With Easter just around the corner, these are a perfect sugar-free vegan treat that will please everyone! If you don’t have egg molds or don’t feel like taking the trouble to make these egg-shaped, you can just pour the “cheese” filling into a square container, then cut in cubes and coat in chocolate.
Ingredients (For the “Cheesecake” Filling):
- 1 heaping cup (160 g) raw natural cashews
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) coconut sugar or agave nectar
- 10-20 drops plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to your taste
- 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp (5 ml) lemon extract, optional
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) full-fat coconut milk (from a can–I use Thai Kitchen)
- 1 tsp (5 ml) whole chia seeds, ground in a coffee grinder to a fine powder (about 2 heaping tsp or 10 ml powder)
- 1/2 tsp (2. 5 ml) lemon zest
Ingredients (For the Chocolate Coating**):
- 4 ounces (110 g) good quality unsweetened chocolate (I find Baker’s too bitter for this purpose)
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) extra virgin coconut oil, preferably organic (use refined if you want no coconut flavor)
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) carob powder, sifted
- 20-30 drops plain or vanilla stevia, to your taste (don’t overdo the stevia–better to keep it bittersweet)
Make the filling: If you have egg-shaped silicone molds (or other shapes that would be easy to coat in chocolate), set them aside. Otherwise, line a small square container (about 2 cups/480 ml capacity) with plastic wrap and set aside.
In a glass or ceramic bowl, cover the cashews with room temperature water and soak for 6-10 hours; drain. (Alternately, pour boiling water over the cashews in the bowl and allow to soak for 30 minutes to an hour; drain).
Place the cashews and remaining cheesecake ingredients in a high-powered blender (such as a VitaMix) and blend until perfectly smooth. The mixture will be thick and you’ll need to scrape down the sides of the blender container repeatedly. Transfer to the molds or container, then freeze until just firm, 3-4 hours.
For eggs (if you don’t have molds), use a small ice cream scoop and scoop the firm mixture onto a cutting board or plastic-lined plate. Using your hands or two tablespoons, shape each ball into an oval and place back on the board; return to the freezer. Otherwise, invert the entire block of filling onto the cutting board and cut into small cubes; return the cubes to the freezer. Freeze the eggs or cubes until very hard, another 2-4 hours.
Finish the eggs: Have a clean, plastic-lined board or plate at the ready. Working quickly, take the eggs (or cubes) one at a time and dip the bottom in the chocolate. Then place the egg gently on the tines of a large fork over the bowl (chocolate dipped side down) and, using a teaspoon, spoon melted chocolate over the top of the egg so that it runs down the top and sides and coats the entire egg. Tap the handle of the fork against the side of the bowl so that excess chocolate drips into the bowl. Gently push the egg off the fork and onto the plastic-lined plate. Depending on how quickly you work, you may want to keep the uncoated eggs in the freezer and just take them out one at a time.
Once all the eggs are coated, use any extra chocolate in the bowl to touch up little holes or spots on the eggs that aren’t well-coated in chocolate (any cracks or white spots will allow the cheesecake filling to seep through the coating later, once it is no longer frozen). Place the plate with the coated eggs in the refrigerator to allow the filling inside to defrost. Once the middle is no longer frozen (several hours to overnight), the cheesecake interior will be soft, creamy and smooth when you bite into it. For frozen cheesecake treats, keep the eggs in the freezer rather than the refrigerator. Makes 6-8 eggs.