Vegan Raw Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

Vegan Raw Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

It is very easy to create metaphors between love and food. Food is divine – an appetizing allegory for love – which is definitely and infinitely delectable. Both are visceral, encompassing and intellectually impossible to reduce down to the sum of their parts. It is all sensory – visual, tactile… gustatory.

And of course, there is nothing sweeter than when love is new! Optimistic, longing, so exciting that there is almost a very physical manifestation of anticipation and desire – you glow, you become animated, more attractive, almost a magnetic force. And then as a relationship develops…becomes more open, there is a gorgeous blooming and lingering…and savoring, in slow motion…. colors become saturated as what you have been anticipating is realized. Life is good. And suddenly new.

**Sigh**

I wanted to make something that paid homage to this love coming to fore. I think that nothing less than a most decadent dessert will suffice!

Now you have to remember that while I had an uncompromised goal in mind, I worked within a modernist design construct of form+function. What does this mean? Well, in a nutshell, that which causes a wanton sensory reaction must also be… healthy. Sounds anti-climactic but think of it in the health as bondage realm. And don’t get me started on raw! Not so anticlimactic now! (wink).

And I laugh, because, really, the best relationships are, well, healthy. Touche. Cliché.

That is where the element of surprise comes in – all this richness and decadence comes not from the common cream but from the coupling of cashews and coconut.

So here is what I call the Velvet Underground: Raw Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache. Made rosy with raspberries. Because it is, after all, about red hot love.

Take a bite, close your eyes and remember that time. When it all started.

RECIPE: Raw Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache

Part 1 – The Crust

  • ¾ cup almonds
  • ¾ cup macadamia nuts
  • ¾ cup pitted medjool dates
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Process the nuts into small pieces with salt in a food processor. Add the dates and process until combined and sticky. Press into the lined bottom of a springform pan and refrigerate or freeze until set.

Part 2 – The Filling

  • 3 cups cashews
  • ¾ cup lemon juice, fresh preferred
  • ½ cup agave syrup or maple syrup
  • ¾ cup coconut oil (must be liquid, place bottle in bowl of hot water if solid)
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • ½ pint raspberries

Cover the cashews in water and soak for about an hour. Drain and place in blender with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Taste for preferred sweetness and tartness. Pour into prepared springform pan. Place in freezer to set.

Part 3 – The Ganache

  • 1 ½ c. grain sweetened chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup almond milk creamer (or other nondairy creamer)

Place chips in a heatproof bowl. Slowly heat the almond milk creamer in a pan, take off heat when it simmers. Pour over chocolate chips and mix until chocolate is melted. Cool for a few seconds while mixing. Pour over filling. Decorate with fresh berries. Place in freezer to set.

When firm, place in the fridge until ready to serve.

February 13, 2013