These raw vegan mint chocolate peppermint cheesecakes are fun, fresh, and a delicious afternoon tea treat. Combining a cacao and nut crust with a creamy peppermint and cashew-based filling combines for a decadent dessert for all at any time of the year but also great as Christmas cheesecakes. Plus, this recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, refined sugar-free, and simple to make!
Prepare the crust by blending all the crust ingredients together in a food processor until mouldable to the touch. You may want to process the nuts first into chunky breadcrumb consistency, as they're harder to blend than the other ingredients.
Separate this between your cheesecake molds. There are two ways to do this; first, you can divide the mixture equally by spoonfuls/weight and press into the molds (this is great if you have a 'presser' that comes with the dessert rings, to make sure the crust is even).Alternatively, you can do what I did, which is to roll the crust out into a large rectangle over between two pieces of baking paper. Then press the molds onto it. I've found this way, you get an even crust throughout the batch. These can be chilled while you prepare the filling, though it's not necessary.
To create the filling, first, you want to create the vanilla cashew base by blending all the ingredients till creamy and smooth. This may take some time to become completely smooth rather than grainy, so try to be patient and scrape down the sides of the machine occasionally.
Once ready, I like to split the batter in half to create peppermint swirl cheesecakes. When transferring half of the mixture to a second bowl, make a note of how many 'cups' there are per bowl.
In one bowl, add in the peppermint filling ingredients. I've included the amounts I tend to add per cup of filling. Feel free to adjust this if you want a subtler or stronger flavor. Fold in or blend the ingredients until thoroughly mixed.*
Next, it's time to assemble the cheesecakes. There are multiple ways you could do this. 1. Fill the cheesecakes 1/3 - 1/2 with the vanilla base and then top with the mint filling. 2. Make it multi-layered, alternating the base and mint layers 3. Follow idea one but keep a spoonful or two of the base to add to each cheesecake at the top and swirl with a toothpick for a beautiful mint swirl look. Or, do what I did this time around, which was to add a very small amount of the mint filling to the vanilla base (so it was a VERY light green shade) and then follow idea 3 for a two-tone green cheesecake. You can use a spoon or piping bags for the filling. I find piping bags to be less messy! **
Freeze the cheesecakes until completely set (a few hours at least). When it comes time to serve, then remove from the freezer around 15 minutes before serving for the perfect creamy consistency. These raw vegan cheesecakes go perfectly with some fresh berries and a little bit of chocolate drizzle.
How To Store
These raw vegan cheesecakes should be stored in the freezer, covered, for up to two months.Don't leave them out of the freezer for too long, as they won't hold their shape when thawed to room temperature..
Note - With the Maple Syrup I would say that it's mostly 'to taste' so if you like things particularly sweet or not to sweet then you can slightly adjust this amount.* If you're using Spirulina for color, then only add a little bit at a time as the color will get very dark quickly (not to mention you don't want to taste the Spirulina). Plus, the cheesecakes get darker once frozen - so if you want beautiful pastel colors, then the filling will need to be very pale. ** If you want very 'clean' layers, then it's best to place the cheesecakes in the freezer in-between layering so the first layer can thicken up before pouring over the next layer. Otherwise, they'll be a bit more 'rustic' like mine below.
You can adapt these into a wonderful candy cane style Christmas cheesecakes by topping the dark chocolate with some crushed candy canes.
If using coconut cream from a tin, chill a can of coconut milk overnight. When ready to use, open the tin and scoop out the thick cream ( for this recipe). The remaining liquid can be used for smoothies, baked goods, and more.
Feel free to omit the cacao powder from the crust and add a little vanilla powder instead. You could also use a Graham cracker crust (or using these Healthy Chocolate Digestive Biscuits Recipe minus the chocolate) if preferred.
These cheesecakes get darker as they freeze, so always make the mixture 2-3x lighter than you want the final results to be. You can see what I mean in the images above.