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Raw Paleo Black Forest 'Cheese' Cake

A 'Paleo Cheesecake' is about as oxymoronic as culinary contradictions go! Before you assume I have taken the imperfection of paleo eating to the extreme, I assure you no dairy, gluten or refined sugar are involved in this recipe. The real joy though is that the non-Paleo dinner guests who I created this for happily scraped the last morsels from their plates with no complaints.

Raw Paleo Black Forest 'Cheese' Cake

Feel free to substitute any other nut of your choice in the base if almonds aren't of your liking. Sadly I have yet to find a suitable nut to substitute the cashews in the top layer. The cashews do require soaking (preferably for around 4 hours) to achieve the smoothest cheesecake texture, though the taste is not affected despite a slightly grainy texture from a shorter soaking time. After soaking, make sure to rinse and drain before using.

With the sweetener, if agave is not readily available, feel free to substitute with honey, maple syrup or other natural liquid sweetener. Agave has the most neutral sweetness which detracts the least from the overall cherry and chocolate flavours.


Sweetener quantities can be adjusted according to personal preference. I added slightly more than I generally use in this cake as it was designed with non-Paleo friends in mind, who are accustomed to a sweeter taste. Feel free to increase or decrease the amount of agave in the top layer by up to a quarter cup (60ml).

By blending cherries into only one half of the cheesecake top, the result is a beautiful swirled pink and white concoction. If you prefer pieces of cherry in the cheesecake pulse the fruit through the mix very roughly near the end. Otherwise blend the cherries in until you achieve a smooth, thick, luscious, pink cream - just don't eat it all out of the food processor like I was tempted to!


 Lastly, the cherry coulis is optional and can be stirred through at the last stage before popping in the freezer to create a swirl of deep pink sweetness. Alternatively it can be used to decorate the cake once set, as I have done, with small drops piped on and the rest saved to use as an accompaniment when serving.

Now without further ado, onto the recipe...



Raw Paleo Black Forest 'Cheese' Cake

Grain-free, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free, Soy-free, Egg-free, Vegan, Paleo

Raw Paleo Black Forest 'Cheese' Cake
Serves 12

Ingredients:

Base:
1 1/2 cups (225g) raw unsalted almonds
1 cup (150g) unsweetened pitted large soft dates
3 tbsp raw cacao powder
pinch of sea salt

Top:
2 1/2 cup (425g) raw unsalted cashews (soaked for 4 hours, rinsed and drained)
1/3 cup (85ml) raw virgin coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup (120ml) agave nectar (or natural liquid sweetener of choice)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp coconut milk plus extra if needed
1 cup (125g) pitted cherries (fresh or frozen)

Cherry Coulis:
2 cups (250g) pitted cherries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup (40g) unsweetened pitted large soft dates
approx 5 tbsp of water plus extra if needed

Decoration (all optional):
I used: dried rose petals, raw cacao nibs, unsweetened shredded coconut and lemon zest
Other options: fresh cherries, melted chocolate, chopped nuts


Instructions:
1. Line a 19cm diameter loose-base round cake tin with baking parchment on the bottom and around the sides.
2. In a food processor combine all ingredients for the base and process until the mix comes together and resembles a standard cheese cake base biscuit mix. Blending for a shorter time will mean a chunkier texture. If the mixture sticks together when squeezed between finger and thumb then it is ready.
3. Roll 12 small balls of base mix (approx 1tsp) for decorating the cake and set aside.
4. Transfer remaining base mix to prepared cake tin and using fingers press down firmly and evenly to create a compact base layer.
5. Transfer to freezer until ready to top with 'cheese' top layer.
6. In a clean food processor, add cashews, agave, lemon juice, vanilla and 3 tbsp of coconut milk. Blend until smooth, scraping down sides every so often as required. This takes about 5 minutes.
7. When smooth add melted coconut oil and continue to blend until incorporated. If mixture is too thick add the extra coconut milk, a tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency. Remember the mixture should be thick and creamy.
8. Remove approximately half the mixture and set aside.
9. Add cherries to the remaining half in the food processor and blend until smooth and pink (unless chunkier fruit pieces are preferred then blend for a shorter duration).
10. Remove cake tin from freezer and dollop alternate tablespoons of the pink and white 'cheese' topping onto the base. Gently swirl through the mixture with a cocktail stick to create more of a swirl and tap the tin gently on a hard surface to remove any air pockets.
11. If using cherry coulis, drizzle small amounts on the surface and use a cocktail stick to swirl through.
12. Using reserved chocolate balls made from the base mix place these firmly and evenly around the border of the cake.
13. Transfer to freezer to set for 2 hours.
14. Remove from freezer when set but not frozen solid and slice into 12 slices using a sharp knife.
15. Decorate with cherry coulis if using and any other toppings of choice.
16. Return to freezer to store.
17. Defrost for half hour at room temperature before serving.

Comments

  1. I was looking for articles on best milk in India and I came across yours inspiring read. Great post!

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  2. Amazing!!!! Absolutely gorgeous ❤️ ������������

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  3. Thank you 569a0....... (sorry I don't know your name!) - I hope you get round to making it some time as would love to hear how you get on

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  4. Thanks so much Esha Collin - so happy to hear you enjoyed the post. Would love to hear if you give the recipe a go x

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