Decadent Triple Layer Chocolate Caramel “Cheesecake” with Raspberry Sauce
Makes 16 servings.
This is decadent dessert which 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!
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 unsweetened, dried, shredded coconut
Pinch of salt
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
1 bag frozen raspberries (12 oz or 340 g)
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch + 2 Tbsp water
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 for color. For a fancy birthday cake, you can add a 4th 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
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.