Summary

Give me cake or give me death cookies.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Raw Salted Caramel White Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie- Recipe

Raw salted caramel. Raw cheesecake. Raw chocolate brownie. It's sugar-free September, baby!


I already endured Sugar-free February, so some good habits have stuck from the last time and therefore it's not so hard this time. Also, last time I was pushed to create some fantastic 'healthy' raw vegan desserts free from processed sugar, such as my raw strawberry cheesecake, and I've been excited to make some more raw treats. This time I really, really wanted to try wanted to try something salted caramel-y, and combine it with the raw chocolate truffle/ brownie stuff I made last time (the brownie version is a less smoothly blended, more textured version of the truffles).


In this recipe the only things I use to give sweetness are medjool dates and Sweet Freedom (a fruit-derived syrup). I use Sweet Freedom instead of agave now because of the slightly dodgy health implications of agave, plus it has an even lower GI and lower fructose content while having a similar neutral sweet taste- but everything in moderation. You could use agave instead of Sweet Freedom, or rice syrup, light coconut nectar or honey (the latter of which if you don't mind it being non-vegan and/ or the dessert having a honey edge to it).


I also used two ingredients I've never ever used before: pure cocoa butter (interesting, yum!) and soya lecithin granules (argh scary what is this??)


Lecithin is a natural emultifier found in many things, such as egg yolks and soya beans, and is used in a lot of food products for a creamy smooth texture- for example, chocolate. Soya lecithin granules are the most easy to find, usually found in the supplement section of health food stores (I found this tub in Whole Foods:)


I was a little concerned that my food processor wouldn't be able to break these up. A lot of raw foodies posses Vitamix or Blendtec blenders, which are magical high horsepower things of wonder that I hope to one day be able to afford. Granules would easily be obliterated in one of these, but alas, I just have my food processor- so I ended up grinding the granules into a finer powder in my mini chopper, which ended up working quite well.


If you can't find soya lecithin don't panic: this recipe works great without it. It's just a nice extra to have for flavour and texture.

Also: why soak the nuts? To cut a long and actually quite interesting (to me) story short, soaking breaks down some thingies (technical term...) in the nuts, making them easier to digest.

Note: start making this dessert the day before you want to eat it, as the cheesecake part needs a few hours to set properly. The caramel can whizzed up on the day a couple of hours in advance as it doesn't need as long to set.

Ingredients for Raw Brownie:

-200g pecans, soaked for 2 hours and drained
-125g medjool dates (not soaked)
-2tbsp cocoa powder
-2tbsp coconut oil, melted

Ingredients for Raw White Chocolate Cheesecake:

-150g cashews, soaked for 2 hours and drained
-juice of 1 lemon
-4tbsp Sweet Freedom (or agave/ honey/ brown rice syrup etc)
-75g cocoa butter, melted (the bain Marie method works best here)
-4tbsp non dairy milk (I used hazelnut because that's what was on hand, but you can use almond, coconut, rice, soya etc)
-1tsp vanilla
-1tbsp soya lecithin granules, processed into powder
-Pinch of salt

Ingredients for Raw Salted Caramel:

-100g medjool dates, soaked overnight and drained  (essential for a super smooth caramel)
-2tbsp coconut oil, melted
-2 level tbsp almond butter
-Good pinch of sea salt
(I prefer creamy caramel, but if you want a sweeter chocolate box-type caramel, add 2tbsp Sweet Freedom/ alternative)

Ingredients for Raw Chocolate Drizzle:

-2tbsp cocoa powder
-2tbsp coconut oil, melted
-2tbsp Sweet Freedom (or alternative, see above)

Method:

1) Line the bottom of a deep 7" springform pan with a circle of cardboard covered in tin foil, and grease the sides with oil to make getting the cake out super easy later


2) Make the brownie layer first:process the nuts until they form a crumbly texture, and add all the other brownie ingredients and process until the whole things clumps together in the food processor



3) Pack this down at the bottom of your prepared tin, smoothing evenly with the back of an oiled spoon, and pop in the fridge while you prepare the cheesecake layer (clean your food processor for next step)


4) To make the cheesecake layer, literally bung all of the cheesecake ingredients into your cleaned food processor and whizz until creamy and smooth


5) Take the tin back out of the fridge, pour in the cheesecake mixture, smooth out and put back in the fridge to set overnight


6) Sleep on it~

7) The next morning, carefully remove your cheesecake from the tin and pop on a plate, still on the makeshift cardboard and foil cake board you made



8) Make the caramel: simply blend all of the caramel ingredients together until smooth and creamy (I used a bog standard hand blender)

9) Spoon this on top of your cheesecake and smooth so that the caramel just begins to ooze over the edges enticingly


8) Pop everything back in the fridge for at least another hour

9) To make the drizzle, simply mix the ingredients together


10) Here's the fun part: line a work surface with foil to catch chocolate drips, take the cake off of your plate, and balance it (still on its makeshift cake board) on a jam jar or two on the foil lining and drizzle the raw chocolate over




11) Back on the plate, back in the fridge for half an hour to set the chocolate

12) Serve a small slice since it's such a lusciously rich cake, and most certainly enjoy!




NOM.

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