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White Chocolate Cheese Cake (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

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white-chocolate-cheee-CakemainThis cheesecake is rich with chocolate… don’t let the vanilla color fool you.  I used raw cacao butter which not only gives the cheesecake that chocolate flavor but also gives the cake structure.

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.

Why I add sunflower lecithin

Adding the lecithin is optional but I felt it was important to share why I use it. Sunflower lecithin is made up of essential fatty acids and B vitamins.  It helps to support healthy function of the brain, nervous system and cell membranes.  It also lubricates joints; helps break up cholesterol in the body.

It comes in two forms, powder and liquid.  I prefer the raw sunflower lecithin.  It has a thick, dark and sticky consistency with a nutty-seedy rich aroma and surprising pleasant flavor.  Setting aside all the nutritional benefits, it is a natural emulsifier that binds the fats from nuts with water creating a creamy consistency.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and please leave a comment below. Blessings, amie sue

white-chocolate-cheeseCake22Ingredients: 

Makes one 10” spring form pan

Crust:

  • 1 cup raw almonds, soaked & dehydrated
  • 1 cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
  • 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 6-8 (150 g) Mejool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups (266 g) fresh berries, organic

Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (400 g) raw cashews, soaked 2 + hours
  • 2 cups almond or coconut milk
  • 1 cup raw maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 3 Tbsp lecithin, powder (optional)
  • 1 cup (197 g)  raw cacao butter, melted

Strawberry topping:

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries
  • 8 (316 g) Medjool dates, pitted
  • Pinch Himayalan pink salt

One more option:

 Preparation:

Crust:

  1. Process the almonds, coconut, cacao powder and salt in a food processor,  fitted with the “S” blade, until it becomes a fine meal (small pieces).
  2. Add the dates and water 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.
  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.
Filling:
  1. Drain the soaked cashews and discard the soak water.
  2. Combine in a high-powered blender, in the following order; milk, sweetener, lemon juice, and salt.
    • 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. With a vortex going in the blender, drizzle in the cacao butter and then add the lecithin.  Blend just long enough to incorporate everything together.  Don’t over process.
    • What is a vortex?  Look into the container from the top and slowly increase the speed from low to high,  the batter will form a small vortex (or hole) in the center.  High-powered machines have containers that are designed to create a controlled vortex, systematically folding ingredients back to the blades for smoother blends and faster processing… instead of just spinning ingredients around, hoping they find their way to the blades.
    • If your machine isn’t powerful enough or built to do this, you may need to stop the unit often to scrape the sides down.
  4. Sprinkle some berries on the base of the crust and pour the batter into the pan.
  5. Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles.  They will come to the surface.
  6. Drop the remaining berries around the pan, letting them fall organically… some sinking and some sticking out.
  7. Chill in the freezer for 4-6 hours (or overnight) and then move to the fridge for 12 hours.
  8. Store the cheesecake in the fridge for 3-5 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.  Be sure that they are well sealed to avoid fridge odors.

Strawberry layer:

  1. Blend the strawberries and dates until smooth.
  2. Pour over the top of the cheesecake and place in the fridge for 2-4 hours.
  3. If you decided to add the ganache, spread it over the top of the strawberry layer once it is solid.
  4. Slice and serve!

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.
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20 thoughts on “White Chocolate Cheese Cake (raw, vegan, gluten-free)

  1. Liliya says:

    Thank you so much for the recipes!!!!
    How do you know eder coconut oil or cacao butter to use in cheese cakes? and how much? Thank you.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Liliya,
      Cacao butter sets up a lot firmer than coconut oil. That is why you often see it being used in cakes such as these but sometimes you don’t want that hint of chocolate not to mention, cacao butter is pretty expensive and not easy to find locally for many people.
      Coconut oil does help a bit with firmness but also gives the cheesecake a great mouth feel. Nuts are also used to create a smooth mouth feel but don’t offer a very firm texture. I don’t have a real formula that I follow Liliya. It all depends on what all the other ingredients are. Have you made a raw cheese cake yet?
      amie sue

  2. Liliya says:

    yes, I’ve made 3 Cheese cakes from your website. Thanks for all you do!!!!!!!

  3. Mici says:

    I LOVE the taste of coco butter! Nothing beats it!

