Divine Nougat Cheesecake Topped with Chocolate Sauce

A labour of love but worth every single minute of it! My version of cheesecake simply had to be in this book and I feel like it’s the perfect recipe to end with. It shows how something we might think is unhealthy at first glance can actually be both healthy and delicious.

Divine Nougat Cheesecake Topped with Chocolate Sauce

MAKES 1 CAKE (APPROX. 26 CM / 10 IN) / GF, DF, VGN, RSF

FILLING

150 g (5 oz) cashews, soaked

100 g (3 1/2 oz) peanuts, soaked

250–300 ml (8 1/2 – 10 fl oz) plant milk of choice, soy/almond or rice milk

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup or sweetener of choice

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

 

BASE

6 Medjool dates or 12 small dates, pitted

100 g (3 1/2 oz) pecans

150 g (5 oz) ground almonds

2 tablespoons maple syrup or sweetener of choice

1 tablespoon coconut oil

 

CHOCOLATE

5 tablespoons coconut oil

6 tablespoons raw cacao powder

5 tablespoons rice syrup or sweetener of choice

pinch of salt

50–100 ml (2–2 1/2 fl oz) soy, almond or rice milk

 

TOPPINGS

handful of nuts, roasted

1 tablespoon maple syrup

 

  1. In a large bowl, soak the cashews and peanuts for the filling in water overnight or for at least 2–3 hours.
  2. Line a 26 cm (10 in) round cake tin with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 160ºC (320ºF/Gas 3).
  3. For the base, put the dates into a bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for at least 10 minutes. Roast the pecans in the oven for about 20 minutes. Take out of the oven and cool slightly. Transfer the nuts to a powerful blender or food processor and blend with the rest of the ingredients for the base into a slightly thick and sticky mixture. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and press down evenly with your hands. Put the base into the freezer.
  4. For the filling, drain the soaked nuts and add to a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Blend to a smooth and creamy mixture for at least 6–8 minutes. Take the base out of the freezer, spoon the filling on top and smooth out evenly. Freeze for another 2 hours.
  5. Once the cheesecake is frozen, start making the chocolate. Heat up the coconut oil over a medium heat until completely melted, take off the heat and add the raw cacao powder, sweetener and salt. Stir until it reaches the consistency of thick melted chocolate. For a more bitter chocolate taste, add 50–70 ml (2–2 1/2 fl oz) of milk and stir again. If you prefer the taste of milkier chocolate, add 100 ml (3 1/2 fl oz) of milk instead.
  6. For the topping, put the nuts into a small saucepan together with the maple syrup and caramelise over a low–medium heat. Stir well, set aside and let it cool completely.
  7. Take the cheesecake out of the freezer, spread the chocolate on top, garnish with the caramelised nuts and freeze for another 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer, rinse a knife with hot water and cut into slices. (If the cheesecake is still too hard, thaw for a few minutes and then slice.)

Recipes excerpted with permission from Eat Better Not Less by Nadia Damaso,published by Hardie Grant Books 2017, RRP $24.99 hardcover. Images

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