I was hoping not to post another dessert recipe this week.
I still have that post Christmas remorse from eating a record amount of chocolate.
I was planning on making some fresh homemade pasta, with all the spare yolks I have in the fridge, but as I type it is one of those awful 40degree days, and I’m not in the mood for cooking anything. Especially because we have no air conditioner at home. I dare not heat up this house any further.
Being Christmas, I had an abundance of cherries in the fridge. Here in Melbourne we do not have the snowy ‘White Christmas’ that is celebrated in the Northern hemisphere. Our Christmas falls in summer, and is almost always hot. Rather than the traditional Turkeys and Hams, and Plum Puddings with Custard, each year our Christmas tables seem to be moving further away from our English heritage. We are starting to form our own traditions, which are better suited to our climate – usually Prawns, Pavlovas, Trifles and (being stone fruit season) Cherries!
I have considered making a raw ‘cherry ripe’ slice or cheesecake for quite some time now. Today was the perfect opportunity – there we so many still in the fridge. Oh how I love cherries.
And I ate it for dinner this evening.
I’ll have no remorse though – like all the raw vegan treats that preceded this beauty, it is full of goodness!
The cherry essence is pretty important in this dessert. The cherries on their own are not quite strong enough, and as the chocolate layer is made with raw cacao, it can be a little overpowering. The cherry essence will balance the flavours.
This makes one gigantic cake, perfect for feeding a crowd. You could easily halve the recipe if there are only a few of you. Otherwise you can just store the leftovers in the freezer, they will last a couple of weeks at least. Then you can have a healthy dessert on hand, which is great if you are craving something sweet but are trying to be good!
Raw Cherry Ripe ‘Cheesecake’
for the base
– 1 and 1/2 cups almonds
– 1/4 cup flax seeds
– 1/4 cup raw cacao
– 18 medjool dates
for the filling
– 2 cups cashews (soaked overnight)
– 500g cherries, pitted
– 2 cups desiccated coconut
– 1/2 cup rice malt syrup
– 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
– few drops of cherry essence (to taste)
for the top layer
– 1/2 cup coconut oil
– 1/3 cup raw cocoa
– 1/3 cup rice malt syrup
– handful pitted cherries, to decorate
Start by mixing the base layer in a food processor. Blend the almonds first, add the flax seeds and medjool dates next. Add the raw cacao then process again. Press this mixture in a 28cm springform tin which is lined with baking paper.
Place in the freezer.
For the middle layer, drain the cashews and process until smooth. You might need to add a tablespoon of water to loosen things up. Add the remaining filling ingredients and process until completely combined. Spread the filling evenly onto the base and place in the freezer to set.
Make your chocolate layer mixing the coconut oil, raw cacao and rice malt syrup with a whisk or fork, until smooth. Add a little more rice malt syrup if necessary. Pour the chocolate over the filling and smooth over with a spatula.
Press in some cherry halves to decorate and place in the freezer to set for 3 hours.
Allow to thaw for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.