Pretty-in-pink, lush, creamy cheesecake and a perfectly chocolatey crust... simple, mysterious, and utterly delicious. Now I know I make a lot of raw vegan cheesecake, but this one is novel for multiple reasons:
- It has an incredibly soft, cream cheese-like texture (triggering all kinds of "I can't believe it's not real cream cheese" talk...)
- Its lovely pink hue is completely natural
- It's fruit-free -- yep, no classic pink raspberries, strawberries, or cranberries here... so ideal for those looking for fruit-free options.
- It has a veggie snuck into it...
- Cheesecake + chocolate crust for the win here ;)
The process of making this cheesecake went something like this:
Friend: Audrey, make a Valentine's dessert please.
Me: Valentine's?! :S
Yeah, something pink, you know... and chocolate...
Me: OK, I may have just the thing... let me get the beets...
Haha #sorrynotsorry! It's been a while since a veggie-inspired cake happened here, so figured it's time to revive the trend and share something a little different...
It's just that, well, I love putting veggies into things if I can get away with it (there's a whole section for that on the recipes page)... and I had just the thing to make a lovely pink cake in my pantry -- beetroot powder. Plus beets and chocolate are yummy together... follow my logic?
If you're not a veggies-in-your-sweets kind of person, don't sweat it -- you can't taste the beetroot in this at all. But you get all its nutritious goodness, and most importantly its beautiful natural pink hue. Way to beet the system, huh? ;)
I've been using beetroot powder for quite some time now, in things like smoothies or nice cream, cake icing, etc. I like that you can control the "beet" flavor better with the powder in some ways, as the flavor of the powders I've tried is usually milder-tasting than say a boiled beet (nothing against beets, but they're not always super complimentary to a simple smoothie or an ice cream... ya know).
And it's handy -- I usually resort to using a pinch when I just need a little something extra that's pink and nutritious. It's quite shelf stable too, and makes a beautiful natural color -- totally worked its magic in this cake, wouldn't you say? :)
And a little goes a looong way because it's dehydrated (and therefore condensed) -- so 1 tablespoon (or 3 tsp) of powder equals one fresh beet! I mentioned in the directions that the color of the cake can be adjusted with more or less powder, but just keep in mind not to go overboard (i.e. adding ¼ cup powder or something, unless you really love tasting beets in your cheesecake, that is...).
Last but not least, as per usual, this raw vegan chocolate beet cheesecake recipe is for a tiny 5" cake. See the downloadable cake size guide below the recipe if you need help with sizing this cake up or down. Also, if you need any tips to get comfortable with raw cake making, you may find Unconventional Treats handy for that.
Oh, and one more final note: because this cake is designed to be very lush and creamy, it'll also get quite melty if not kept frozen. So be sure to serve it frozen, or thaw out for just 5-10 minutes prior to serving.Print
A lush raw vegan cheesecake made with beets and a gluten-free chocolate crust. Such a pretty pink color and a fun way to add a bit of veggies to your cake!
- ½ cup raw almonds (or cashews)
- 1 soft medjool date, pitted (skip if going fruit-free)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¾ cup raw cashews, pre-soaked & strained*
- 5 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 3 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 1-3 teaspoon beetroot powder (depending on light or dark a pink you want it**)
- Process all crust ingredients in a food processor into a fine sticky crumble. Transfer into a 5" springform pan and press down into an even flat crust. Freeze while working on next step.
- Make sure all filling ingredients are at room temp (not cold***). Blend everything, except the beet powder, together in a power blender into a smooth creamy consistency. Add a little bit of the beet powder (1tsp at a time) and blend to incorporate. Add a bit more powder if desired to adjust to your liking (see notes**). Transfer this mixture into the springform pan over the crust. Decorate with any desired toppings.
- Freeze for 5-6 hours or overnight. Keep frozen until serving time. Slice and enjoy! Keep any leftovers frozen.
*To pre-soak nuts: place in a glass bowl, cover with water, and leave to soak for 4 hours (or overnight in the fridge). Then strain and discard the water. For a quick pre-soak, cover with boiled water and soak for 15 mins, then strain and discard water. (Note: this technique doesn't preserve the nutrition of the recipe as well as the traditional soaking technique above). Note: the purpose of soaking the nuts is to re-hydrate them and plump them up for blending into a smooth, cheesecake-like consistency. Proper soaking techniques also maximize nutrition and digestibility. If you're interested in learning more about nut soaking and other dessert prep tips and tricks, I delve into these subjects in detail in my book Unconventional Treats.
**With the beet powder, different powders from different brands might vary in their texture, flavor, and color. This is why I recommend starting by adding just a little bit of the beet powder to the filling mixture at first, and then add more if you feel that your cake can handle it well to your taste. You can just taste a tiny bit of the cake mixture after adding a little bit more to see how you like the taste and the resulting color, and if you want to try adding more, add a bit more and blend again.
***If any of the ingredients are cold the coconut oil can start to solidify within the blender and therefore not blend through properly.