I had gotten my hands on some fresh cherries and they were just begging to be made into something special! Although I had many ideas in my head the one that won was Raw Black Forest Cheesecake.
I know black forest cake usually involves a moist chocolate cake layer, but I thought chocolate cheesecake and cherry cream would be just perfect and maybe even better! I gave it a crunchy cookie crust as well, and it was the perfect base for the sweet creamy cake!
The cherries made the cherry cream layer a beautiful purplish red hue I was not expecting but it was a pleasant surprise. I decided that it needed to be topped off with fresh cherries as well, and some vanilla cream, and voila! It was just as I had imagined in my head but better since I could actually taste it!
Raw Black Forest Cheesecake
Makes one 6 inch cake
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup sprouted buckwheat, dried in the dehydrator (or additional coconut)
1/2 cup dried finely shredded coconut
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
10-12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
2 cups raw cashews (preferably soaked overnight and drained)
2 cups young coconut meat (or additional 2 cups soaked cashews if coconut unavailable)
1/3 cup coconut water
1/2 cup raw coconut nectar or maple syrup
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean
1 cup fresh organic cherries, pitted
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours and drained
1/2 cup young coconut meat (or additional cashews if unavailable)
2 Tbsp coconut water
1 1/2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar or maple syrup
1/8 tsp sea salt
seeds of one vanilla bean, or 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp coconut butter
2 Tbsp raw coconut oil, warmed to liquid
about 10 organic cherries pitted and halved or enough to cover the top of the cake
1/4 cup pitted organic cherries
1 pitted medjool date
Lightly coat a 6 inch spring form removable bottom pans with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process walnuts, coconut. buckwheat and sea salt in a food processor until the nuts are fine crumbs, then add the dates and cacao powder 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 coconut, coconut water, coconut nectar, 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. Remove the filling from the food processor and divide into 2 bowls. Place one back into the food processor and add 1 cup cherries. Process until smooth and uniform in color and place back in the bowl. Add the second bowl to the processor and add the cacao powder and process until smooth.
To assemble cheesecake, pour the chocolate filling over the crust, then the cherry, smoothing the top.
Place in the freezer for about 4 hours to firm up.
Meanwhile, to make the cream, combine all ingredients but the coconut butter and oil in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, add the coconut butter and oil and process a minute more. Pour the cream into a bowl and let sit in the fridge until the consistency of whipped cream. Place in a pastry bag and pipe around the edges on top of the cake and around the bottom.
Top the cake with the halved cherries (on the inside of the cream). Combine the 1/4 cup cherries and the date in a food processor and puree until smooth. Drizzle over the cherries on top of the cake.