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Vegan Choco-Cheesecake


I have been on a "eat no chocolate" challenge (with myself) after using chocolate to solve all the problems of the world. AKA eating my feelings. After 2 weeks of being mostly chocolate free (besides cocoa in my oats and things of that nature) it was time for me to break my fast but it was going to have to be worth it!

My brother is a vegan and I respect anyone who is committed to a plant based diet but I just cant fully commit to that. I do try and make a lot of my desserts vegan because in my mind I can better justify indulging if I am eating natural things that aren't full of dairy, added sugar and chemicals. Kinda makes sense right?

I decided to break my chocolate fast with a protein packed, healthy, chocolate cheesecake! This recipe takes a day so if you are looking for a quick fix, this one is not for you. However, if you are looking for THE BEST vegan dessert ever, you found a winner.

This is an awesome gift idea! Also, if you are entertaining, having a party, or have family visiting this is a crowd pleaser for sure!! Set some time aside, soak your cashews the night before and don't get overwhelmed with all the steps. It is super easy, anyone can make it. Literally takes zero skill, just patience.

Ingredients:

Crust:

3/4 cup almonds

3 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup

Filling:

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons raw cashews, soaked in cool water overnight (4 hours minimum)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

3 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted extra-virgin coconut oil

Chocolate topping:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure:

Crust:

Have four 1-cup wide-mouth mason jars (or any jars you have) ready. You can also use a pie plate if you'd rather.

Finely grind the almonds, cacao powder and salt in a food processor or blender. Drizzle the maple syrup over the mixture, then process/blend until the mixture begins to clump together. Divide the crust crumbs evenly among the jars, and use your fingers or bottom of a spoon to press them flat. Set aside.

Filling:

Drain the cashews, rinse them well, and drain again. Place the cashews, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, cacao powder, and lemon juice in the now-empty blender/processor, and process to a paste, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally. With the motor running, drizzle in the water. Blend well until very smooth (a few minutes). With the motor running, drizzle in the melted coconut oil, and blend until combined. It should be the consistency of softened ice cream.

Divide the filling evenly among the jars and set aside.

Chocolate Topping:

In a small, heat-proof bowl, combine the coconut oil, honey, cacao powder and vanilla extract. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of gently simmering water, and whisk until the oil is melted and the ganache is smooth and glossy. Drop spoonfuls of chocolate mix over the cheesecakes. Cover the cheesecakes and chill until firm, 3-4 hours.

Store the cheesecakes in the refrigerator. I somehow resisted and waited a few days until trying them out and gifting to friends! The flavor is best if you let them sit for at least a day.

They got rave reviews from non-vegan friends so I promise these will be a hit!


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