Food is something that is really important in our household – both Patrick and I love to cook (he is much more talented than me in this department, but I am enthusiastic and can make a mean roast!). As we are getting closer to Christmas, we are starting to think about things we can make for all our guests and this year we are trying to be creative and make something delicious, but that also has nutritional value.
That’s when I had the idea to collaborate with a wonderfully talented cook, Alex, who runs amzing Dorset vegan café, Feed the Soul. Alex is raw vegan and the café reflects this – I had never realised how delicious cakes without wheat, dairy or sugar could be. A total revelation and Alex has agreed to collaborate with me on the blog over the next few months to share some of these delicious and virtually guilt free treats!
First up is a large raw cacao and caramel cheesecake to share – planned with seasonal entertaining in mind.
I hope you enjoy it – next month I’ll be sharing her brother Nick’s (who runs Feed the Soul with her) hot chocolate, which is insanely good. But for now, below is how to make this beautiful cheesecake.
Base and balls for decoration:
1 1 /2 cup dried activated almonds
1 cup cashews
1 1/2 cup dates
1tbsp coconut sugar
2 tbsp cacao nibs
4 tbsp cacao powder
2 Tbsp cacao butter (melted)
Pitch of salt
4 cups soaked cashews (soak for at least 2 hours)
1 1/4 cups of plant based milk (I like oat or coconut the best)
1tsp vanilla powder
1/2 cup liquid sweetener (maple, coconut nectar)
1/2 and 3tbsp melted coconut oil
5 tbsp melted cacao butter
1/4 cup cacao powder
4 medjool dates
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
3tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tbsp of walnut oil/sunflower oil/ avocado oil
Pitch of salt
To make the base:
Place the almonds, cashews in a food processor and blend until they are the consistency of couscous (we want the base to have a nice texture). Now add the rest of the ingredients and pulse a few times so that the mixture is nice and sticky.
Line a round cake tin. Put most of the mixture into the tin and leave 1/2 a cup to make the balls to decorate. Roll with your hands into small balls and place into the fridge.
Press the base firmly into the cake tin, place into the fridge to set while you are making the filling.
To make the filling:
Blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender (I love to use my vitamix) apart from the dates, cacao powder, coconut oil and cacao butter. Blend until very smooth. Now with the blade running pour in the coconut oil and cacao butter.
Split the mixture into two bowls, make sure they are as even as you can.
Pour one back into the blender. Blend again adding the dates and another pinch of salt.
Keep back 1/2 cup of this mixture to then pipe with and pour the rest on top of the base.set in the freezer for 1/2 hour. With the 1/2 cup of this vanilla caramel filling place in a pipping bag and pop into the fridge.
With the rest of your filling place in the bender and add the cacao powder, you may want to add a splash of plant based milk if it seems to thick. Once the first layer is set pour over the cacao filling. Set in the fridge over night.
Blend all of the ingredients together until nice and smooth.
Carefully take the cake out of the tin and now you can have and decorate.
Drizzle the yummy drizzle randomly onto the cake.
Take out your pipping filling and let it warm up for 15 minuets. Pipe all around the edge of the cake however you feel then place the balls around the cake. Add flowers if you really like why not have fun and make your cake look as good as it tastes.
This cake will be best stored in the fridge for a week. If it lasts that long!
Photography by Patrick Butler-Madden
This post is in collaboration with Feed The Soul