Chocolate Orange Goji Berry Cheesecake

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When I had a hankering for some cheesecake last week, I had to put my thinking cap on to decide exactly what kind to make. Since I’ve recently made a white chocolate matcha cheesecake, and a pear berry swirl cheesecake, I decided to go for something chocolate. I added a hint of orange and a sprinkling of goji berries into the mix to make it a little more exciting. This makes a very small 6″ cake so feel free to double the recipe if you want to feed more people. This cake just wasn’t enough to satisfy all the people in my life. I’ll be doubling it next time.

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Chocolate Orange Goji Berry Cheesecake

Makes a 6″ cheesecake

Crust

3/4 cup almonds

1/3 cup monukka raisins

2 tablespoons goji berries

1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons water

Grind the almonds down to flour in a food processor. Add the raisins and goji berries. Process until they’re broken down. Add the water, starting with 1 1/2 teaspoons and grind briefly. Add the extra 1/2 teaspoon water if needed (the mixture must easily hold together when pressed in your hand). Press into the bottom of a 6″ spring form pan.

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Filling

1 cup cashews

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup fresh orange juice

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

2 tablespoons melted vanilla coconut creme

1/3 cup cacao powder

5-6 drops orange essential oil or orange zest, to taste

Blend the cashews, maple syrup, orange juice, and vanilla in a blender until completely smooth. Add the coconut oil and coconut creme. Blend again. Add the cacao powder and orange oil last. Blend until they’re incorporated. Pour the mixture over the crust. Chill in the freezer for 4 hours and then in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

Cashew Goji Crunch

1 1/2 tablespoons melted vanilla coconut creme

1/4 cup chopped cashews

3 tablespoons goji berries

Toss all ingredients together in a small bowl. Spoon around the mixture around the top edge of the chilled cheesecake.

Garnish

Segments of 1 orange

Arrange the orange segments on top of the cake just before serving.

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Recipe by Chef Heather Pace, sweetlyraw.com

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