Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake (raw, vegan)

Luscious, creamy, rich and delicious, this cake was my birthday present to myself. I have somewhat taken on the raw dessert queen role in my community and I take great pleasure in creating cakes and raw treats for friends birthdays. The time and money it can take to create one of these desserts is a true labor of love. And because I have taken on that role, I rarely get treated by someone else making me one of these desserts. So for my birthday, I made my own cake, because I prefer raw vegan desserts, and because I love myself 🙂

I do not make these desserts too often anymore but when I do I put all my heart into them and this one reflected that in it’s beautiful flavor combinations.

Don’t let the extensive list of ingredients scare you off, this cheesecake is worth every single bite!!

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Sorry for the poor photograph. This cheesecake came out of the fridge right before serving to a bunch of friends and I didn’t take that time to take a better picture of the whole cake. 

 

 

Ingredients: Makes one 10 inch cake

Crust:

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 6-8 TBS raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup pitted soft dates (medjool are my favorites for this)
  • pinch of salt
  •  2 TBS water

Steps:

  • put all ingredients but water in food processor and blend until well combined but still loose, not formed into a sticky ball
  • while the food processor is running, scant some water until it starts to get a tiny bit sticky. You might not need both TBS. If you used very sticky dates you might not need to do this.
  • press this mixture at the bottom of springform pan that you have lined with wax paper. This will make taking out the cake at the end much easier.

 

Filling:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours or 30 minutes on hot water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used cashew milk because I had made some, but any other non dairy milk will work)
  • 2 cups frozen cherries
  • 2 TBS beet powder (optional, I used this to deepen the color)
  • 3/4 cup raw agave or any other liquid sweetener
  • 1 TBS lucuma (optional, I just really like the flavor)
  • 1 cup coconut cream (the thick stuff from the can or if you can, get fresh young coconut meat!)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 TBS soy lecithin

 

Steps:

  • put all ingredients except coconut cream, coconut oil and lecithin in a blender and blend on high until very creamy
  • add the rest and keep blending until well incorporated but do not over blend at this point
  • pour in the pan over the crust
  • put in the freezer for one hour to set then transfer to fridge until ready to eat, about 4 hours. Because I had made it the night before, I put it back in the freezer for 45 minutes before serving. OR make a sauce for the swirls before putting int he freezer.

 

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If you want to add beautiful swirls like I did her is my chocolate sauce recipe. You need to pour this on the cheesecake before putting it in the freezer:

  • 1/2 cup shaved raw cacao butter
  • 1 TBS raw coconut butter
  • 2 TBS coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1 TBS agave

Steps:

  • put everything in a double boiler and melt
  • pour in a easy pouring cup
  • drizzle it over the cake and then take a toothpick or knife to create the designs
  • now put it in the freezer  for one hour to set then transfer to the fridge.

Decorate as you wish and share the love!!!

 

 

 

 

Happy Mothers Day!!

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers out there!! If you are a mother, it means you are blessed. And hopefully you are blessed with extra thoughtful people like I am!!!

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I got to sleep in past 10 am this morning!!!! And was woken up by a lively performance from my family, my husband playing the ukele and my kids singing a mothers day song, that they had obviously practiced all together behind my back 🙂

My daughter, the oldest, showered me with 4 (4!!!) different mothers day art projects that she had made and managed to not tell me about! That, in and of itself is a surprise! She never manages to keep her excitement from me, so the fact that she has managed to not only make me things but not tell me about them, shows me how much my almost 7 year old is growing. Thoughtfulness is sinking in and she is understanding the power of personalized gifts and emotions. I love her.

And they made me breakfast in bed. Pancake cutouts made by all the kids with a very special honey fruit sauce made by my daughter. That beautiful paper bouquet is from her also 🙂 While it was the not the relaxing breakfast in bed experience one would think of, as the baby was crawling all over me wanting to breast feed and the middle child was eating all my pancakes as quickly as my daughter could manage to pour the fruit mixture on them, it was MY perfect breakfast in bed, with all of them being themselves as the full expression of the art that my husband and I created together.

This day is a bitter sweet one for me. Feeling so incredibly blessed to be a mother myself, to have 3 gorgeous children with an incredibly caring and loving husband who also happens to be a kick ass involved father. At the same time I am filled with sadness that I do not get to celebrate my own mother, who died when I was 7 years old. Wishing she were a phone call away, so I can tell her how much I love her. Wishing she was in hugging distance to comfort me when I am struggling at my own mothering. I have had a tumultuous life starting at a young age. I have experienced more death and sorrow at a young age than most people have in their adult life. I have endured more challenging life situations than one would think capable of. Yet at this point in my life, I am realizing one of the hardest things I have had to do, is be a mother without the guidance of my own mother. From what I remember and what is often said to me, she was a goddess. She had 5 children, me and my 4 brothers,  and was an incredibly devoted and loving mother. She sang and danced and cooked and gardened. She was lively and friendly and loved by many. She was charismatic and beautiful. Spiritual and grounded. She was all the things I strive to be as a mother and I wish she were here to give me insight and direction, to allow me to melt in her arms when I am feeling weak, to hug her fiercely with love when I feel powerful. While her energy and spirit are very much present, nothing can replace a mothers physical presence, the look of love in her eyes as she watches her children, the gentle comfort in her touch.

Yet with all this sadness filling my heart, I would not be half the woman I am today if my life had been any different. All the struggles were necessary for me to live such a happy and fulfilled life today. Living in the dichotomy that all this pain was a necessity to be proud of who I am now, that I would not love myself as I do had it not been for all the loss and challenges I experienced. Not wanting to be anyone else than who I am now comes with the acceptance that I needed to loose some important people along the way, shed too many tears and have my heart be torn appart, my spirit crushed. Life is perfect. With all its imperfections and its pain, life is perfect. And I am perfect as I am, living with purpose, with love and intention. Showering my children with everything I wish I was given today by my own mother.

Happy mothers day to all you mothers out there. If you do not have your mother, I hope it gives you insight on what you miss by not having her and how that can empower you in your own mothering.

We are all blessed as we have children of our own.