Here’s the thing: I generally don’t like recipes that announce they are something–cheesecake, say–and then swiftly reveal that they aren’t. I just don’t like the misrepresentation. Call it what it is! Don’t dash my hopes! Grrr.
Ahem. So here’s the thing. I’ve been making this cheesecake lately. Only it’s not cheesecake. It has no cheese, no eggs, no normal-cheesecake-crust. It’s one of those really healthy, no-sugar, whole food, good fats desserts.
And it’s really good.
You might actually think it has cream cheese, or at least something more than what it does have, to create that texture. It’s gluten-free and raw. It’s rich but not cloying. It’s fudgy.
So I’m going to give this one a thumbs-up because I’ve made it for several people now and everyone says yay! even though there are chia seeds in it. They ask for more.
So here you go.
Raw Chocolate Lavender Cheesecake
(Omit lavender, sub orange rind or cayenne pepper if you prefer)
Adapted from this book
2 cups shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/4 cup prunes, chopped
1/4 cup moist dates, chopped
1 tablespoon psyllium husk (optional)
1/4 cup chia seeds
3 tablespoons good quality cocoa
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for about ten minutes in warm water, then drained
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water (or use cashew soaking water)
3-4 drops lavender essential oil (if using)
100g cocoa butter
Combine all the crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined and sticky. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment or wax paper and grease the sides to halfway up (I use coconut oil). Press the crust mixture into the pan and press down firmly to smooth it out. I use a flat-bottomed water glass to press it even and create a short lip of crust around the edge of the pan. Put in the freezer while you make the filling.
Combine all the ingredients except the cocoa butter in the rinsed out food processor until smooth. You may have to run the food processor for several minutes to get the cashews to puree completely. When the mixture is as smooth as you can get it, gently melt the cocoa butter on low heat or in the microwave (I use the melt butter setting). **This is the trickiest part: working with melted cocoa butter needs to be fast. If you aren’t quick enough, the cocoa butter will start to solidify in the cashew mixture, which will result in graininess instead of cheesecake-smoothness.**
So once you are ready to pour the cocoa butter in through the slot in the top of the food processor (while the machine is on), have the chilled crust out of the freezer and ready to go, a spatula waiting, whatever you will need. Pour the cocoa butter in a stream into the cashew mixture, making sure not to run the food processor for longer than five seconds. Quickly remove the bowl from the food processor and scrape the filling into the springform pan, smoothing the top as evenly as you can. Don’t worry if it’s not totally smooth–you can cover it in a sprinkling of cocoa powder if it has wrinkles. Place the pan in the fridge (if you have more than an hour until you need it) or the freezer (for under an hour, but at least 30 minutes).