Orange Chocolate Cheesecake
It snuck up on me this year. I've been busy; a full-time job, spring cleaning, writing recipes, and training for my half marathon in May...I rarely even know what day of the week it is.
But tomorrow is Valentine's Day.
And I love my Valentine.
And he loves cheesecake.
So I started raiding the cabinets.
I came out with a half bottle of orange extract and lot of cocoa powder. So I got to work.
And when it was done? I was so proud of myself. It was creamy, rich, decadent...a perfect sweet treat for my handsome valentine.
for the crust:
1/2 cup pitted dates
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
(use double boiler method to keep it raw)
for the cheesecake:
3 cups soaked cashews
3/4 cup orange juice
2/3 cup agave
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon orange extract
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup grated dark chocolate as garnish, optional
for the crust:
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or strong blender. I use my Vitamix and it works like a charm everytime. You want the nuts and dates to the consistency of a sort of chunky, less malleable cookie dough.
Scoop mixture into a 9" springform pan (the easiest way) or line a cake or pie tin with waxed paper (less easy) and scoop it into that.
Press the mixture into the sides and bottom of pan.
Freeze to set, at least one hour or more.
After your cashews have soaked for at least an hour, throw them in your Vitamix, other blender or food processor. Add the freshly squeezed orange juice, agave, cocoa powder, salt, orange extract and coconut oil. Blend on high for about a minute, more if your machine needs it. The consistency will be that of a thick pudding, whipped and mostly pourable.
Remove the crust from the freezer and pour cheesecake filling on top, tapping the pan several times on the counter to level the filling completely flat.
Place the assembled cheesecake back in the freezer or in the refrigerator, at least 3 hours to set completely. Placing it in the freezer will result in a firmer, more ice cream like texture. Placing it in the fridge will leave it much softer and more like a custard.
Once the cheesecake has set, remove it from the fridge/ freezer and top around outer edge (or anywhere you like really) with grated chocolate.
Slice, serve & enjoy.
Happy Valentine's Day!