All the delicious elements that make up this cheesecake: A chocolate base, creamy caramel filling, chocolate and caramel drizzle with a sprinkle of sea sea on top! Vegan, gluten free and sweetened with dates and coconut sugar.
Vegan Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3/4 cup canned full fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 1/2 cups walnuts
3/4 cup desiccated coconut
1/3 cup cocoa or cacao powder
7 medjool dates, pitted and cut into quarters (about half packed cup, chopped)
CARAMEL CHEESECAKE FILLING
1 3/4 cups raw cashew nuts, soaked in water for a minimum of 2 hours or overnight, drained and rinsed*
1 cup canned full fat coconut milk
caramel sauce (minus 1 tbsp)
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted and at room temperature
2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
TOPPING AND TO SERVE
1 tbsp caramel sauce
25 g vegan dark chocolate
a good pinch of sea salt flakes
FOR THE CARAMEL SAUCE:
Combine all the ingredients for the caramel sauce into a saucepan on high heat. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium to low. The mixture should still be bubbling slightly.
Continue to cook until it thickens slightly, becomes darker in colour and richer in flavour. Mine’s usually ready around 15 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool. It will thicken further as it cools downs. Set aside one tablespoon for the top of the cheesecake.
FOR THE CHOCOLATE BASE:
Line the bottom of a round 20cm springform cake pan with baking paper and lightly oil the sides.
Add walnuts to a high speed blender and pulse until a coarse meal is formed. Add coconut and cocoa powder and blend until just combined. Add the dates and blend until everything sticks together, stopping the blender and scraping down the sides when needed throughout.
Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the cake pan and set aside.
FOR THE CARAMEL CHEESECAKE FILLING:
Starting with the liquids, add all the ingredients for the filling into a high speed blender and blend until smooth.
Scrape down the sides when needed.
Pour the filling onto the base. Tap the pan onto a counter to release any air bubbles. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until completely set.
FOR THE TOPPING:
Add chocolate into a small saucepan on low heat, stirring regularly, until just melted. Let the chocolate cool slightly.
Let the cheesecake sit out of the freezer for a couple of minutes before removing the sides of the pan. Drizzle chocolate along with the tablespoon of caramel sauce over the cheesecake (see note above) and top with flaked sea salt.
Use a knife dipped into hot water to make slicing easier or let thaw until just soft enough to cut through. Serve or store in the freezer, letting it thaw for 10 to 15 minutes before eating.