Chocolate Cheese Cake
1 cup packed dates (pitted // if dry, soak in warm water for 10 minutes then drain)
1 and a 1/2 cups raw walnuts (or sub almonds or rolled oats)
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
1 pinch sea salt
1 and a 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked in water 4-6 hours, then drained OR pour boiling hot water over the cashews, soak for 1 hour, then drain and blend as instructed)
1-2 tbsp lemon juice (plus more to taste)
1/4 cup Wilson’s Foods Olive Oil or melted Wilson’s Foods Coconut Oil
1 400 gram can full-fat coconut milk (sub light coconut milk or another non-dairy milk for a less creamy result)
200 grams dairy-free dark chocolate (chopped and melted over a double boiler or in microwave in 30 second increments)
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
Coconut Whipped Cream
Add dates to a food processor and blend until small bits remain and it forms into a ball. Remove and set aside.
Next add nuts, salt and cocoa powder and process into a meal. Then add dates back in and blend until a loose dough forms – it should stick together when you squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it’s too dry, add a few more dates through the spout while processing. If too wet, add more almond or walnut meal.
Cut out parchment paper into circles the shape of your ramekins, muffin tins or pan (see notes for size options). In addition, to make removing the cheesecakes easier, cut out two strips of parchment paper per ramekin and lay them in an “X” shape at the base. Top with circle shape. This creates little tabs that make removing the cheesecakes easier to pop out once set.
Divide crust among serving dishes and carefully press with fingers to distribute. To pack it down, use a small glass or the back of a spoon to and really press it down, allowing some crust to come up the sides. If it sticks, separate the crust and glass with a small piece of parchment paper. Set in fridge or freezer to firm up.
Add all filling ingredients to a blender (starting with the lesser amount of lemon juice and working your way up) and mix until very smooth – up to 2-3 minutes. If it won’t come together, add a splash more coconut milk as the liquid should help it blend better.
Scrape down sides as needed and blend until very creamy and smooth. Taste and adjust flavor/sweetness as needed, adding more maple for sweetness or lemon for tang.
Divide filling evenly among the ramekins (or other serving dish). Tap a few times to release any air bubbles, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until set – about 4-6 hours depending on size of dish. Expedite this process by popping them into the freezer for 1-2 hours.
Once set, run a butter knife along the edge and gently remove by tugging on the tabs in an upward motion. They should pop right out. If they aren’t quite set, pop them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes and they should come out easily.
Top with a touch of coconut whipped cream and fresh berries, or as is!