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Chocolate Cherry Faux Cheesecake

Confession: I have a HUGE sweet tooth.  I think any of my friends or past boyfriends can attest to this.  The LT buys me treats like there’s no tomorrow.  I am big “if it’s in the house, I WILL eat it” person…unfortunately for my waistline and my chosen raw food lifestyle.  So being determined to combat this addiction (or support it?), I made my first attempt at raw chocolate cherry cheesecake this week.  I did some online reasearch and the “winning” recipe came from Kristen Suzanne’s Kristen Raw Blog.

Now Kristen’s picture looks beautiful and very gourmet…

Kristen Suzanne's Organic Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

…but scroll down to see my attempt at the same recipe (minus the Cherry Coulis)!

My Chocolate Cherry Crust

Maybe It Would Help if I Had a Springform Pan?

So right off the bat my crust looks much more “grainy” than hers.  I think my food processor must not be as good/powerful.  Though I ground those almonds until I thought I smelled smoke from the contraption.  And the LT literally had to reset the circuit after I made the crust.  (I was almost in tears because I thought my food processor died and I was only halfway done with my culinary adventure!)

My Chocolate Cherry Filling

Though it may be hard to tell in a picture, my filling was pretty stiff.  Kind of “grainy”, too.

Kristen's Cheesecake: My Inspiration

Meagan's Final "Masterpiece"

So it’s pretty obvious to anyone that these two cheesecakes look very different.  Though, I must say, taste is not an issue.  I am gobbling this thing down like I’ve not seen food since I was 12 years old.  However, I, too want pretty pictures to post on my blog, so I took a sample into work and had one of the chefs help me analyze it.  Here’s what we came up with to help your raw cheesecake look prettier!

  1. Use a bit of coconut water (or regular water, if you like) in the crust.  This will help reduce the “grainy-ness” and look prettier-more like the consistency of a graham cracker crust.
  2. Be sure to soak your cashew (or whatever nut) filling base VERY thoroughly.  I left my cashews soaking for about an hour, but next time I’ll wait two or three.  This will help smooth out your filling.
  3. Add some lecithin to the filling as you mix.  This ensures that creamy, cheesecake-y consistency even if you have a sub-par food processor like me.

Anyhow, as I mentioned, the taste is a-maze-ing!  Mad props to Kristen!  Check out her blog(s) for some fun, cool raw food, real life advice and recipes.  But below is her recipe I “borrowed”:

Organic Double Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
Yield one 9-inch cake

Crust:
1 ¾ cups nuts (I used raw almonds)
½ cup raw cacao nibs
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan crystal salt
¾ teaspoon cherry extract
1 tablespoon raw chocolate powder
¾ cup raisins

Filling:
3 cups cashews, soaked 1-2 hours, drained
1/3 cup raw agave
6 dates, pitted
½ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons cherry extract
1 cup coconut oil
¾ cup raw chocolate powder

Coulis:
1 bag frozen berries (cherries would be optimal but any will do!)
¼ cup raw agave
dash fresh lemon juice
pinch cinnamon

Crust directions: Grind the nuts, cacao nibs and salt in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, until coarsely ground. Add the cherry extract and chocolate powder and pulse to thoroughly combine. Add the raisins and process until the mixture sticks together when gently pressed between your fingers. Press into the bottom of an 8 or 9-inch round spring form pan. Place in the freezer while you make the filling.

Filling directions: Using a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, process the cashews, agave, dates, lemon juice, and water until it’s creamy. This could take 3-5 minutes. You might need to stop and scrape down the sides a couple of times. Add the cherry extract, coconut oil, and chocolate powder and process until creamy. Pour the filling into the spring form pan and freeze the cheesecake so it sets. Let thaw for up to an hour or more before eating.

Coulis directions: Blend all of the ingredients together.

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