    I understand why lecithin is used in making chocolate. I’m the pastry chef at a whole foods vegan place where we also do raw, and I’ve got many recipes similar to yours. None have lecithin in them. Why do you use it so often? Do you find it changes the blending…? or…?

    Thanks a bunch! You’ve go the best raw site I’ve seen!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Mici,

      Thank you for your kind words. :) Lecithin is used to emulsify and homogenize the fats and liquids so they don’t separate and it also helps to make them creamier. I am excited to hear that WF is adding in raw foods. I love those stores. Have a great evening! amie sue

  4. Denise says:

    I really love this site..are the ratios the same if you use liquid lecithin versus the powder?

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Denise… and yes, use the same measurement whether dry or liquid lecithin. Have a wonderful night, amie sue

  5. Helen says:

    Hi there Amie-sue,

    I am wanting to make this cheesecake for the upcoming mother’s day weekend. If I could ask just a couple of questions about this recipe. How did you manage to get that beautiful swirl effect on top of the cheesecake? Is it OK to put thawed and drained frozen berries on top of the crust base instead of fresh? Thank you so much in advance for your response and also a big thanks for everything that you do. Always browsing your website! :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Helen…

      A perfect dessert for Mother’s Day! This was one of my first desserts from over 5 years ago. Shew! I updated the page a bit. For swirl effect on the cheesecake, place dots of the coulis around on the top of the cake, then drag a skewer or toothpick through the coulis, dragging it into the white of the cake.

      You can use frozen, thawed, and WELL drained fruits… just make sure it doesn’t pool any liquid or it could make the crust soggy and muddle the white of the cake. Does that make sense? Please let me know if you make it and how you like it. Happy Mother’s Day…amie sue

      • Helen says:

        Thanks so much Amie-sue,going shopping for the ingredients today so I will certainly let you know how I go with it.

      • Helen says:

        Hi there, couldn’t get any lecithin, does this matter if I omit this or is there a substitute for the lecithin that I can use?
        Thanks

        • amie-sue says:

          Hello Helen,

          I don’t recommend omitting the lecithin but it is do-able. It is a thickener and emulsifier but with the cacao butter in the recipe, your should be ok if you can’t find it. Let me know how it goes. amie sue

          • Helen says:

            Hi Amie-sue. I managed to get my hands on some lecithin granules which my neighbour kindly ground up for me in her thermomix. What can I say, this cheesecake is ‘the bomb’. When my family arrived for mothers day, there were cameras flashing in all directions, they were so impressed – it just looked exactly like yours. Never did I think that I could create something so aesthetically pleasing but also scrummy to boot. Thanks you.

            • amie-sue says:

              Ooooh Helen, how exciting! You are a rawkstar. :) Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Many blessings, amie sue

  6. janet says:

    Dear Amie-Sue, here is your fan from Vienna ;). Can I use Soya Lecitin granulates instead of sunflower? how do I melt them?? they taste like vax, pretty neutral, but I am afraid that they wont melt. Any suggestions?

    thanks
    Janet

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Janet… so nice to hear from you. How is Vienna? :) Regarding your question…

      Q ~ Can I use Soya Lecitin granulates instead of sunflower?
      A ~ Yes, they can be used interchangeable. Or at least in all my raw food experience, I haven’t ever had a problem doing so. For someone who may not be aware of sunflower lecithin, it comes in liquid form and doesn’t contain soy.

      Q ~ how do I melt them?? they taste like vax, pretty neutral, but I am afraid that they wont melt.
      A ~ You don’t melt them Janet. But you do need to grind them to a powder for texture purposes. I use a coffe grind, or spice grinder or a person can use a mortar and pestle. They will blend into the cheesecake just fine and you won’t ever detect it.

      I hope this helps. Have a great evening, amie sue

  7. Michelle says:

    Can I use Sunflower lecithin and would I use the same measurements? Many thanks.

  8. Judith Henriksen says:

    Dear Amie-Sue,
    Thank you for this delicious recipe. I didn’t have room for a whole cheese cake so I made cup cakes. I pressed the crust into the bottom, then added the coulis, then the filling. I had left over filling and not enough crust, so I put the filling into a couple of small dishes and swirled the coulis into them. The cupcakes were so perfectly balanced, the dishes without the crust were not as good. My compliments to you for your careful balancing of ingredients. This truly is a perfect recipe.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thanks for coming back and sharing this with me Judith, I always loving hearing from those who try my recipes. Have a wonderful day! amie sue

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