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luxe and the lady

Vegan Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

*This post was created in collaboration with iHerb. All images and opinions are my own.

While you might immediately think of all the heart-shaped treats this month for Valentine’s Day, February is also American Heart Month. A happy heart is a healthy heart, but eating healthy doesn’t have to mean foregoing dessert :). I’ve partnered with my friends at iHerb to create this Vegan Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake full of good for you antioxidants, fiber, proteins and fats. All the decadence that your heart desires without any artificial food coloring, gluten or refined sugars. Since it’s also no bake it’s super simple to whip up – all you have to do is blend, pour, freeze and enjoy!

The flavor was inspired by chocolate dipped raspberries with a chocolate hazelnut crust, creamy layered vanilla bean and raspberry fillings, and topped with rich dark chocolate gems and curls (plus, more berries and optional heart shaped marshmallows for extra happy points). You can use my code LUXEANDTHELADY for a discount on all the ingredients I used from the iHerb shop.

Ingredients: (makes 1, 9″ cheesecakes) **Make sure to read instructions forĀ soaking

the cashews before you begin.

Chocolate Hazelnut Crust:

2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Hazelnut Flour

3 large Medjool dates (pitted and soaked in hot water for 10 minutes to soften)

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon Wilderness Poets, Pure Vanilla Powder

Vanilla Bean Base Cheesecake Filling:

2 cupsĀ Now Foods, Whole Raw Cashews, soaked*

1 (13.5 oz) can full fat coconut milk

1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon Wilderness Poets, Pure Vanilla Powder

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Juice of half a large lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

3-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup or 9-12 drops liquid Stevia for non-glycemic (sweeten to taste, you may need to add more sweetener to the top raspberry layer to counteract tartness)

9″ heart shaped springform pan

*see directions below for tips to soak the cashews

1st Raspberry Layer Cheesecake Filling:

1/4 cup Karen’s Naturals, Organic Just Raspberries

1/2 heaping cup frozen raspberries

1/3 of the vanilla bean cheesecake base (from above)

2nd Raspberry Layer Cheesecake Filling:

1/4 cup Karen’s Naturals, Organic Just Raspberries

1/2 heaping cup frozen raspberries

1/3 of the vanilla bean cheesecake base (from above)

Decorations:

Hu Dark Chocolate Gems

2 teaspoons coconut oil

Karen’s Naturals, Organic Just Raspberries

Fresh or frozen whole raspberries

Optional: heart marshmallows, edible rose petals, marzipan (to add the arms to the cake heart), heart sprinkles…

Directions:

  1. To soak the cashews (which makes it easier to blend them), stir 1/2 TB sea salt into 4 cups filtered water, and add the raw cashews. Cover with a clean dishtowel and allow the cashews to sit on the counter for 3-4 hours. Before using, rinse and drain the cashews until the water coming off of them is clear.
  2. Use a clean paper towel dipped into the melted coconut oil to lightly grease the springform pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
  3. Let’s begin with the crust. Place the crust ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for about 1 minute, or until the ingredients start to stick together.
  4. Add the crust to the bottom of your springform pan, and firmly press it down using the palm or your hand, or the bottom of a small drinking glass or measuring cup. Transfer to the freezer while making the filling.
  5. Place the soaked cashews, along with the other vanilla bean filling ingredients, into a high speed blender, and blend on high for at least 1 minute until smooth.
  6. Pour 1/3 of the filling over the crust, smooth with a spatula, and transfer to the freezer.
  7. Add the 1st raspberry layer ingredients to the blender, and blend again until smooth. Pour 1/2 of the remaining filling over the vanilla layer and smooth with a spatula. Return to the freezer. Repeat with the final raspberry layer, adding sweetener as needed. Pour over the top of the cheesecake, smooth, and transfer to the freezer for at least 3 hours or until the cake is set. You can then store the cake in the freezer and thaw before serving (which is what I like to do), or cover and transfer to the refrigerator.
  8. Life, Love and Sugar has a wonderful tutorial for making the chocolate curls. I substituted Hu gems for the chocolate chips and used 2 teaspoons coconut oil in place of shortening.
  9. Decorate with Hu chocolate gems, curls, crushed freeze-dried and fresh/frozen raspberries, edible rose petals and heart shaped marshmallows (if using) before serving. Enjoy!

Happy Heart Month!! Please let me know if you try this tutorial, I would love to see your creations :).

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