Thursday, February 28, 2013

No Bake Double Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

It's been about a year since I moved from LA to Bainbridge Island, WA and I've slowly adapted to the cold climate and cloudy skies.  Nothing had me more excited than the notion of going sledding in the snowy mountains.  About an hour away, so I am told, there are great slopes to sled and or tube down and I was so excited to go.  Matt and I picked Valentine's Day as a perfect time to enjoy nature and skip the long lines at restaurants.  The plan was a go until Matt started to sniff, sneeze, and send signals that the flu got him.  Our first Valentine's Day was spent at home with me making soup for my sick boyfriend (who still managed to sneak out of the house to buy me flowers and lunch to go).  Even though I'm not the kind of girl to make a fuss about flowers, chocolates, and dinner dates, I am absolutely the kind of girl who wants to satisfy my holiday induced sweet tooth.  Since I had the day free to play in the kitchen I broke out my new cake decorating kit, the cashews, and the dates and created this Double Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake which is no bake, no fuss, and absolutely no guilt.  It was a huge hit and before I knew it, the last piece was gone :)  Hope everyone had a wonderful and plant-based Valentine's Day with their loved ones!
Ingredients for filling:
- 1 No Bake Chocolate Pie Crust
- 2 1/2 cups Raw Cashews (soak 1-2 hrs, rinse, strain)
- 6 Dates, pitted
- 1/3 cup Maple Syrup
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1/4 cup Water (will aid in the creamy, light texture)
- 2 tbsp Raspberry Extract (not necessary, you can use vanilla or hazelnut if you don’t have raspberry on hand)
- 1 cup Coconut Oil, melted
- 3/4 cup Raw Chocolate Powder
Ingredients for Coulis:
- 1 cup frozen organic raspberries
- squirt of fresh lemon juice
- maple syrup to taste or about 1/4 cup
- good pinch of cinnamon

Fit your food processor with the S blade and add the cashews, maple syrup, dates, lemon juice, and water then process until creamy.  Should only take a few minutes.  Add extract, coconut oil, and chocolate powder then process until creamy.  This is your filling which will resemble the cream cheese texture of cheesecake so make sure there are no lumps, all the ingredients are incorporated, and the texture is smooth and creamy.  Now you can add to your prepared crust.  Spoon filling into the prepared crust and smooth the surface.  Sometimes it helps to gently lift and drop, very gently, your pie dish on the surface of the counter to help the filling settle and even out.  If there is extra filling left over, save it for decorating your cake once it has hardened in the freezer.  Cover your cake with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for several hours or over night. 
For the coulis:  Using a blender, add the berries, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cinnamon and blend until smooth.  When serving the cake, drizzle each slice with a good amount of this vivid and tangy raspberry coulis.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

No Bake Chocolate Pie Crust


How can chocolate cheesecake live up to the name of “double chocolate” without a delicious and insanely easy raw chocolate crust?  It is super simple, completely healthy, and will impress everyone who eats it.  This recipe is very similar to the recipe for raw chocolate truffles so if you have left over crust batter, just roll it into balls and pop in the fridge for tasty treats later!  This crust would also pair well with a simple vanilla, raspberry, or strawberry flavored cheesecake filling.  Mix and match to sort your mood or whatever happens to be in the kitchen. 


- 1 3/4 cup Raw Walnuts or Almonds

- 1/2 cup Raw Cacao Nibs (you can also you carob if you prefer. The flavor will vary slightly).

- 1/8 tsp. Himalayan Crystal Salt

- 1 tbsp. Raw Chocolate Powder

- 3/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract (switch extract to fit the flavor of you filling.  Try raspberry, cherry, or hazelnut for variations).

- 3/4 cup Dates or Raisins (I like to use raisins in the crust and dates in the filling but either will do to sweeten).



1.  In a food processor fitted with the “S type” blade, add the nuts, cacao nibs and salt; process until coarsely ground.

2.  Next add the chocolate powder and the extract.  Pulse until thoroughly combined.

3.  Next you can add the raisins and begin to process.  Notice how the mixture begins to form a dough.  The mixture will be ready when all the raisins are combined and the mixture sticks together when gently pinched.

4.  Take an 8 or 9 inch pie pan and line with plastic wrap or use a spring form pan.  I like the crust to curve up the side of my cheesecake so I opt for a pie pan.  If using a spring form pan, press the crust mixture into the bottom of the pan.  If using a pie pan, press the mixture onto the bottom and sides of the pan careful to keep the thickness uniformly even.

5.  Cover and place in freezer while you make filling.  This crust can be made one day ahead and kept cool until needed.

6.  Proceed to cheesecake filling…