A creamy raw vegan cheesecake, combining the delicious complementary flavors of raw chocolate and lavender. Gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free.
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 3 soft medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tbsp dark maple syrup*
- 1 tbsp water, at room temperature
- 1 tbsp melted cacao butter**
- 1 cup raw cashews, pre-soaked and strained***
- 3 tbsp dark maple syrup
- 3 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 tbsp melted cacao butter
- 1 ½ tsp dried lavender flowers (culinary)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp maqui berry powder (optional****)
- ~ ½ lavender filling
- 3 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 2 tbsp unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 tbsp dark maple syrup
- 1 tbsp melted cacao butter
1. Process all ingredients into a fine moist sticky crumble in a food processor. Transfer to a 6″ springform pan and press down into an even crust along the base. Freeze while working on the next step.
2. For the filling, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature before getting started*****. Blend all lavender layer ingredients into a completely smooth and creamy mixture in a power blender. Remove just over half of this mixture from the blender into a separate bowl and set aside.
3. Add all chocolate filling layer ingredients to the remaining lavender mixture in the blender and process until smooth.
4. Using separate spoons for each mixture, begin by spooning out a few tbsp of the chocolate mixture into the center of the prepared cheesecake crust in the pan. Then spoon a bit of the lavender mixture into the center of the chocolate mixture you just added to the pan. Then spoon a bit more chocolate mixture into the pan, then lavender, etc. alternating in this way until you run out of both mixtures. Don’t worry if things aren’t perfectly even as you go.
5. Once all the mixture is in, tap the pan on the counter a few times to smooth out and level the mixture in the pan. Then use a spoon or a skewer to lightly swirl just the very top of the mixture to blend the top of the cake just a little and create some swirls. Be careful not to over-mix so as not to completely blend the two layers together. Sprinkle optional toppings around the edges.
6. Freeze the cake for 5-6 hours or overnight to set. Thaw out for 5-10 mins on the counter before serving, slice and enjoy! Keep leftovers frozen.******
*Maple syrup isn’t considered a raw sweetener, so if you wish to keep this recipe more fully raw, use a raw sweetener of your choice, like raw agave, etc.
**Cacao butter gives this cake a rich deep chocolate flavor. If you’ve never used it before, it also goes by the name cocoa butter (you’ll need to use a food grade version). For tips on how to best melt it, please refer to Unconventional Treats (there’s a video on the subject).
***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.
****The maqui powder here is optional because it just gives a hint of a lavender color, to suggest the cake’s flavor. You can alternatively use a small handful of blueberries or a bit of blueberry powder.
*****This is very important so that ingredients blend properly. If anything going into the blender is too cold it can make the mixture firm up prematurely. Conversely, you don’t want any of the ingredients to be hot either. Room temperature is just right.
******Storage notes: treat this cake like ice cream. Keep it cake frozen at all times until ready to eat, and freeze any leftovers. If left too long at room temperature it will begin to melt back into the consistency it was in the blender.