When I published Your Favourite Recipes of 2015 I was a little surprised that my Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cake was in the top 5. I mean it beat out Gluten Free Peanut Butter and Nutella Ice cream sandwiches!!?!
I guess though, there is a lot of merit to something that looks like cake and tastes like cake but is actually quite healthy. Especially this time of year when we are trying to overcome the indulgences of the Christmas period. I made this Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake Slice to take to a dinner party and it was a huge hit, despite the fact that it contains no cream cheese, and is gluten-free, refine sugar-free and quite low in sugar generally.
Now obviously, being vegan there is no actual cheese but adding a little lemon juice and vanilla to blended cashews in one of the layers gives this cake a little tang, very reminiscent of a cheesecake. Would you be as excited it I had called it a chocolate and lemon cashew slice? Actually, that does sound pretty good too 🙂
This vegan chocolate cheesecake slice is really easy to make, in fact possibly even easier than a traditional cheesecake, and doesn’t involve buying a tonne of ingredients you will never use again. Most of this stuff is in the average healthy-eating pantry; and if you don’t have or can’t afford cacao, just use cocoa, it is still full of antioxidants.
This recipe does require a food processor or high speed blender but don’t worry if yours isn’t a fancy one. As you can see from the pictures, the consistency of my cheesecake is not as smooth as I would have liked… I have a very basic food processor. However, the pre-soak you give the cashews means they are lovely and tender and even with a basic blender it still has a creamy texture.
The other delight with this recipe is that is stores beautifully in the freezer so if you want to have a healthy treat on hand to have just occasionally, you can pre-slice it and have it ready in your freezer for the moment temptation strikes.
How is your 2016 going so far? Are you deep into the healthy eating or are you blending cheesecake into smoothies?
- 250g pecans
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (liquid state)
- 2 medjool dates (or 3 regular dates pre-soaked in water for half an hour)
- 1 1/2 cup pre-soaked cashews (see note)
- 3 Tbsp cacao (or cocoa)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp of coconut oil (liquid state)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1-3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 cup pre-soaked cashews
- 1/3 cup coconut milk
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil (liquid state)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Blueberries or raspberries (optional)
- Line a large rectangular baking dish (mine was 35cm x 25cm) with baking paper allowing it to overlap the edges for easy removal.
- Drain the water off the pre-soaked cashews (see note) and set aside.
- Add all the ingredients to a food processor with a blade attachment and blend until the mixture clumps together. Add a teaspoon of water if required to make the mixture clump.
- Press mixture into the base of the baking tray and put it in the freezer to set.
- Place cashews in the food processor and blend until smooth, add remaining ingredients except for maple syrup and blend until smooth.
- Taste the mixture and add maple syrup 1 Tbsp at a time, blending well between additions, until desired sweetness is reached.
- Pour mixture on top of base and return to freezer
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth
- Pour evenly over the top of the chocolate mixture
- Gently press berries into the top of the cake.
- Set in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
- At least 6-8 hours before you want to make this recipe, measure out the cashews for the two layers into separate bowls and cover with water to pre-soak and soften the nuts.
- Depending on the ambient temperature coconut oil may be solid at room temperature. To bring it to the liquid state place the fat in a small cup and sit in a bowl of hot water.
- If you want separate layers of chocolate and cheesecake mixture then allow the chocolate layer to set in the freezer for about an hour before you top with the cheesecake mixture. If you don't have time to do that then it really doesn't matter if they swirl together a little as you pour the cheesecake mixture on top.
- This cake can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. If you are doing this, I find it best to remove it once set (after about 2-4 hours) and slice it into squares before returning to the freezer. Remove from the freezer about 1 hour before serving (for the whole cake) or 30 minutes for individual slices.