A funny thing happened when my publisher sent me a copy of my latest book to proof. I really disliked one of the pictures. I took it a couple of years ago, when I was just learning how to shoot food. There was a lot of trial and error at that point and this photo was in the error category.
I made the decision. I needed to reshoot the “cheese” cake. Since I was reshooting, I decided to redo the recipe, too. The original raw “cheese” cake was good but I wanted to lighten up the texture a bit. I also wanted a little more orange flavor. I am pretty darn happy with the results.
You will want to make this cheese cake the night before for proper setting up. Think of it as a make a-head dessert. You can add the extra layer of crumbs either on top or in the middle. I kind of like the way it looks in the middle!
Orange Chocolate “Cheese” Cake
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 4 dates, soaked until soft
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
1. Place almonds and pecans in food processor and process until finely chopped.
2. Add dates and cacao. Process until well blended. Mixture should stick together when you pinch it.
3. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of a 7-inch spring form pan
lined with parchment paper. Make sure you press it well.
4. Set the remaining 1/3 mixture aside to use for filling layer or to sprinkle on top.
- 1/2 cup orange zest
- 2 cups cashews, soaked until soft (4+ hours), rinsed and drained well
- 1 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup fresh orange juice (approximately 3 oranges, depending how juicy they are)
- 2/3 cup raw agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1. Zest oranges and set aside.
2. In high-speed blender, combine cashews, coconut oil, orange juice and raw agave nectar. Blend until smooth.
3. Add zest and ginger. Pulse just to combine.
4. Pour over crust.
5. Refrigerate overnight.
6. Top with remaining crust.
Chef’s Note: If you want to use the crust as a layer (like photo), you will need to pour half the filling mixture into the pan and place it in the freezer for a bit (DO NOT LET FREEZE) to let it set up. Sprinkle crust over bottom layer then carefully pour in the remaining filling mixture.