I’m not a stickler for following recipes to the letter and always look for ways to spice them up and make them my own. Initially, this trait had me mess up many a dessert recipe (like this Chocolate fondant with wine soaked strawberries) that I’d spent hours scouring from some of my favourite blogs…you know how things like baking can require precision! Here’s one of my favourite chocolate cheesecake recipes, not just because I love chocolate and cheesecake but because it only requires 10 ingredients and you don’t even have to put it in an oven. This serves 12 and will definitely impress your guests next time you’re hosting. It’s also vegan and certainly goes to show that being healthy doesn’t necessarily mean your desserts have to taste like cardboard. Here goes:
- 1 cup dates, pitted (if dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes then drain)
- 1 1/2 cups raw walnuts (or almonds or rolled oats)
- 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashew nuts (soaked in water 4-6 hours, then drained. Alternatively, pour boiling hot water over the cashews, soak for 1 hour, then drain)
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
- 1 can full fat coconut milk (You can use another non-dairy milk for a less creamy result)
- 3/4 cup dairy free dark chocolate (chopped and melted over a double boiler or in microwave in 30 second increments)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
- Dairy Free Peanut Butter Cups
- Peanut Butter Sauce(1/4 cup salted natural peanut butter + 1 Tbsp sweetener + 1/2 Tbsp melted coconut oil. Whisk to combine and warm if desired)
- Fresh Berries
- Coconut Whipped Cream
- Cacao Nibs
- Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
- Add nuts, salt and cocoa powder and process into a meal. Then add back the dates and blend until a loose dough forms – it should stick together when you squeeze it between your fingers. If too dry, add a few more dates while processing. If too wet, add more almonds or walnut meal.
- Cut out parchment paper into circles the shape of your ramekins, muffin tins or pan . In addition, to make removing the cheesecakes easier, cut out two strips of parchment paper per ramekin and lay them in an “X” shape at the base. Top with circle shape. This creates little tabs that make removing the cheesecakes easier to pop out once set.
- Divide crust among serving dishes and carefully press with fingers to distribute. To pack it down, use a small glass or the back of a spoon and press it down, allowing some crust to come up the sides. If it sticks, separate the crust and glass with a small piece of parchment paper. Set in fridge or freezer to firm up.
- Add all filling ingredients to a blender and mix for about 3 minutes until very smooth. If it won’t come together, add a touch more lemon juice, maple syrup/agave or a splash more coconut milk as the liquid should help it blend better.
- Scrape down sides as needed and blend until very creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust flavor/sweetness as needed.
- Divide filling evenly among the ramekins (or other serving dish). Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set – about 4-6 hours depending on size of dish. Expedite this process by popping them into the freezer for 1-2 hours.
- Once set, run a butter knife along the edge and gently remove by tugging on the tabs in an upward motion. They should pop right out. If they aren’t quite set, pop them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes and they should come out easily.
- Top with a touch of coconut whipped cream and fresh berries and enjoy!
Be sure to tag us on social media if you do try out this chocolate cheesecake!
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