Day 3 of Vegan MoFo already. I've been having a blast hopping through other MoFo-ers blogs and the Newsify app has been a real blessing to help me do this efficiently. I've been gawking at so much amazingly delicious food that it's driving my drool glands on overdrive!! :oP Here, see for yourself on the Vegan MoFo 2012 Blogroll, a the list of 600+ participating blogs from all over the globe .
Continuing on my Desserts theme this week, I present to you Mostly Raw Hazelnut Mocha Mini Cheezecakes. This turned out to be the most popular photograph yet in my Vegan MoFo Sneak Peek album, with many people asking for the recipe. And I'm very happy to be sharing it today! :)
These blissful desserts are little bites of heavenly goodness!! Mine are only 'mostly raw' because I used regular coconut oil since I didn't have virgin coconut oil on hand. Also, I've used some sugar for additional sweetening and I have no idea where to get raw instant coffee or raw cacao powders from.
I'm happy with 80-90% raw desserts because it means using ingredients which are usually readily available in my kitchen. But if you are particular about making these cheezecakes completely raw, then use agave nectar, virgin coconut oil, raw cacao powder and cold pressed espresso.
The coconut and walnuts make it really heavy so it's advisable to have only one small piece at a time. Even though the main flavors are supposed to be hazelnut and mocha, the coconut flavor tends to shine through. So this is a dessert for coconut fans.
Mostly Raw Hazelnut Mocha Mini Cheezecakes
For the crust:
1/2 C Walnuts
1/2 C Almonds
1/2 C Pitted Dates (tightly packed)
1/4 tsp Salt
1 inch Vanilla Pod
Grind the nuts, salt and vanilla pod to a coarse powder.
Add the dates and grind until you get a sticky, crumbly mixture.
Line the insides of mini tart pans with cling wrap.
Make 1 inch balls of the crust mixture and press into the bottom and the sides of the tart pans to form shells.
If you run out of patience after lining and pressing the crust mixture into about 6 or 7 tart pans (I did!), just line a plate (the kind with walls) with wax paper and press the remaining crust mixture into it.
Keep all crusts in the fridge to chill.
For the cheeze filling:
1 C Hazelnuts - soaked for two hours, drained and rinsed
1/2 C Raisins - soaked in 3/4 C filtered water
3/4 C Almond or Cashew Mylk
1 T Instant Coffee Powder (I use Bru Gold)
2 T Cocoa Powder
2 T Sugar
A pinch of Salt
1/2 C Coconut Oil (at room temperature)
1/8 tsp Soy Lecithin Granules (optional emulsifier)
Blend together the drained hazelnuts, raisins (along with the soaking water), cocoa powder, coffee powder, sugar and salt.
Add a little almond/cashew mylk at a time and process till you get a smooth, creamy mixture.
Add the coconut oil and soy lecithin (if using) and blend well until the oil has been incorporated into the mixture.
How to proceed...
Pour the cheezecake filling into the prepared shells and freeze for half an hour (just to speed up the setting process) or chill for 2 hours in the fridge.
Remove the mini cheezecakes from the tart pans by gently lifting out the cling wrap.
Peel off the cling wrap and place the mini cheezecakes on a plate and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
The mini cheezecakes can be served as individual dessert pieces and the larger one in the plate can be sliced carefully and served.
These cheezecakes taste *best* after sitting in the fridge for a couple of days because the coconut flavour mellows and melds with the other flavours well.
This recipe has also been submitted to 'The Green Foodie Recipe Challenge' conducted by The Alternative, an online publication on sustainable living, for Nature On My Plate, connecting consumers to organic food at BioFach India 2012.