This week was the birthday of someone who is very near and dear to my heart, my boyfriend Eric. I am so grateful to have him as a part of my life, and ever since the day we met, I have been happier than ever. He is sweet, caring, thoughtful, funny...the list goes on.
Because he means the world to me, I wanted him to feel appriciated on his birthday. Although I bought him a present as well, I thought I needed to make him a Birthday cake. Afterall, I am always sharing my raw treats with him, so it just wouldn't be right for me to not make him something for his birthday!
I asked him if he would like to pick something, but he said to surprise him. I have to admit I was quite excited about coming up with something that fit him. The first thing that came to mind was mexican chocolate. He loves the combination of heat with chocolate. Afterall, the recent recipes on this blog for Raw Dark Chocolate Chipotle Pecan Chunk Ice Cream and Chipotle Caramel Dark Chocolates were both his idea. So, I thought why not a Raw Mexican Dark Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake!
For the filling I used my standard raw cheesecake base laced with cacao and heat in the form of chipotle, and a little hint of cinnamon. It was quite delicious as is, and although I could have simply poured it into the crust as it was and topped it with caramel and chocolate, I decided to be a bit more decadent. This was a special occasion afterall! So I chopped up some raw pecan pie dark chocolates and pecans and scattered them over the crust and swirled plenty of caramel throughout the filling. The top of the cheesecake needed some chocolate and pecans as well...and if I do say so it was a pretty sight.
The best part however, was being able to share the cake with him! We didn't put 26 candles, on the cake, but we had to have some!
Afterall, what is a Birthday without being able to make a wish? He enjoyed the flavors of the cake, and so did I. I was so happy to be able to spend his special day with him. Eric, I hope your 26th year is the best ever!
Eric's Birthday Cheesecake
(Raw Mexican Dark Chocolate Turtle 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 coconut water (or filtered water)
1/2 cup raw coconut nectar
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp almond butter
2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp water
1 cup chopped Raw Pecan Pie Dark Chocolates (or other chopped raw chocolate)
1 cup chopped raw pecans
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 coconut water, nectar, raw cacao powder, chipotle powder, 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. Set aside while you prepare caramel.
To make the caramel, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth, then press through a fine meshed strainer to remove any date bits (optional, but makes for a smoother caramel).
To assemble cheesecake, scatter about 2/3 of the chopped chocolates and pecans over the crust. Pour in half the chocolate filling, then drop some of the caramel by the tsp over the filling. Pour the remaining chocolate filling over then drop more caramel on the top. Swirl the filling with a knife, and tap on the counter to level. Place in the freezer to set for about 4-6 hours. Once set, decorate the edges of the top of the cake with the remaining chocolates and pecans. Serve! Store remaining cheesecake in the fridge.