October 27, 2011
This is an amazing “cheesecake” in anyone’s book. When I was in Seattle over a year ago, my good friend, Shari, made it and I was hooked! Not only did she make it once but she made it twice. When merm tried it, the reaction was, “This could be in any restaurant anywhere! It is excellent!” Shari had posted the recipe on the forum and I had been thoroughly intimidated. However, when DD was here in the summer, she and I tackled it and, once everything was organized, it really wasn’t the bugaboo I had imagined it would be. Now, with the holidays upon us, this is a perfect dessert for any gathering. No one would guess it is a raw recipe.
All of the photographs are by DD with my camera.
For pictures of ALL the steps, click here.
The full recipe can be found here
Assemble your ingredients for the crust. They are
1 ½ cups pecans
2 oz. cacao powder *(1 oz. = ⅓ cup)
⅓ cup cacao nibs
4 oz. date paste
½ tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. liquid vanilla *(do not add w/dry ingredients)
Put everything in the food processor except for the vanilla (I used vanilla water Shari had sent me). I didn’t have date paste so I used dates I’d pitted.
Process the dry ingredients:
THEN add the vanilla.
Blend just enough longer to incorporate the vanilla water. Pick up some with your fingers and press it together. If you can “break” it in two, it’s perfect.
Get out your springform pan. 10″ won’t be any too big for this recipe. If you halve it, adjust the pan size accordingly. Traditionally, the pans are used with the logo facing up so you can read it. Don’t be a traditionalist. Take it out and flip it over. It’s easier to cut and serve later.
Cover the pan with a thin coating of coconut oil.
Put the crust mixture into the pan
and press it in evenly to completely cover the bottom.
Get out your washed berries (I used blueberries) and put them evenly on the crust.
Set the crust with the blueberries aside and get the ingredients together for the filling. If you want to get fancy, do your mise en place.
Ingredients for the filling are:
3 cups soaked cashews
2 cups almond milk (click here for the recipe)
¾ cup agave nectar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup liquid vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
Here’s a beauty shot of the agave nectar:
I just had to put that in. It looks so pretty!
Put the cashews into the blender.
Add the almond milk.
Pour in the agave nectar.
Now, the next ingredient gave me pause but, since I was using vanilla water, I added ¼ cup.
Put in the lemon juice
and the salt.
Blend everything together until smooth.
3 tablespoons lecithin granules
⅔ cup melted cacao butter
Pour the filling into the cheesecake pan, reserving two cups for swirling.
Add the berries of your choice (once again, mine were blueberries) and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
Blend everything well.
Now, this is where my cheesecake radically departed from what the end result was supposed to be. The filling sets up very quickly and, with all the photographing going on, the part that was blended with the reserved filling didn’t sink in like it was supposed to.
What happened way, try as I might, I couldn’t get it to swirl. The blueberry filling sat on top in a separate layer.
We put it in the freezer long enough for it to chill thoroughly. Then it was time for the unveiling.
I ran the knife around the pan as prescribed.
Then I loosened the springy part and lifted it off.
It shows where I fell short but that was okay. This was a maiden voyage. No perfection expected.
Next, the first piece was cut.
It looked kind of naked sitting there.
I didn’t have any more blueberries so cacao nibs had to do all by themselves.
And then there was the first bite.
Smooth and creamy and oh! so delicious!