Mint Chip Cheesecake – nut free!

Right now I'm sitting in the Calgary airport on my way out to British Columbia to visit my mom for a few weeks in the mountains. Very excited!!! Since I've got hours to wait before my next flight I thought it would be the perfect time to do a blog post. I've been sitting on a bunch of recipes that I haven't had time to post about yet - but I'll get there!
Today I'm sharing a recipe that I'm really proud of. It took me two attempts to get this Mint Chip Cheesecake just right. I make cheesecakes all the time so why did this one take two tries? Because it's completely nut free! Yup. I do make nut free recipes from time to time to accommodate the requests from those of you who need or want to eat nut free.

The first time I made it, the crust was a bit too crumbly and the filling was far too soft. It held it's shape but was on the moussy side when cut into. Something better eaten semi frozen. Me and J managed to gobble it all up though 😉

Here's a slice of the first attempt. Yummy but a bit soft. 

I was determined to get it firm and perfectly sliceable with a few tweaks on the crust too so I set out for my second attempt, using more coconut oil/butter and compensating with a touch more sweetener. I touched the crust up too.

Second attempt and perfectly sliceable. Score!

Imagine a chewy light chocolate crust topped with a sweet creamy mint filling with flecks of cacao nibs throughout, all drizzled with rich chocolate sauce and sprinkled with cruchy cacao nibs.... 

There are cacao nibs in the crust, filling, and garnish making it a true "chip" dessert. I use a combo of fresh mint and peppermint essential oil just as I do in most of my mint desserts because I feel it provides the most rounded out mint flavour and I never use peppermint extract. It tastes cheap and gross to me. I encourage you to invest in some high quality peppermint essential oil for desserts. I drizzled the one and only raw chocolate sauce recipe I ever use. Yumm.

Mint Chip Cheesecake
Nut Free

Crust

1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup dehydrated buckwheat
2 tablespoons cacao powder
1/3 cup pitted packed dates
1 tablespoon cacao nibs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 - 2 teaspoons water

Process the coconut and buckwheat until ground down.
Add the cacao powder, dates, and cacao nibs. Process again until everything is evenly ground.
Add the vanilla and 1 teaspoon water and process again. Add more water only as needed so that the dough holds together when pressed.
Press dough into the bottom of a 6" spring form pan.

Filling

1/4 cup young coconut water
3/4 cup young coconut pulp
1/4 cup packed mint leaves
3 tablespoons coconut nectar
3-5 drops stevia
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4-5 drops peppermint essential oil
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons melted coconut butter
1 tablespoons cacao nibs - pulse in at the end

Blend the water, pulp, mint, coconut nectar, stevia, and vanilla until smooth and creamy in a high speed blender.
Add the remaining ingredients except cacao nibs and blend to incorporate.
Pulse the nibs in at the end to break down but keep texture.
Pour over the crust and chill in the fridge for at least 12 hours or in the freezer for part of the time to speed the chilling.
Drizzle with chocolate sauce.

So there you have it! A delicious cheesecake for any time of year. Good in the summer when fresh mint is abundant in your garden, but also perfect for the cooler months and even for Christmas.

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