Yes I know. I cannot believe this is raw either, but it is, I swear! And what’s even better is it’s really easy to make! This is definitely a cake to make for people who are skeptical of raw or vegan food, I mean who can resist chocolate and peanut butter? They’re a match made in heaven, and the combination of the rich chocolate ganache and the lighter raw peanut butter cheesecake is just perfect, and you should make this immediately to convert any raw sceptics. I would be surprised if anyone would even notice it was not made of processed ingredients, and if they do they will almost certainly be persuaded that there is more to raw food than just salad and bananas!
I actually decided to make this cake as an early birthday present to myself, hence the obscene amount of peanut butter and chocolate covering this thing! I am turning 24 and am actually pretty scared about this! I honestly feel like I am still 18, I know everyone says this, but I have no idea how I am already this age?! However this cake should definitely help to numb the pain!! This may not be the healthiest dessert in terms of calories and fat, but it is free of nasty processed ingredients and refined sugar, and if you are going to make a cheesecake then why not just go all out?! I love cramming on toppings onto all my food, and this cheesecake is (clearly!) no exception. Chocolate ganache swirls, chocolate buttercream and raw peanut butter cups…, it is really hard to stop myself running to the fridge to grab a piece of this before dinner!
The raw peanut butter cups are so easy to make, I am forever whipping up batches of them to cure my insatiable appetite for peanut butter! I actually think they taste much better than Reese’s version because the chocolate and peanut butter flavours are both richer and more intense. Plus you can feel way less guilty about having a few of these things!
For this recipe the ingredients listed will make more cups than pictured in these photos, so just pop the rest into a tupperware box and put them in the freezer. I let mine defrost for 10 minutes or so before eating.
I have never actually made raw buttercream before, and I could not be more surprised at how damn easy it was, and just look at those creamy little peaks- they look so much the dairy version! This stuff does melt quite quickly in the piping bag if you hold it in your warm, toasty little hands as it is made with coconut cream, so it is best to just put a large tablespoon in the bag at a time and do a couple of little swirls at a time instead of putting the whole mixture in the bag. However once on the cake it stays in the swirl pattern, hurrah!
Despite it’s appearance (and the essay-length recipe below!), this cheesecake is actually really simple to prepare, and you can omit any of the elements if you feel like it; so don’t feel too alarmed/put off if you scroll down to the recipe!
There are a lot of different parts to this cheesecake, so to make it easy for you, I’ll break up the recipe below. This was you can easily eliminate elements of this cheesecake if you want to.
- • 1 cup (90g) oats
- • 1 cup (175g) dates
- • 2-3 tbsp liquid coconut oil (you may need to add a little more if your base is too dry to stick together)
- • 2 tbsp maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener)
- • 3-4 generous tablespoons of cacao or cocoa powder (or to taste!)
- • 2 cups (290g) cashews, soaked in water for at least 4-6 hours (I soaked mine overnight).
- • 1 lemon, juiced (roughly ¼ cup)
- • ⅓ cup (80ml) melted coconut oil
- • ½ cup (118ml) + 2 Tbsp full fat coconut milk (leave the coconut can in the fridge and scoop out the cream on top to make a richer filling)
- • ½ cup (118ml) maple syrup OR other liquid sweetener
- • ⅓ (80ml) cup raw peanut butter OR peanut butter with no added ingredients such as palm oil or sugar. It should just be peanuts and maybe a little bit of salt.
- • 1 cup (160g) dairy-free dark chocolate OR dark chocolate with a high cocoa content(chopped into chunks)
- • 5 tbsp full fat coconut milk, warmed to a simmer
- • 2 tbsp peanut butter
- • ½ tsp Nutritional yeast
- • Pinch of Salt
- • Dash of maple syrup OR preferred sweetener
- • 1 small teaspoon of vanilla extract
- • 60g (roughly 5 tbsp) cacao powder
- • 118ml (½ cup) liquid coconut oil
- • 115g maple syrup
- • 1 can of full fat coconut milk OR carton of coconut cream
- • 4 tbsp cacao OR cocoa powder
- • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
- Process the oats and dates until they stick together.
- Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and cacao powder. Continue to process until the mixture sticks together when pinched between your fingers. If it doesn’t, add another tbsp of coconut oil.
- Press into the bottom of a spring form pan and put in the fridge whilst you make the cheesecake.
- Place your drained cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup and peanut butter into your blender and mix until you have a really smooth and creamy mixture.
- You need to make sure you get it really smooth so you get a nice silky, cheesecakey texture. If your mixture is too thick, add a bit more coconut milk or oil to help things blend a little easier.
- As with all raw food, you can taste and adjust the amount of peanut butter or maple syrup to your preferences.
- Pour on top of crust and gently bash the tin on top of your kitchen table to remove any air bubbles. You may need to do this a couple of times to make sure they’re all gone.
- Place the cheesecake in the fridge whilst you make the chocolate ganache.
- Place the coconut milk in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer on the hob.
- Place the chocolate in a small bowl and pour the warm coconut milk over the top.
- Leave for 4-5 minutes to allow the chocolate to melt.
- Being to stir gently until smooth. If the chocolate has not completely melted, boil some water in a kettle and pour boiling water into a large bowl. Place the bowl of chocolate and coconut milk into the larger bowl and stir until smooth.
- Place ganache mixture into a jug and pour in a spiral shape into the peanut butter cheesecake filling mixture.
- Using a toothpick, create spirals in the mixture until you have made a pattern you like. I watched a couple of YouTube videos on how to do this and it is very easy!
- Make chocolate mixture by stirring together the cacao, coconut oil and maple syrup.
- Place 1 tsbp of the chocolate into the bottom of a small cupcake case. Make sure you put enough in to cover the bottom of each case. You should have over half your mixture left by the end of this stage.
- Put the cases on a tray or plate and pop them in the fridge to harden while you make the filling.
- Stir together all the ingredients for the peanut butter filling in a bowl.
- Take the peanut butter cup cases out of the fridge, and put a small amount of the filling in the bottom of each case. Make sure it does not go right to the edges of the case.
- Cover with the remaining chocolate and put them in the freezer to harden.
- Place can of coconut milk in the fridge overnight. Scoop off the creamy layer on top and place in a bowl. I actually bought a carton of coconut cream instead! Yay for being lazy!
- Stir in cacao and maple syrup until the mixture turns into a smooth, creamy and fluffy buttercream.
- Adjust cacao and maple syrup to your taste.
- Place a small amount of the mixture into a piping bag and slowly pipe small swirls around the edge of the cheesecake. Don’t put too much of the mixture in the bag at once or it will melt with the heat from your hands!
- FINALLY. I hope you are all still with me, hang in there, you are nearly done and peanut buttery deliciousness is nearly here!
- Chop some peanut butter cups up and place them on top. I added a few cacao nibs for some crunch too.