Some days you need a little extra chocolate in your life... because, you know, chocolate cheesecake is good, but chocolate cheesecake topped with crunchy chocolate is way better ;)
And when you have a chocolate situation like this on your hands, it's pretty much the perfect opportunity to depart from the usual raw cheesecake base (quite often cashews) and instead feature hazelnuts as the star. After all, chocolate and hazelnuts are the quintessential match made in heaven.
Plus I knew this raw chocolate hazelnut cheesecake would make you happy if you're one of those people looking for cashew-free dessert options :)
Now I have to warn you, if you're thinking of Nutella (because obviously why wouldn't you be thinking Nutella when you hear "chocolate" and "hazelnuts") I will just say that this cake doesn't taste like that spread... it's somewhat different. A bit more grown up, definitely not as sugary, and more on the dark chocolate side. It's an indulgent little treat that calls for a cup of tea or coffee as its companion.
You can see for my cake I topped it with all kinds of crunchy, chocolatey deliciousness for good measure, and then went a little wild with the toppings -- quite literally -- and decorated it with wild strawberry blossoms from the forest, which were still in bloom at the time. They turned out to be adorable and really livened up the cake.
If you can't find those, or if they're just not in season, you can always use another small flower for your decoration (although make sure you know whether it's edible or not before serving).
P.S. if you like hazelnutty things, here are a few more ideas for treats:
Note: this recipe is for a small 5″ cake. Triple (thinner) or quadruple (taller) for a 6″ if you prefer. For more assistance converting the cake to other sizes, see the downloadable cake size guide below the recipe. Also, if you have a low-profile blender, you might have to increase the cake size. I make these small cakes using my Vitamix, but I know for those that upgraded to the newer low-profile models blending small batches for raw cakes can be a challenge. I explain a bit more about it on my baking resources page.Print
Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake
A delicious raw vegan chocolate hazelnut cheesecake that only takes minutes to put together. It's a lovely alternative for those looking for raw cakes made without cashews, and is also gluten & grain-free, and refined sugar-free.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 5" cake
- Category: Cake
- Method: Raw
- Cuisine: Dessert
- ½ cup peanuts (or another nut)
- 6-8 hazelnuts
- 1 soft medjool date, pitted
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ tbsp coconut oil, liquefied*
- ¾ cup hazelnuts, pre-soaked and strained**
- 6 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, liquefied*
- 2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- more chopped hazelnuts, cacao nibs, chocolate chunks, chocolate covered cacao nibs (or can use chocolate chips), small fresh flowers (I used wild strawberry blossoms).
Process all crust ingredients in a food processor until a sticky crumble is formed. Transfer the mixture into a 5″ springform pan and press to form a crust along the base and a bit up the edges all around. Place the pan in the freezer while working on the next step.
Blend all filling ingredients in a power blender until completely smooth. Pour this mixture into the pan over the crust. Smooth out the top. Decorate with toppings (except fresh flowers, if using).
Freeze for 5 hours or overnight. Thaw out a touch and enjoy! (Decorate with fresh flowers, if using, before serving to maintain their fresh look). Keep leftovers frozen.
*If you prefer, can use melted cacao butter in place of coconut oil for a richer chocolate flavor or for coconut-free alternative.
**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). Additional 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.