Yesterday I made a raw chocolate and raspberry cheesecake because it’s my birthday tomorrow. I did have plans to see a load of friends, but I’ve got a rotten cold so instead decided to make myself a cake!
Raw cakes aren’t like normal cakes that are filled with sugar and saturated fat and make you feel terribly guilty after just one piece. They’re actually healthy! In this one, the raw cacao (the original product that gets processed a load of times before becoming dairy milk, Green & Blacks or any other chocolate that takes your fancy), is packed with iron and antioxidants, the nuts are a great source of fat (yes some fat is good for you!) and the raspberries are packed with vitamin C, manganese and fibre. And before you say, “but then surely it can’t taste nice!”, just try this, or the Lime Cheesecake I made the other week. I promise you’ll love it :)
Now I must admit I was a little dubious about making this recipe, as the last raw chocolate cake I made was for my husband’s birthday (yes it was more for me than him). It was tasty, but not amazing. It was very nut heavy and quite dense in texture, so you couldn’t eat much of it in one serving (sad face).
I was hoping that as a cheesecake, this would have that lovely contrast of crunchy bottom and smooth top, but then half way through making it I had trouble blending the top layer because the mix was so thick! Gah, was it really happening again?!
For some reason the recipe said just 2 tablespoons of coconut milk, but I ended up using 160ml (a small can), plus about 2 cups of almond milk. I would have used all coconut milk if I’d had it, but only had a small can, so you can use either a mix of milks, or just coconut. This fixed the problem. Phew!
The result? An incredibly smooth, creamy, chocolatey cheesecake, dotted with gorgeous (organic) raspberries and a crunchy base (made with my favourite nuts, pecans).
Pleeeeease make this if you’re at all tempted by raw food, or just love chocolate (like me!). The fact that it’s super tasty, is 100% natural with no refinement whatsoever, and is actually good for you is surely reason to at least try it?!
Whilst some of these ingredients might look foreign to those of you who haven’t made raw food before, why not try buying a small packet of cacao and a bottle of agave to get yourself started? If you decide you like raw cakes and chocolate you will use these ALL the time I promise. Coconut oil is also a great staple and a healthy alternative to olive oil that you can use in every day cooking. I buy all of this stuff from Whole Foods Online.
Raw Chocolate and Raspberry Cheesecake
- 2 cups pecans
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 cup agave syrup (you can use honey or maple syrup or any other sweetener if you don’t have agave)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- Pinch sea salt
- 2 1/2 cups raw cashews (unsalted)
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 cup agave
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 160ml coconut milk
- 2 cups almond milk (or just use all coconut milk, or any milk of your choice)
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- Grease a 20cm spring form pan (or if you’re using a normal cake tin, line it with baking parchment so you can pull it out when set)
- In a food processor, blend the pecans until you have a chunky mixture, then add the remaining crust ingredients and process until combined
- Tip this into the pan and press down evenly and firmly. Pop this in freezer to set
- Then to make the filling, blend up the cashews in the food processor until you have a fine crumb (at this stage I moved the cashews to my blendtec blender as it’s higher powered and more likely to create a smooth consistency)
- Add remaining ingredients except the milk and raspberries and process until the mixture combines, then add the milk, a little at a time to create the smooth texture you’re looking for (next time I make this I’m going to soak the cashews for a few hours or overnight as it will make the blending process much easier!)
- Finally fold through the raspberries (so they stay whole) and pour mixture over the base, and pop it in the freezer to set
- Simply take it out 20 minutes before you want to eat it
Wow, just typing that out made me realise how easy it is! Hmm.. Jasper’s asleep, maybe I’ll try another piece ;)
Thanks Sarah Wilson of I Quit Sugar for your original recipe.