Raw Fire and Ice Cheesecake

It went from a brown Christmas, almost 40 degrees and balmy for Minnesota this time of the year...down to below zero and snowy. It is definitely a winter wonderland now and I can hear the kids out on the sledding hill by my house having fun and breaking in their new sleds since we finally have snow here.  It isn't so bad most of the time if you are moving when you are outside, but there was a day last week where the wind was so bad, my face felt like it was on fire.  Not the worst weather I have ever been out in though.  The worst was about 5 years ago, when I was up north and there was about a 20 below windchill.  It was the type of thing where my face mask turned into a giant sheet of ice from my breathing out moisture and it was hard to breath.  Needless to say, I ran a little, then came in and finished the rest on the treadmill.  Weather like this is not my favorite, I am a summer girl for sure.  So, I decided that I needed to make something to bring a little warmth to my winter in the form of dessert.

There is always hot chocolate, but that is not exciting to me...so I got it into my head that I wanted to make a fire and ice cheesecake.  I got the idea while I was outside in that cold weather trying to distract myself from the chill with warm thoughts.  A cheesecake that gave both the sensation of hot and cold.  Sounded like a fun thing to create, so why not? For the fire part, a chocolate filling, laced with orange, habanero, and ginger.  For the ice part, a lemon lime coconut vanilla filling.  Little tart pomegranate seeds to dot the inside of the cake as well, and create little juicy bits of deliciousness.  I even added a little chipotle powder to the crunchy chocolate crust for more fire to contrast the cool.

Upon taking a bite, it was a wonderful sensation.  The coolness of the cheesecake and citrus, and the heat of the warming chilies and ginger was wonderful and tart pomegranate seeds were a nice contrast.  A marriage of flavors perfect for each other.  This cake is for those of you who love a little kick to your sweets. I love spicy with chocolate and sweet so it was right up my alley.  I hope those of you who are experiencing winter too right now are staying warm.

Raw Fire and Ice Cheesecake
Makes one 6 inch cake

2/3 cup raw sprouted buckwheat groats (or additional coconut)
1/3 cup ground flaxseed

3/4 cup dried finely shredded coconut
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp ground chipotle powder

1/8 teaspoon sea salt
10-12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped (if they are not soft, soak them in water until they are and drain them well)


4 cups young coconut meat*
1/4 cup coconut water

2/3 cup raw coconut nectar, or maple syrup
1/2  teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean
2/3 cup raw coconut butter (warmed to liquid)

zest of one lemon and one lime
2 Tbsp lime juice

1 inch chunk fresh ginger
1/2 fresh habanero, seeded
zest of one orange
2 Tbsp orange juice
1/4 cup raw cacao powder

3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Citrus zest strips and slices, pomegranate seeds (for decorating the cake)

Lightly coat a 6 inch spring form removable bottom pan with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process flax, coconut, buckwheat and sea salt in a food processor until 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, in a high speed blender or food processor, combine coconut meat, water, coconut nectar, sea salt, and vanilla and blend until smooth and creamy. With the processor running, add the coconut butter and process for a minute until blended.  Divide the mixture into 2 bowls and add one back to the blender.  Add the lime and lemon zest, the lime juice, and blend until smooth. Pour back into the bowl.  Rinse out the blender, then add the other bowl and the ginger, habanero, orange, and cacao powder to the blender.  Blend until smooth then pour back into the bowl.
To assemble cheesecake, pour all but about 3 Tbsp of the chocolate mixture into the pan over the crust, then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, then pour over the vanilla lemon lime filling.  Drop the remaining chocolate filling by the 1/2 tsp over the top of the other filling and swirl with a knife to create large swirls, and a toothpick for smaller ones.  Place in the freezer for about 4 hours to firm up. Garnish the top of the cake with citrus zest, slices and pomegranate seeds. Store in the fridge.

*If you do not have access to young coconut meat, you can substitute 4 cups raw cashews soaked for 4 hours and drained.

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