It’s no secret that I love chocolate. I follow the belief that if a dessert isn’t made with chocolate, it’s not really worth the calories. Add cherries to that chocolate, and I simply can’t say no.
Dennis, however, prefers fruity desserts. Key lime is his favorite, which is why you’ll find a few key lime pie recipes here on my blog. While I prefer fluffy cakes, he prefers pies. Sometimes, when I’m making a dessert, we’ll compromise, and I’ll make a chocolate pie with a fruit topping. (Which explains why I have so many chocolate pie recipes here on my blog.)
We both love cheesecake, so for his last birthday, I made a Raspberry Lime Rickey Cheesecake from Vegan Pie in the Sky by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. It consisted of a tofu-based lime cheesecake with a sweet raspberry topping. While it was delicious, I couldn’t help but think it would be so much better if it was a chocolate cheesecake with a cherry topping.
So, I set about turning it into one! I used that recipe as a springboard to create this Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake. I swapped out the lime juice for cocoa powder, and the raspberries for cherries, and I eliminated a few ingredients to streamline the recipe a little. For the crust, I used a walnut and date mixture similar to the one in my Chocolate Cream Pie recipe.
I’ve used cocoa powder in this cheesecake, so it’s bittersweet. I don’t like my chocolate overly sweet – in fact, I don’t really like anything overly sweet anymore. (I used to have a big sweet tooth.) If you prefer sweeter chocolate, you can add a little more coconut sugar. If you really don’t like bittersweet chocolate, you can substitute 1 cup of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips for the cocoa powder.
Since fresh cherries are not in season right now, I used frozen ones. If you happen to have access to fresh cherries and you want to use them in this recipe, you’ll need about 2 cups of them. Don’t forget to pit them! I’d suggest adding about half a cup of water or cherry juice the pan while cooking the cherries, to help make things saucy.
I’ve topped my cheesecake with melted chocolate in addition to the cherries. I simply melted half a cup of chocolate chips in a pan over low heat. You can also use non-dairy whipped cream as a topping, if you like.
- First, you mix the crust ingredients together in a food processor and then press them into the bottom of a springform pan. A pie pan can be used if you don’t have one.
- Then, you mix all of the cheesecake ingredients together in a food processor or high-speed blender. Pour the mixture onto the crust.
- Next, bake the cake for 50-55 minutes.
- Finally, you cook the heat the cherry topping and then pour it over the cheesecake.
- Just chill, then slice and serve!
Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to serve this luscious Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake. It’s also great for birthday parties, dinner parties, potlucks, or anytime you want to celebrate with a little something sweet!
Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
For the Crust
- 1 ½ cups raw walnuts
- 6 medjool dates
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
For the Cake
- ½ cup raw cashews soaked for at least two hours, drained and rinsed
- 1 12-ounce package silken tofu
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Topping
- 1 10-ounce bag frozen cherries, thawed
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Melted dairy-free chocolate and non-dairy whipped cream, optional
- Preheat your oven to 350°F and lightly oil the inside of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan
Make the Crust
- Mix together the crust ingredients in a food processor until the mixture resembles crumbs.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Make the Cake
- Place all of the cake ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. This could take up to 5 minutes. Taste and add more sweetener, if desired.
- Pour the filling into the springform pan.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the top of the cake has puffed up slightly and the edges start to pull away from the pan.
Make the Topping
- Combine the cherries, sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently. Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes, or until the cherries are jam-like in consistency.
- Pour the topping over the cake. Allow the cake to cool completely, then wrap it tightly and place it in the fridge to set. Let it chill for at least two hours.
- Release the cake from the springform pan, and garnish with vegan whipped cream and/or melted chocolate, if desired. Slice and serve.
- Tightly wrap up any remaining slices of cake and store in the fridge until ready to eat.
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