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Makes 16 servings.

This is a decadent dessert was created to celebrate a special birthday and the reunion of dear friends. It is very rich, so a little goes a long way. Play around with the ingredients and get creative with the decorations! Add a dollop of cashew pear cream for extra points!

 

Crust

1 ½ cups nuts (e.g. almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts or a combination)

1 ½ cups soft dates (if hard, steam to soften)

¼ cup cocoa powder

¼ cup coconut

Pinch of salt

 

Salted Caramel

1.5 cups (packed) dates

¾ cup nut butter (cashew or mixed nut butter are great)

½ tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla

 

Chocolate Cheesecake Filling

3 cups cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours, drained and rinsed*

1 cup non-dairy milk (cashew or almond work well)

200 grams dark chocolate 60 – 80% depending on sweetness you prefer

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

 

Raspberry Sauce

1 bag frozen raspberries (12 oz or 300 g?)

1/3 cup water

2 teaspoons cornstarch + 2 Tbsp water

 

Directions

  1. Prepare crust. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until mixture is still crumbly but well combined. Press together to test. If it holds together, it is ready to use. If not, pulse a little more. Press into a 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate for a few hours or freeze for at least an hour before adding the caramel layer.
  2. Prepare caramel. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until very smooth. Remove from processor and carefully spread over the crust. Refrigerate or freeze.
  3. Prepare cheesecake filling. Melt chocolate on low heat stirring frequently. While chocolate is melting, blend cashews, milk, lemon, and vanilla in a high-powered blender until very smooth. Add melted chocolate and blend into the cashew mixture – first on low speed, gradually increasing speed until thoroughly mixed in. Pour on top of caramel layer. Chill until firm – ideally overnight or a minimum of 4 hours.
  4. Raspberry sauce. Over low heat, place raspberries and 1/3 cup water. Heat to boiling and then combine cornstarch with 2 Tbsp water and stir into the raspberries. Keep stirring for about 3-4 minutes until cornstarch thickens the mixture. Pour into a jar to cool. Use to decorate the plate or simply pour a little over each slice of cake.
  5. Decorate. An easy, pretty way to decorate is to melt about 50 g chocolate and pour swirly lines over the chilled cake. Add raspberries around the edge of the cake and in the middle color. For a fancy birthday cake, you can add a 4rth layer of chocolate fudge frosting (or replace the caramel with fudge frosting) and reserve some frosting to pipe around the cake. If using as a fourth layer, make this layer number 2 after the crust and the caramel layer number 3. For extra points, sprinkle a little cocoa powder on the plate before serving.

*If you need to do a speed soak, use boiling water and soak 30 minutes or more.

 

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

½ cup pitted soft dates, packed

½ cup boiling water or hot non-dairy milk

½ cup nut or seed butter

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

Directions

Put the dates in a heatproof bowl or a large glass measuring cup. Add the boiling water and let soak until soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer the dates and the soaking liquid to a food processor. Add the nut butter, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and process until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down the work bowl. Use immediately or store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before using.