Cherries and chocolate are an all time favourite flavour combination, so these bite-sized raw cheesecakes will not disappoint! In these bites, the delicious chocolate nut base is topped with a creamy and delicately flavoured filling of cherries and coconut. They would also not be complete without a drizzle of chocolate, just like any good dessert should be! Although, they also make the perfect, and healthy, refined sugar free snack for any time of the day you need a treat. They are also very easy to make and store, because they are kept in the freezer. So you can just take one out whenever you need or crave one!
This is one of a few recipes I developed while we were with out an oven for many weeks. It was a particular hot day here in Perth, Australia, when I decided to make this recipe and take the step-by-step photos. It reached 42C or 107.6F, I was so grateful for air-conditioning that day! So I had to work very quickly when taking the cover picture, which is why the edges look a little softened. However, I think is shows the creaminess of the ‘cheesecake’ perfectly. As I have update this recipe with a new cover picture, the original pictures are now at the end of the post.
On one occasion when I made them, I wanted the ‘cheesecake’ to have a stronger cherry flavour, so I used quite large sized cherries. Although the flavour was more intense, it did affect how they defrosted, as the filling became very soft and not the cheesecake texture I was trying to achieve.
I generally always use the Multix brand of foil patty pans. I use the paper insert for when I make cupcakes, but use the foil ones here as they make the perfect casing for my ‘cheesecakes’. This is because the filling tends to soak into the paper cases, which isn’t ideal, so the foil one’s are the best way to go. It’s important to remove the case shortly after you take them out of the freezer, as they get a little stuck as they get softer.
For accurate cup measurements, I sift the raw cacao before measuring, to make sure there are no lumps/clumps, and all cup measurements are firmly packed.
I experimented with the bases today, I decided to soak the pecan nuts for 3 hours first. I then rinsed and drained them well before continuing with the recipe. I also increased the vanilla extract in the base from 1 teaspoon to 1½ teaspoons. By soaking the nuts, it resulted in a more compact base.
I added 2 tablespoons of coconut butter to the filling, this gave more structure to the ‘cheesecake’ once it had defrosted.
The final change I made was to the chocolate drizzle, I increased the raw cacao powder from 1 tablespoon to 2 tablespoons. I also decided to pipe instead of drizzling the raw chocolate over the ‘cheesecakes’. If you intend to pipe a criss-cross pattern, you’ll need to increase the the below recipe by approximately a quarter.
144g (5.1 ounces or 1¼ cups firmly packed) pecan nuts
16g (0.6 ounces or 2 tablespoons) coconut flour
1 tablespoon (15ml) smooth almond butter
2 tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
10g (0.3 ounces or 2 tablespoons) raw cacao powder (I use this brand)
1½teaspoon ( 7.5ml) pure vanilla extract
A large pinch of Himalayan salt
24g (0.8 ounces or 2 tablespoons) fine desiccated coconut (I use this brand)
1 tablespoon (15ml) coconut oil, melted (I use this brand)
Cherry Cheesecake Filling
90g (3.2 ounces or approximately ¾ cup) raw unsalted raw cashew nuts (soaked
125ml (½ cup) coconut cream (I use this brand)
14 medium-sized fresh cherries, deseeded
3 tablespoons (45ml) pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons (30ml) coconut oil
1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean
A large pinch of Himalayan salt
2 tablespoon (30ml) raw cacao butter or coconut oil, melted (I use this brand)
10g (0.3 ounces or 2 tablespoon) raw cacao powder (I use this brand)
1 tablespoon (15ml) pure maple syrup
Line a 12-hole muffin tin with foil liners, then set aside.
To make the base, add all the ingredients to a small blender and process the mixture until crumbly and combined, scraping down the sides when necessary. The mixture is ready when it can easily form a compact dough when you press it between you thumb and index fingers.
Next, tip out the nut base mixture into a bowl and weigh it out, before dividing it by 12. That way each ‘cheesecake’ base will have the same thickness.
Press the mixture into each liner and then use the back of a teaspoon to compact it further. Place in the freezer to set, then clean and dry the blender, before making the filling.
To make the cherry ‘cheesecake’ filling, first make your coconut butter. If you have purchased coconut butter, you can skip this next step.
This is actually quite simple. Place your desiccated coconut in a small food processor and blitz for a couple of minutes. As it starts to breakdown, the oils come out. Add your coconut oil and blitz again, for another minute or so, and you end up with coconut butter. I have found that, since this is such a small amount, you need to scrape down the sides quite often.
To make the filling, add all the ingredients to the blender and process until the mixture is smooth and creamy, which takes a couple of minutes. Then transfer the mixture to a jug, as this makes pouring the filling into the cupcake cases a lot easier.
Remove the tin from the freezer and pour the ‘cheesecake’ filling evenly into each liner. Than gently tap the tin on the bench a few times, to disperse the air bubbles, before placing the tin back in the freezer for at least 2 hours.
To make the chocolate coating, add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk everything together. I like to use a small whisk to do this, as it helps disperse any small lumps in the cacao powder. Allow the chocolate to thicken slightly before using. You can use either a teaspoon or you can pipe it. I use a handy little piping bottle to pipe a criss-cross pattern. If you’re using a teaspoon, take some of the chocolate and drizzle over the top of the cheesecakes. Just remember that as the bites are cold, it won’t take long for the chocolate to set.
When defrosting the ‘cheesecakes’ from a solid state, immediately remove the foil liner, which will peel away with ease. This will give your ‘cheesecake’ a beautiful presentation, from the nicely formed sharp edges of the liner, and will help to stop it stick as it defrosts. Allow about 15-20 minutes for them to come back up to room temperature before eating.
Store the cheesecakes in a single layer in an airtight container in the freezer.