilla until it is well mixed and sticks together when pinched.
    • Be careful that you don’t over process the nuts, or they will release too much oil.
    • If it feels too dry, add 1 Tbsp of water until moist enough to stick together when pinched.
  3. Line the pan base with plastic wrap and press the crust mix into the Springform pan.
    • To get an even crust, sprinkle the batter all around the bottom of the pan.  Then press down gently.
    • To create a smooth and clean crust, I use the base of a straight edge measuring cup to press it all down evenly.  Clean any crumbs off of the sides of the pan.
  4. Tip: if you want to bring the crust up the edges of the pan, double the crust recipe.

Filling:

  1. Drain the soaked cashews and discard the soak water.  Place in a high-speed blender.
  2. In a high-powered blender combine the following ingredients in this order; water, sweetener, cacao butter, coconut butter, cacao powder, extracts, salt, and cashews.
    • Due to the volume and the creamy texture that we are going after, it is important to use a high-powered blender.  It could be too taxing on a lower-end model.
    • Blend until the filling is creamy smooth.   You shouldn’t detect any grit.  If you do, keep blending.
    • This process can take 2-4 minutes, depending on the strength of the blender.  Keep your hand cupped around the base of the blender carafe to feel for warmth.  If the batter is getting too warm.  Stop the machine and let it cool.  Then proceed once cooled.
  3. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
  4. Pour the batter into the pan and drop the berries in.
  5. Chill in the freezer for 4-6 hours and then in the fridge for 12 hours.
  6. Store the cheesecake in the fridge for 3-5 day or up to 3 months in the freezer.  Be sure that they are well sealed to avoid fridge odors.
  7. Topping options – drizzle the ganache over the cheesecake and top with fresh berries.

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™

  • To learn more about maple syrup by clicking (here).
  • Click (here) for my thoughts on raw agave nectar.
  • What is raw cacao powder?
  • For tips on working with raw cacao butter, click (here).
  • What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter?  Click (here) to read more about it.
  • Is coconut butter the same as coconut oil?  Click (here) to find out.

Substitutions:

One of the greatest joys when creating raw food recipes is experimenting with different ingredients… a practice that I highly encourage.  Daily I get questions regarding substitutions.  Of course we all might have different dietary needs and tastes which could necessitate altering a recipe.    I love to share with you what I create for myself, my husband, friends and family.  I spend a lot of time selecting the right ingredients with a particular goal in mind, looking to build a certain flavor and texture.
So as you experiment with substitutions, remember they are what they sound like, they are substitutes for the preferred item.  Generally they are not going to behave, taste, or have the same texture as the suggested ingredient.   Some may work, and others may not and I can’t promise what the results will be unless I’ve tried them myself.   So have fun, don’t be afraid,  and remember, substituting is how I discovered many of my unique dishes.
Always line the base of the Springform pan with plastic wrap.  It
makes it very easy to transfer to a serving plate when the time comes.

Deep-Dark-Chocolate-Berry-Cheesecake44

I love the look of just drizzling the ganache over the pie…

Deep-Dark-Chocolate-Berry-Cheesecake33

Adding berries is just a bonus! :) Enjoy!

Deep-Dark-Chocolate-Berry-Cheesecake22

 

12 thoughts on “Deep Dark Chocolate Berry Cheesecake (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

  1. tanya lyness says:

    this looks delicious, will have to have a go at making this after the holidays :)

  2. Nicole says:

    Do you think the cacao butter can be replaced with coconut butter?

  3. Mandy Pena says:

    I was hoping to make this recipe, but I couldn’t find out where you specified the size of the springform pan. The pieces looked small, so I wasn’t what size pan you used. Thanks.

    • amie-sue says:

      Sorry about that Mandy…. I usually use a 9″ Springform pan. Sometimes, I make several small Springform pans too and that is what I did in this case, that is why the pieces look smalled. It is very rich and the small sizes are perfect. I hope you give it a try, if you do, please let me know how it turned out. Many blessings, amie sue

  4. Caitlin says:

    Hi Amie sue,

    Just wanted to know if I could replace the cacao butter with coconut oil or add more coconut butter? Also will this stand firm at room temperature ? I’ve never made a raw cheesecake without lecithin :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Caitlin,

      Yes, you can replace the cacao butter with coconut oil or butter… either one. Do note that the cake won’t have the same chocolate flavor since that you are omitting the cacao butter. Cacao butter is wonderful for also giving a cheesecake structure. This cheesecake will handle room temps for a while, just depends on what your room temp is. Always best to keep it chilled as long as possible. Good luck! amie sue

  5. Julie says:

    Hi there, this looks delicious! I see it says cacao butter, melted, and coconut butter, melted – does this mean you measure 1/4 cup before or after melting?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Julie,

      I clarified the cacao butter. The 1/4 cup is after it is melted and on the coconut butter, you measure out the butter and then melt / soften it. Have a great day, amie sue

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