I’m a little cherry crazy these days. Near my area, in the Okanagan, we grow incredible cherries this time of year and they become a regular part of my diet. Besides daily cherry smoothies for breakfast, they make a great snack, and find their way into desserts. Of course they pair well with chocolate, and so I combined the two to create a tasty new cheesecake recipe.
The sauce garnishes on the top are optional but they add a really nice touch. You could always choose one or the other.
I started with a dried cherry, almond, chocolate crust, topped it with a creamy cherry filling studded with bits of cherry, and drizzled chocolate and coconut cream sauces on top with a fresh cherry garnish for each slice and a sprinkle of crunchy cacao nibs.
Raw Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
Makes 1, 7″ or 8″ cake.
2/3 cup almonds
1/4 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup dried cherries
1 1/2 tablespoons cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
1/2 teaspoon water
Grind the almonds to flour in a food processor. Add the dates, cherries, cacao, and vanilla. Process until all ingredients are completely broken down. Add the water and pulse in. Press into the bottom of a 7″ or 8″ spring form pan.
2 cups packed, pitted cherries
1 cup cashews
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons coconut nectar or agave
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Blend all but the coconut oil until completely smooth in a high speed blender. Add the oil and blend to incorporate. Pour the filling over the crust.
Optional: 1/4 cup cherries, pitted and quartered
Arrange the chopped cherries on top of the filling and use a chopstick to press them down just until the filling covers over them.
Chill the cake in the freezer for 6 hours and then transfer it to the fridge for 12 hours.
Coconut Cream Drizzle
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon melted lucuma coconut butter
1/2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 drop stevia
1 1/2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon cashew butter
Whisk all ingredients together until smooth. Drizzle over the chilled cake.
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon cashew butter
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cacao powder, sifted
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1-3 teaspoons warm water
Whisk together all ingredients until smooth, starting with 1 teaspoon of the water and adding the other to thin it out as desired. Drizzle over the chilled cake.
Recipe by Chef Heather Pace, www.sweetlyraw.com
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