RAW SALTED CARAMEL CHEESECAKE

Australia I miss you. I miss our house. I miss being by the sea; the coffee shops that open at 6am, the early morning runners, the openness, the smell, the colours, everything. Maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to the colour blue right now and why I seem to find myself scrolling through images captioned ‘wanderlust’ on Pinterest more often than I should.

I recently saw a quote that said (and I’m hugely paraphrasing here) that you should adjust your life in accordance to your dreams; to make it everything you want it to be. So that’s what I’m doing.

 

To me that means travelling, the sun on my skin, the chance to do more yoga, to slow down a little, fresh food, coffee. Maybe the most simple answer would be to move to Australia. But you know what else aligns with my 'happy'? My friends and family; seeing my sisters and cousins; maybe one day watching them get married and have children. And living on the other side of the world unfortunately doesn’t go hand in hand with that.

 

But that’s okay. Instead I’m going to travel more, learn more about yoga. I want to bring breath and purpose into my practice and also into my classes; to teach it. I want to make real food and to share it (physically and electronically – Instagram, blogging) so that other people might be able to try these things too.

 

This cheesecake is the result of just that - a desire to make a raw cheesecake as extravagant and beautiful as those I see in coffee shops in Australia.

 

Don’t be put off by the seemingly long recipe; I know it can seem a little daunting, but this is supposed to be something special and I can guarantee it is worth every effort. It also seems more simple each time you make it; so give it a go!

 

Ingredients: {serves 8-12 depending on slice size}

 

Base:

1 cup dates

2/3 cup oats (or raw buckwheat groats in prefer)

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

1 tbsp cashew butter

 

Filling:

1 ½ cups cashew nuts

1 cup coconut cream*

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tbsp almond butter

2 tbsp coconut oil

3 tbsp water

1 tsp salt

*you can either buy this from a supermarket as a thick soft cream or alternatively leave a can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight and the cream will form at the top of the can when you open it – simply scoop this out

 

Toppings:

 

Salted caramel chocolate:

1 tbsp cashew butter

1 tbsp coconut oil

2-4 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp salt

 

Raw cookie dough balls:

½ cup dates

½ cup ground almonds

1 tbsp cashew butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

Raw chocolate sauce:

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

3-4 tsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp cashew butter

Almond milk to taste

 

 

Method:

Base:

Begin by lining a cake tin with cling film or grease proof paper.

Place all the base ingredients into a blender and blend until well combined and a sticky mixture has formed.

Empty mix into bottom of tin and (with slightly damp hands) press flat to form the base. Pop to the side.

Rinse the blender jar ready to create the filling.

 

Filling:

Place all the filling ingredients into the blender and blend away until smooth. Depending how strong your blender is this may take a little time so be patient (practice some yogi breathing!). Scrape down the sides every now and then if required.

Once blended fully taste the mixture and adjust to your liking; adding a little more maple, salt or vanilla if you feel it is required.

Pour the filling into the tin on top of your base and then put into the freezer to set.

Allow this to set for 3 hours.

Meanwhile…

 

Raw Salted Caramel Chocolate:

Using a small saucepan melt the coconut oil on a low heat.

Once liquid add the maple syrup and cashew butter, stirring until it is smooth and combined.

Next add the vanilla and salt. Testing and adjust to taste.

Pour the chocolate mix into molds or a small dish or tray.

Put into the freezer to set. This will take between 30 minutes – 1 hour.

 

Raw Cookie Dough Balls:

Simple place all the ingredients into your blender and blend until the mixture becomes dough-like (it should start to form a big ball in your blender – so well combined that it is almost smooth!)

If you want to add cacao nibs or dark chocolate chips go for it! Blend a handful into the mix once the dough has formed.

Empty the dough onto a chopping board and knead with your hands to soften.

Break off small parts of the dough and roll into little balls; I like them to be all different sizes.

Set to one side.

 

Raw Chocolate Sauce: (make this only once the cheesecake is fully set)

Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan on a low heat.

Add the cacao powder and maple and stir until combined.

Next add the cashew butter and vanilla, mixing in until this too has melted into the mix.

A tbsp at a time add almond milk, stirring really well in between each spoonful until the chocolate reach a desired milky-ness.

 

Assembly:

Firstly remove the salted caramel chocolate from the freezer; taking it from the molds or removing from the dish ( if a solid block chop into smaller chunks).

Next take the cheesecake from the freezer – it should be set right into its centre.

Pour the raw chocolate sauce around the cheesecake, leaving a small amount in the pan. Be creative! I like to have mine going around the outside of my cake but you can do this however you want. Don’t worry if you don’t use it all!

Place the cookie dough balls and salted caramel chocolate around the cake and on top of the sauce to decorate it. You can dip them in the extra chocolate sauce if trying to stick your decorations in places that are sauce free! Again I like this to go mainly around the edge of the cake and then scatter slightly inwards, but anything will be great.

If there is any spare chocolate sauce left you could drizzle over the top or even take chocolate granola (recipe here) and pour a handful into the sauce to make it sticky. Then scatter around the cake.

Pop the cheesecake back into the freezer to set.

Remove from the freezer approximately 20 minutes before serving to soften, taking it out of the tin and placing on a plate or serving board of some kind.

Slice THEN EAT (and try super hard not to continue to eat every slice you have left).

If you have leftovers (highly unlikely) they can be stored in the freezer for a few weeks. Just make sure you leave a little time for it to soften before you dig in each time.

 

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