I was seriously so surprised with how easy this “cheesecake” was to make — and how much of a hit it was! We brought it to a barbecue on Canada Day, and I’ll glaze over the fact that alcohol was involved to influence them, but all the girls at the party were just all over this cheesecake.
I’ve found that showing up to a party with food is always the easiest way to make friends. Otherwise, I’m screwed. What with my personality and all.
Now, there’s two things I bet you’d expect of this cheesecake:
- Cashews for the filling
- Dates for the crust
- Dates for the caramel, definitely.
Au contraire, friends! The crust is held together with coconut nectar, coconut oil and a bit of tahini. Now, it’s not a fully raw crust if raw is what you’re into, but I have to ask you if going raw is fully worth forgoing the delicious, almost sexual smell of hazelnuts roasting in your kitchen on a lovely, laid-back summer morning.
‘Cause, like… damn.
So now I’m sure you’re wondering about that filling and thinking, “Oh, it’s probably silken tofu or something else I can’t eat.
It’s actually buckwheat. I got the idea of soaking buckwheat from Evelyn at nourishnotpunish, one of my favourite bloggers for not only recipes but body positivity and recovery conversation. Of course, my whole thing with a cheesecake is that I’m not just trying to get a creamy texture, I want to actually have that cream cheese taste. I’ve never been a big fan of cheese, but cream cheese is apparently the exception.
So I figured out a trick.
If you want that actual tart taste for your cheesecake but want to still keep it subtle, add about a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. You could also try lemon juice.
If you want to really give it a true “cheesecake” taste, add about an ounce (one shot glass for those of you who are like “whaa?!”) of nutritional yeast (yes, nooch in a sweet recipe. I know it sounds weird but… go with it, if you’re feeling brave)!
Of course, you could keep it out and have it just be a chocolate cream pie, but if you’re going for authenticity, be brave (will ya?!) and add the nooch!
Now… raw vegan caramel made without dates? It’s actually so. damn. easy. Brown rice syrup (or maple syrup, but I find the viscosity of BRS to be just right for caramel) makes a great caramel base, and then thickening it up with some nut or seed butter makes it totally drizzle-able. I used tahini to avoid making it super headache-sweet.
Now, to conclude the pre-recipe spiel (because that’s really what you want, right? The recipe?) I’ll leave you with one important note: this is probably the easiest dessert I’ve made all year.
Raw salted caramel mocha vegan cheesecake
Ingredients – crust
- 1 cups hazelnuts
- 1 tbsp+1 tsp coconut oil or other light-tasting oil
- 1 tbsp tahini (or other nut/seed butter)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener
- Pinch of fine grain sea salt
Ingredients – Filling
- 1 3/4 cup raw buckwheat groats (not kasha)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup cacao nibs (optional)
- 1 oz nutritional yeast (optional, provides a more “cheesy” taste)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground espresso powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
Ingredients – Raw salted caramel
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup brown rice syrup
- A few generous sprinkles of fine-grain sea salt
- Set the buckwheat groats in a large bowl and cover in boiling water. Let sit for about an hour. You may have to re-pour water occasionally as the buckwheat soaks up the water.
- While the groats are soaking, make your crust. Start by preheating an oven to 350 degrees.
- Fill a bowl with warm water and sit your coconut oil in there, to gently melt it without zapping it.
- In a large food processor, process your nuts to a fine-to-medium crumb.
- In a bowl, mix the nut crumbs, melted coconut oil, tahini, vanilla and syrup.
- Lay the mixture into your pie plate and press flat (use your hands if you’ve washed them since the last time you got in a garbage fight or pet a dog).
- Set in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until your kitchen is filled with the glorious smell of roasting hazelnuts.
- Drain and rinse your buckwheat groats.
- In your food processor, blend the groats, oil apple cider vinegar and syrup until it is a smooth, velvety texture.
- Now, add in your cacao nips and nooch (if using), vanilla, espresso and cinnamon. Since these are flavour agents, use my measurements as a guideline — add gradually and go with what makes you happy (I mean, that’s a general rule for life).
- Pour your mixture onto the nice toasty crust and smooth out the top.
- Freeze the pie for about two hours.
- In a small bowl, use a fork to mix together your tahini and syrup. Pour on top of your frozen cake in whatever formation you desire. Add a few generous sprinkles of sea salt — after all, it’s a salted caramel mocha!
- You can also assemble with any fruit or toppings you desire — a coconut whipped cream topping would basically make this Starbucks on a plate.