Decadent. Dark. Vegan Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake recipe coming up for you! Did I forget to mention healthy? This dark chocolate raspberry cheesecake is full to the brim with an assortment of nuts and a mix of some frozen and fresh raspberries. This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, almost paleo, dairy-free, and does not contain any added refined sugars. Because fruit is also known as nature’s candy, the sweetness of this cheesecake is derived from the fruit and maple syrup rather than added sugars.
It all starts with a chocolate crust for this dark chocolate raspberry cheesecake
The base of this vegan dark chocolate raspberry cheesecake is going to be a chocolate crust made mostly with pitted dates, cacao powder, ground up almonds. There are a few other ingredients in the crust that you will need. This recipe calls specifically for cacao powder, not cocoa powder. There is a notable difference between the two. I did do a little write-up about the benefits of cacao powder awhile ago on my blog. Chocolate in its purest state (cacao) actually has numerous health beneifts. The darker the chocolate, the better health-wise!
I use the cacao powder by LivFit. A one-pound bag goes for around $8.00 on Amazon and this bag will last a long time and come in handy for many other recipes. I have been using this bag of cacao powder for months now and still have a decent amount left. A little bit of cacao powder goes a long way!
To make the chocolate crust you will also need some raw, unsalted almonds. These do not get completely ground up in my food processor and the almonds give the vegan dark chocolate raspberry cheesecake a great texture.
The chocolate crust of this vegan dark chocolate raspberry cheesecake will also need some pitted dates. The pitted dates will not only sweeten your crust naturally but will also help keep all of the ingredients together (dates are very sticky). I suggest soaking your dates in some hot water for a few minutes and chopping them up before proceeding with putting them in the food processor.
The raspberry filling… the heart of the cheesecake
The main component of the filling of this vegan dark chocolate raspberry cheesecake is actually raw cashews! Say what?!?!? Yes, I said cashews and you heard me properly. You will be using an entire pound of raw cashews for the filling that are soaked overnight to soften them up. You can get away with using more affordable, lightly-salted cashews but please steer clear of regular salted ones or you will make an ugly face when you take the first bite of your salty (ugh) cheesecake! This is a sweet cheesecake so please do avoid making it a salty one or else you will be sorely disappointed.
Obviously, you will be using a bunch of raspberries as well. I actually went with a bag of Kroger’s Simple Truth Organic Raspberries for the filling and it turned out to be a great choice. So, I used frozen raspberries for the filling and I used a pint of fresh for the topping. I don’t know about you, but I sure go crazy for anything that is dark chocolate raspberry. To me, those two ingredients when married together, result in a match made in heaven. I feel pure bliss and I feel like I am on Cloud 9 while consuming this combination.
Thick chocolate ganache to top it all off
For the topping of this vegan dark chocolate raspberry cheesecake, I used my favorite brand of dark chocolate chips from Enjoy Life Foods. Not only are their dark chocolate chips vegan-friendly but they are also free from several common food allergens. I always play it safe and use this brand in my recipes and their chocolate chips are a family fave. My daughter and I are actually known to just snack on them straight out of the bag, they are that great!
The ganache turned out pretty thick from using one cup of chips combined and melted down with a tablespoon of coconut oil. I used an 8-inch springform pan for the cheesecake and I believe you can cut down and use 3/4 of a cup for a thinner chocolate shell. That is just my presumption and guess though. You can always try that and add more if needed.