Raw Vegan Vanilla Bean Cheesecake – 2 Ways

Last week I had a dinner date with my dear friend Pam who I've mentioned many times on this blog. Over the years we've shared many dinners and it's such a thrill for me because, besides a fantastic friendship, Pam truly appreciates my food. She enjoys new tastes, savors every bite and is curious to know how I made each dish. For dinner I made raw fajitas - something I haven't made it a while. And dessert was this vanilla cheesecake with strawberry sauce, mixed berry chia jelly, and chopped macadamia nuts. I have to say, they turned out great! I made individual cheesecakes because I think they're so cute and I was in the mood for it, but you can make the cake in a 6 or 8" spring form pan.

Since I made several mini cheesecakes, there was opportunity for different toppings! For my own decadent dessert the other night I topped the cake with rich raw chocolate sauce and chunks of dark chocolate. Yummmm!

Raw Vanilla Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

Choose from a tried and true date nut crust, or a chocolate crust which I used on this occasion.

Date Nut Crust

1 cup walnuts
2/3 cup pitted, packed dates
Grind both ingredients together in a food processor.
Add 1 teaspoon of water if the mixture is too crumbly.
Press the crust into your pans of choice.
Chocolate Brownie Crust
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans
1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/4-1/3 cup cacao powder
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons water, as needed
Grind the almonds in a food processor.
Add the remaining ingredients and process to combine into a dough.
If the mixture is too crumbly and dry, add a little water.
Press into the bottom of a 6" or 8" spring form pan or several mini pans. Set aside.

Vanilla Filling

2 cups cashews
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons almond milk OR coconut milk*
8 tablespoons coconut nectar
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
4 teaspoons lemon juice
Seeds of 1 large vanilla bean
1/8 teaspoon himalayan salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil

In a high speed blender combine the cashews, milk, necar, extract, lemon juice, and salt. Blend until smooth and creamy.
Add the vanilla bean and oil. Blend to incorporate.
Pour the filling over the crust. Chill in the fridge for about 12 hours. Boost the chilling process by freezing it for 4-6 hours before transferring it to the fridge until firm (about 8 hours).

*Fresh young coconut blended with coconut water OR full fat canned coconut milk.

Strawberry Sauce

2 cups chopped strawberries
3-4 medjool dates, pitted
Lemon juice, to taste

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Or try the Vanilla Chocolate Cheesecake version! Drown it in your favourite raw chocolate sauce and dark chocolate chunks or cacao nibs. Alternatively, top it with anything you can think of 😀

On a chocolate note, here's a raw chocolate platter I did for a party last weekend.

And one of my latest creations - chocolate caramel pecan stack. Friggin' good!!!
Make it: Layer the dark chocolate recipe and caramel from 'caramel peanut chocolate bars' recipe in Raw Chocolate Dream ebook along with pecans.

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