This year, one of my foodie friends sent me a list of fun recipies to try that she found on the Food Network’s website. One of them, Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars, caught my eye, but I knew right away that this was the type of dessert that needed to be made raw! After some tinkering in the kitchen, this amazing dessert was born. I am so excited to share it with you, as I think it is one of the best treats to come from my kitchen yet! The texture and flavor would fool any non-raw foodie into thinking they are eating the real thing.
For the crust
2 cups Pecans
4 Dates, fresh or soaked
2 Tbsp Cacao
Pinch of quality salt
For the cheesecake
4 cups Cashews, soaked
1 cup Agave
1 cup raw Cocoa Butter (or coconut oil)
1 cup Water
1 tsp Vanilla
For the ganache
1/2 cup Cacao
1/2 cup raw Cocoa Butter (or coconut oil)
1/4 cup agave
1/4 tsp mint extract
Spring form pan or pie plate
Optional: high speed blender
Starting with the crust, dump your pecans into your food processor and let them process into a fine meal. Add in the cacao and salt and give it a quick pulse. Add in your dates and continue to process until it forms a ball and everything is combined. If you are using a pie plate, you might want to take a moment to grease the plate by rubbing some coconut oil or cocoa butter on it. Remove the ‘dough’ from the processor and spread out evenly in your pan or plate. Place your crust into the freezer to set while you make the cheesecake filling.
For the chocolate cheesecake goodness, it is important that your cocoa butter (or coconut oil) is in liquid form. I place mine into a shallow dish and stick it into the dehydrator for a few minutes (at about 110 degrees.) When ready, pour the agave, cocoa butter (or coconut oil), 1/2 cup of water and the cashews into your processor (or high speed blender). Process and slowly add more water as needed, not to exceed 1 cup. This is a very thick mixture! Be careful not to overheat in your processor or blender. If needed, remove half of the mixture and process in smaller amounts and then combine thoroughly in a bowl when finished. Pour the mixture into your pan and give it a few taps to remove any air bubbles and to make sure it is evenly spread out. Place it back into the freezer to set. I let mine set for about an hour before I added the ganache.
Speaking of ganache, it is important that you melt the cocoa butter (or coconut oil) for this as well. I also recommend heating up your mixing bowl with hot water, making sure to thoroughly dry it off. In your warmed bowl, whisk all of the ingredents together. Once ready, pour onto your set cheesecake. Be forewarned that the ganache will set up almost immediatley, as the cold cheesecake will harden the butter/oil. Be sure to evenly spread the ganache around as you are pouring it.
This cheesecake will hold its shape and form even when thawed. After the ganache was set, I cut my cheesecake into slices and then stored it in the fridge to soften before serving.
1 cheesecake, about eight slices.