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Monday, November 1, 2010

Vegan MoFo and Chocolate "Cheesecake"

It is Vegan Month of Food, so I am going to do my best to post a recipe per day! It's going to be hard to come up with new recipes every day, so I may have to resort to a few vegan food and restaurant reviews. I didn't officially sign up in the blog roll, but I'm more than happy to contribute!

Vegan food can be absolutely delicious and indulgent. The most decadent foods I have ever experienced have been raw vegan. The desserts are rich and creamy without the dreaded sugar crash/hangover. So to kick off the month, I am going to introduce (or reintroduce those raw vegans out there) the raw vegan cheesecake. The chocolate "cheesecake" I have made in the past was so well received by my non-vegan family members that they requested the "cheesecake" in lieu of their "real" birthday cake (and in my family, that is an accomplishment to be proud of). I will contribute to more sustainable and healthful eating however I can and take those small wins.

Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

8-12 pitted medjool dates
1 cup soaked hazelnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 TB Orange Zest

Pulse the hazelnuts until they are broken into small pieces (not a flour, but smaller than gravel). Add the coconut, cacao nibs, zest, and vanilla bean and pulse a couple times to combine. Turn the processor back on and drop in the dates one at a time, until they are well combined and the mixture forms into a ball. Press the "dough" into the bottom of a spring-form pan.

3.5 cups soaked cashews or macadamia nuts
1.5 cups water
1 cup agave
2 vanilla beans scraped
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbs finely ground chia seeds
3/4 c cacao powder
1/2 c melted cacao butter
1/3 c melted coconut oil

Blend the soaked nuts, water, agave, vanilla bean, and salt until smooth in a high power blender. This may take a couple minutes. My Vitamix wasn't turning quickly enough for my taste after this was all combined (I am so impatient), so I poured out the smooth batter and added the ground chia seeds and cacao powder with a hand mixer. After the chia and cacao are very well combined, slowly add the oils while the mixer is on low to low-medium.

Pour into the springform pan over the crust and put on a flat surface in your freezer. The batter needs to chill for 2 hours in the freezer and then overnight (or at least 3 hours) in the fridge for it to have that cheesecake texture. This is definitely something I make the day before.

Raspberry Sauce
2 c. raspberries
5 dates
Combine in the food processor. You can add more dates if you feel this combination isn't sweet enough.