My mother used to make cheesecake all the time– Italian cheesecake with cream cheese and ricotta and topped with fruit. Everyone always said it was the best cheesecake they ever had. My cheesecake is different since it’s vegan and raw. I also wanted my favorite flavor combination: chocolate and hazelnuts. I made my own hazelnut butter, which is totally easy to do. Just toss a bunch of hazelnuts in a high-speed blender and that’s it. If you roast them first, they will taste extra-good but then your cheesecake won’t be totally raw but almost.
Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake [Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free]
For the crust:
- 1 cup hazelnut meal
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
- 2 cups cashews, soaked at least 3 hours
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder plus extra for dusting
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup hazelnut butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Hazelnuts for garnish
To make the crust:
- Combine all the ingredients into a food processor. Process until the ingredients form a dough and stick together.
- Transfer the dough to the bottom of a springform pan. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan to make a crust. Work it with your fingers until it covers the entire bottom of the pan. Set aside.
To make the filling:
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews.
- Add them, the maple syrup and the water into a food processor.
- Process until smooth and creamy.
- Add the cocoa, coconut powder, hazelnut butter, vanilla, and salt.
- Process again until everything is well combined and creamy.
- Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl and make sure everything is getting processed.
- Transfer the filling to the springform pan.
- Spread out evenly with a spatula.
- Refrigerate for several hours until the cake is set and firm. Serve cold with hazelnuts for garnish and extra cocoa powder dusted onto the plate.