OK, so my guts doesn't dig sugar, wheat, dairy - all the naughty stuff. I am well past indulging in naughty food, to later feel yuck and claim 'totally worth it' because you know what? It ain't...
I have spent a lot of enjoyable (and indulgent 😊) hours in the kitchen to create gorgeous desserts and treats that are primarily plant based from whole ingredients. There is so much to enjoy and still feel fabulous after. Here is one of my favourites: Chocolate 'Cheesecake'. I like to add a dash of orange and hit of cardamon or cinnamon. Or you can flavour it up with so many options because we all know chocolate goes great with anything. Some flavour variations include a spicy Choc Chilli version, Choc Mint and Choc Hazelnut. Is it as good as it looks you ask? No, of course not, its much better - the photos don't do it justice. And you can eat it without guilt - unless you eat the whole lot without sharing, because that really isn't very nice is it? Fancy the recipe?
Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake
1 cup Cornflakes (gluten free-check packaging to be sure)
100g Dates (I prefer Medjool dates)
45g Goji Berries or dried Cranberries
30 Coconut (optional - shredded or flaked)
20g Cacao Nibs (optional)
20g (extra virgin) coconut oil
35g tahini (either hulled or unhulled is fine. If not tahini, try 100% peanut butter instead)
1t ground cinnamon
¼ t salt
100g raw cashews (soaked for 30 minutes in hot water)
120g melted dark chocolate (dairy free/vegan-check ingredients on packet)
100g Dates (soaked for 30 minutes in hot water)
300g silken tofu (if unable to access silken tofu, try vegan cream cheese)
100g natural coconut yoghurt
Flavour options for the filling:
The zest and juice of 1 orange
¼ t ground cardamom and ¼- ½ t chilli powder
Break chocolate into pieces, place into a ceramic/glass bowl and sit on top of a saucepan of simmering water. Alternatively, you may gradually microwave on a low setting in a microwave safe bowl. Remove from heat once melted and put aside to cool a little.
Prepare the base (the base is pretty much a protein/bliss ball but flattened out!)
In a food processor, blitz the dates to create a paste
Add the nuts to mill and mix with the date paste
(Note: I use a Thermomix which works fine like this. Working with the tools available to you, you may find it better to mill the nuts separately and combine after)
Add berries, coconut, cacao nibs, cinnamon and salt into the food processor and ground further
Lastly add Coconut Oil and Tahini and mix well
(Note: In between each ‘blitz’ – use a spoon or spatula to scrape down the blades and side of the bowl so everything mixes well together)
If the mixture is too dry and not sticky enough, gradually add small amounts of water to help it bind enough
Using a cheesecake tin or slice/flan tin, press and evenly flatten the mixture into the base of the tin. Place in the fridge to set.
(Note: I use a tin with a loose bottom so that when the cheesecake is set and ready to serve it is easy to remove in one piece. If this needs greasing, use some extra virgin coconut oil)
Prepare the filing
Drain the cashews and dates
(Idea: keep this liquid and use as a liquid base for your own Chai Tea. Click here for recipe)
Blitz the cashews and dates into a paste
Add the tofu and coconut yoghurt and further blitz
Add flavour options
Whilst blades are turning, pour the melted chocolate and mix well
(Note: In between each ‘blitz’ – use a spoon or spatula to scrape down the blades and side of the bowl so everything mixes together well)
Once the filling is smooth and well mixed, pour onto the base and refrigerate until set. To serve, add a garnish and slice into modest portions as it is decadently rich!