On the weekends I love to have my biggest cooking days. There is always a day thrown in there where we go out to a restaurant but most of my bigger dinners are reserved for weekends. Sunday kicked off with some healthy dessert making in the kitchen. I had a craving for something white chocolate & raspberry so I made a No-Bake White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake. I absolutely love making any kind of dessert but for me, paleo is my favorite kind to whip up because it is a fairly new concept for me. I am trying my best to get a grasp on paleo and gluten-free baking & cooking. Every day is a learning experience in the kitchen. Today I am going to talk about my experience and my process of making the cheesecake that I created yesterday.
I have made some paleo cheesecakes in the past and I was a huge fan of the result. This white chocolate raspberry one turned out the be the simplest one yet. A paleo cheesecake is gluten-free and dairy-free. This one was also considered vegan because no animal products were used at all. The great thing about these cheesecakes is that they are no-bake. But that doesn’t mean “no wait”. Once the ingredients are in a springform pan they need to set for at least a few hours in the refrigerator.
This cheesecake came out so silky and smooth. White chocolate and raspberry flavored anything is a weakness of mine. I absolutely love that combination of flavors. Whoever originally came up with the idea of marrying those two flavors is deserving of a giant trophy or give them a medal!
For inspo, I used this recipe from Prettypies.com but it was modified greatly. I am putting the link here so if you would like to create something like this, it was a great recipe with modifications. So shoutout to Pretty Pies for the inspiration!
A gluten-free crust is made out of ground up nuts. You use coconut oil and maple syrup as a binder. You need a springform pan for this. Her recipe suggests a 7-inch springform pan and I only had a 9-inch pan. My cheesecake would have been a bit taller if I had the smaller pan (mine was a bit flat). I used a combination of almonds and cashews. If you ever opt for a crust like this I suggest soaking your nuts (yeah that sounds funny) so they can soften up and be ground up finely in the food processor. I think that many different types of nuts would work well for a crust but in a paleo cheesecake, it is typically raw cashews. In the future, I want to try a cashew & macadamia nut combo.
For the “white chocolate” part of this cheesecake you make your own chocolate. White chocolate always contains dairy and dairy is a no-no with a paleo diet. So in order to solve this you melt down some cacao butter and use that as white chocolate. I love Navitas Organics Cacao Butter and use that as my brand of choice. Cacao butter is chocolate in its purest form. I warmed up some fresh raspberries in my cacao butter so I could infuse the white chocolate with fruit flavor. The recipe called for 1/2 cup of cacao butter and I used a bit more of that and used everything that was remaining in my bag, probably around 3/4 of a cup.
Once your cacao butter is warmed up and melted you add it to a food processor with your soaked cashews. It is very important that these are raw cashews and free of any added salt. Nobody wants a salty white chocolate raspberry cheesecake. The recipe called for some shredded zucchini but I avoided that completely and just used fresh raspberries to bulk up the filling.
Paleo also means no added refined sugars. So with paleo, you have some options for adding that desired sweetness. In this case, you use maple syrup. Just to clarify too, maple syrup is not some kind of Aunt Jemima pancake syrup, it has to be pure maple syrup straight from the tree. You can find some here by Now Foods.
When you add a bit of lemon juice to this cashew mixture it really does give you a taste of cheesecake. It is truly remarkable how you can make a healthier cheesecake using some simple, natural ingredients.
At this point, everything was all put together in my springform pan and I topped it with fresh raspberries. I allowed it to set in the fridge for about 3 hours or so. While the cheesecake was setting I placed my KitchenAid stand mixer bowl in the freezer so it could get super cold. Next up on the to-do list was my vegan & paleo whipped cream! If you want to try your hand at making whipped cream like this get yourself a can of coconut cream and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I use the Thai Kitchen brand of coconut cream in my recipes.
Once your cheesecake has chilled a bit you can prepare the whipped cream. There is no added sugar in this whipped cream. I have been known in the past, though, to sweeten with a bit of coconut sugar but that is completely optional. To make this you simply take all of the fatty coconut off the top of the water that is in the can and place it in the mixing bowl with a whisk attachment. Very important~ do not allow ANY water from the can in your mixture. I still have a hard time with this and am perfecting my whipped cream. The more water you have in there, the less it will whip up nice and fluffy. I whisk this up at a high speed for a few minutes.
Ok almost time to eat! BUT it still needed the whipped cream added to the top. I used a Wilton Dessert Decorator to put my whipped cream in place. Just choose a tip for the pump and simply press down on the plunger to put your dollops on. Easy peasy!
I was so eager to find out how all of this tasted. I took my first bite and I was instantly in love with this dessert… omg so good! Major plus over here is that hubby doesn’t like raspberries or white chocolate and my daughter is away on vacation so I get this dessert all to my sweet self!