Last year I made a raw pumpkin turtle cake and I was thinking about how good it was and dreaming about how a raw pumpkin cheesecake would be even better. I really am a cheesecake kind of a girl and that is how I often think about flavors...hmm, this would make a wonderful cheesecake.
I dreamed about a cake with a layer of luscious chocolate cheesecake filling, then pumpkin filling with swirls of raw caramel, chunks of dark chocolate and pecans. This was happening! The components were all so delicious I could not stop tasting them, but luckily I saved enough to make the cake (let me tell you though, I licked the bowls clean). The hardest thing was waiting for it to set, my anticipation building.
After a chilly evening walk Eric and I enjoyed some of it and it was pretty amazing, like a pumpkin caramel chocolate party in my mouth! This is something you will definitely want seconds of!
Raw Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake
Makes one 6 inch cake
3/4 cup dried finely shredded coconut
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped
Raw Caramel:1 cup soft medjool dates, pitted (soaked in water for 30 minutes if not soft and drained well)
2 Tbsp raw coconut butter
3 Tbsp maple syrup or raw coconut nectar
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
1-2 Tbsp filtered water
4 cups young coconut meat*
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup raw coconut nectar or your choice of raw liquid sweetener
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean 1 tsp maple extract1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut butter (warmed to liquid)
1 cup raw carrot**, chopped
1 inch piece fresh ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/3 cup raw cacao powder
about 1/2 cup raw pecans
about 1/2 cup chopped raw chocolate
Lightly coat a 6 inch spring form removable bottom pans with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process buckwheat, coconut and sea salt in a food processor until it is 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 caramel, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
To make the filling, in a food processor combine coconut, coconut water, coconut nectar, sea salt vanilla and maple 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 the carrot and spices. blend until smooth then remove from the processor and set aside (if your food processor is not strong enough to make it smooth you may need to strain it through a fine meshed strainer). Add the second bowl and add cacao powder and add to the food processor. Process until smooth and uniform in color and place back in the bowl.
To assemble cheesecake, pour the chocolate filling over the crust, smoothing out by tapping on the counter, then dot with tspfuls of the caramel ). Swirl with a knife to marble, then scatter some pecans over that, as well as some chopped raw chocolate. Pour the pumpkin filling over that, then tap on the counter to level. Drop more caramel by the tspful over that then swirl with a knife starting at the outside of the circle and working your way in in a spiral fashion (but staying above the chocolate layer as you do not want to disturb it). Place the cheesecake in the freezer to firm up for about 4 hours until set before unmolding.
Garnish around the top of the cake with pecans and chopped chocolate and serve! Store leftover cake 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 for the coconut and filtered water for the coconut water.
**I use carrot in place of pumpkin in these because it is sweeter and easier to work with and you will never know the difference. If you wish however you can use pumpkin or winter squash but you may need to sweeten a little more.