Raw chocolate cheesecake

Suitable from 12 months

Raw chocolate cheesecake
For my son’s second birthday I had a bit of a dilemma. Being 2 years old – and having some friends who are a bit older – I wanted to make a ‘proper’ cake. But we prefer to avoid wheat and we have never given him sugar, so I wondered if there were a healthier option that both adults and children would enjoy.

The first thing that came to mind was a raw food cafe in Soho that I visited often when I lived in London. One weekend, on the search for something yummy to take home to my family, I discovered their raw chocolate and strawberry ‘cheesecakes’. They looked like cheesecakes. They smelled like cheesecakes. They tasted like cheesecakes. How could this be in a raw food cafe? Well in fact they were made with nuts, seeds, cacao and fruit. At the end of the meal I took out the cakes and made my family guess what they were eating. Nobody could tell the difference.

So a few weeks before my son’s birthday, I began experimenting with raw cheesecakes. The first one I made was blueberry – a purple cake just didn’t feel quite right. Each one I made improved until it didn’t – hazelnuts made the base greasy and soggy, whilst too much almond made it taste dry and crumbly. Eventually I realized that soaking the cashews was really essential in getting a smooth topping and I settled on a chocolate cheesecake.

Recipe tips
A lot of raw cheesecake recipes say that soaking the nuts doesn’t matter and if you don’t have time to soak the cashews for 3 hours you can still make this, but the filling will not be as smooth and it really isn’t as good, so bear that in mind.

Use a food processor or a strong hand-held blender (e.g. a Bamix blender) to mix and process your ingredients.

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