Raw or Almost Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

cheesecake

I don’t post a lot of raw recipes. In fact, this may only be the second one in the years since this blog began. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for raw food but except for salads, I prefer my food hot.  The hotter, the better. Cheesecake, however, is one food you don’t eat hot and that’s what I set out to make.

My mother used to make cheesecake all the time – Italian cheesecake with cream cheese and ricotta and topped with fruit. Everyone always said it was the best cheesecake they ever had. My cheesecake is different since it’s vegan and raw. I also wanted my favorite flavor combination: chocolate and hazelnuts.

cheesecake (2)

The crust is raw and made from hazelnut meal, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla and salt. I used Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Meal. It’s ground from whole hazelnuts from Oregon and it’s amazing.

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The filling is predominately cashews, cocoa powder and hazelnut butter. The filling also has coconut oil. I used Artisana Raw 100% Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. I told you all about Artisana when I made my Chocolate Nut Butter Truffles using their amazing products.

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For this cheesecake, I made my own hazelnut butter. It’s easy to do. Just toss a bunch of hazelnuts in a high-speed blender and that’s it. If you roast them first, they will taste extra-good but then your cheesecake won’t be totally raw but almost.

cheesecake (1)

To make Roasted Hazelnut Butter: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread out 2 cups of hazelnuts on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. Place the warm hazelnuts in a dishtowel and wrap them up. Holding the bundle with the nuts in one hand, use your other hand to rub the nuts through the towel. The friction will help the skins come off.

Pick out the now naked hazelnuts and transfer them to a food processor or Vitamix. Process on high for 5 minutes in the food processor or 2 minutes in the Vitamix, until the hazelnuts have turned into a creamy butter. Scrape down the sides of the food processor or use the tamper for the Vitamix to incorporate all the nuts. Transfer to a jar with a lid for storage. This makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups hazelnut butter.

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Anyway, whether you choose raw or roasted hazelnut butter, you just put the filling in the crust and refrigerate it until it’s firm. The cheesecake is rich, decadent and filling. You only need a small piece, believe me. This is a beautiful dessert for your holiday get-togethers. Serve with whipped cream, ice cream or as is. Enjoy!

Raw or Almost Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

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GF, SF

Makes one 9-inch cake

 

For the crust­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­:

1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Meal

1/3 cup cocoa powder

3 Tbs. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

¼ tsp. kosher salt

 

For the filling­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­:

2 cups cashews, soaked at least 3 hours

½ cup maple syrup

½ cup water

½ cup cocoa powder plus extra for dusting

½ cup Artisana Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, melted

1/3 cup hazelnut butter

2 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. kosher salt

Hazelnuts for garnish

 

To make the crust: Combine all the ingredients into a food processor. Process until the ingredients form a dough and stick together. Transfer the dough to the bottom of a springform pan. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan to make a crust. Work it with your fingers until it covers the entire bottom of the pan. Set aside.

To make the filling: Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Add them, the maple syrup and the water into a food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. Add the cocoa, coconut powder, hazelnut butter, vanilla and salt. Process again until everything is well combined and creamy. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure everything is getting processed.

Transfer the filling to the springform pan. Spread out evenly with a spatula. Refrigerate for several hours until the cake is set and firm. Serve cold with hazelnuts for garnish and extra cocoa powder dusted onto the plate. Enjoy!

raw cheesecake

The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it. 

Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
 
Ingredients
  • For the crust
  • 1 cup hazelnut meal
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • For the filling
  • 2 cups cashews, soaked at least 3 hours
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup cocoa powder plus extra for dusting
  • ½ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ⅓ cup hazelnut butter
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • Hazelnuts for garnish
Instructions
  1. To make the crust:
  2. Combine all the ingredients into a food processor. Process until the ingredients form a dough and stick together.
  3. Transfer the dough to the bottom of a springform pan. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan to make a crust. Work it with your fingers until it covers the entire bottom of the pan. Set aside.
  4. To make the filling:
  5. Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
  6. Add them, the maple syrup and the water into a food processor.
  7. Process until smooth and creamy.
  8. Add the cocoa, coconut powder, hazelnut butter, vanilla and salt.
  9. Process again until everything is well combined and creamy.
  10. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure everything is getting processed.
  11. Transfer the filling to the springform pan.
  12. Spread out evenly with a spatula.
  13. Refrigerate for several hours until the cake is set and firm. Serve cold with hazelnuts for garnish and extra cocoa powder dusted onto the plate.

 

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