When I was little, on Christmas morning, before my parents were even up I would run out into the living room and peek into my Christmas stocking. There were always exciting trinkets in there, and always some form of chocolate. One year, I recieved a chocolate orange. It was the size of a real orange, so I was quite excited about it...the more chocolate the better you know! My Mom of course would not let me eat the whole thing at once, but it was delicious. The first time I enjoyed chocolate and orange together and I would never forget the heavenly combination.
Since the chocolate cheesecake I made for Eric's Birthday last weekend was so good, I decided that I needed to make one this weekend. I wanted it to be festive, as I am in a Christmasy mood, and the chocolate orange combo came to mind (since it always makes me think of Christmas now). I decided to add pomegranate seeds to the mix as well since they are so beautiful and I thought the tart pops of flavor would be delicious in the cheesecake.
I thought about making strictly chocolate filling, but I thought it would be much more beautiful and interesting with some vanilla orange as well. I am a sucker for swirls as well so that was what it had to be.
The filling tasted amazing before I even poured it into the crust, I gladly scraped the bowl clean and finished off the extra. I love how with raw desserts there need not be a fear of raw eggs as I am a big batter eater.
Once chilled and ready to enjoy I was quite excited. I cut myself a large piece and had a few minutes of amazing alone time in the heavenly place the cheesecake transported me to. The filling was luscious with the sweet vanilla and decadent chocolate plus the tart bursts of pomegranate seeds. I could have taken down the entire cake but I am not selfish, so don't worry, I shared.
Chocolate Orange Swirled Pomegranate Cheesecake
Makes one 6 inch cake
3/4 cup pecans, soaked and dried
3/4 cup sprouted buckwheat, dried in the dehydrator (or additional pecans)
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
10-12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped
3 cups raw cashews (preferably soaked overnight and drained)
1/2 cup orange juice
2 Tbsp organic orange zest
1/2 cup raw coconut nectar
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)
Lightly coat a 6 inch spring form removable bottom pans with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process pecans, buckwheat and sea salt in a food processor until the pecans are fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers (if not holding together, add more dates). Firmly press crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, and set aside.
To make the filling, drain the cashews and combine them with orange juice and zest, nectar, raw sea salt and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. With the processor running, add the coconut oil, and process for a minute until blended. Divide the filling in half and place half back into the food processor. Add the cacao powder to the filling in the food processor and process until well blended. To assemble, drop the fillings, alternating between chocolate and plain over the crust in 1 Tbspful amounts, as well as scattering pomegranate seeds as you go. Once filled, tap on the counter to level and swirl with a knife. place in the freezer to set for about 4-6 hours.
Store in the fridge when set.