This 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
Makes one 10” spring form pan
- 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
- 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
- 1 lb fresh strawberries
- 8 (316 g) Medjool dates, pitted
- Pinch Himayalan pink salt
One more option:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Drain the soaked cashews and discard the soak water.
- 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.
- 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.
- Sprinkle some berries on the base of the crust and pour the batter into the pan.
- Gently tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles. They will come to the surface.
- Drop the remaining berries around the pan, letting them fall organically… some sinking and some sticking out.
- Chill in the freezer for 4-6 hours (or overnight) and then move to the fridge for 12 hours.
- 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.
- Blend the strawberries and dates until smooth.
- Pour over the top of the cheesecake and place in the fridge for 2-4 hours.
- If you decided to add the ganache, spread it over the top of the strawberry layer once it is solid.
- Slice and serve!
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.