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Berry Chocolate Cheesecake Squares

2013-10-30
  • Yield : 12-16
  • Prep Time : 25m
  • Ready In : 1:25 h

These berry chocolate “cheesecake” squares are completely delicious and easy to make. They are free from all dairy and happen to be gluten and soy-free as well. They are full of anthocyanins from the berries (flavanoids that protect our cells from damage), healthy fats from the nuts (cashews, walnuts, and almonds), and antioxidants from the chocolate.  If you’d like to simplify the recipe, you can either use all almonds or all walnuts in the crust. You can also leave out the berries if you like. It’s wonderfully creamy and satisfying no matter what. Great alternative to heavy cream cheese laden desserts. Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients or steps. Read through and see how simple it is, just get your food processor/blender ready!

Ingredients

  • the crust:
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds
  • 3/4 cup raw walnuts
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp agave or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • the filling:
  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup berries of choice (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries; frozen are ok)
  • the chocolate:
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/8 cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)

Method

Step 1

Begin by making the crust. In a food processor, process the walnuts, almonds, sea salt, and cinnamon until a fine crumb is achieved. Add the pitted, coarsely chopped dates and syrup and process again until it comes together and becomes sticky. If you pinch the mixture it should hold together.

Step 2

Place parchment paper or plastic wrap into a 8"x 8" square baking dish, letting it hang over the sides a few inches so you can lift it out later. Press nut mixture firmly into the bottom in an even layer. Put it the freezer to chill.

Step 3

Put chocolate chips in a small heat safe bowl. In a small saucepan heat non-dairy milk and pour over chocolate, stirring to melt. Will take 30 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside. In a blender, put all filling ingredients. Blend 1-3 minutes until completely creamy, scraping down the sides as needed. Add a little water if needed to make it totally smooth.

Step 4

Pour filling on top of nut mixture, and spread chocolate on top of that. Cover whole dish in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for at least one hour, but up to overnight. To serve, remove from freezer and lift the entire dessert out onto a cutting board. Remove parchment/plastic wrap from the bottom and cut into cubes.

Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She's on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone. fireandearthkitchen.com

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