Chocolate-Crusted Pistachio Mint Avocado Cheesecake

Categories: Desserts,Gluten-Free,Uncategorized,

IMG_1649This cake was an experiment if there ever was one! I had seen vegan cheesecake recipes in plenty of cookbooks and recipe apps (the are somewhat ubiquitous in vegan cookbooks, actually), but I had never seen a cheesecake recipe that didn’t include oil nor have I seen one that is avocado-based. Hence, I came up with ideas. I went completely off the top of my head and used the ingredients I had in my kitchen. I had fresh avocados and I certainly knew where one of them was going. It was going to go in this cake like I meant avocado-filled cake business. It turns out I wasn’t crazy about this idea either. This no-bake cake, which can be cut into bars, is actually dynamite divine. As in, dynamite divinely delicious. I wanted to create a pistachio nut-based crust because I thought pistachios would be awesome with an avocado cream filling. Then, of course there had to be chocolate. Pistachios, avocado and chocolate. Mmmmm. They all just make sense together. Oh yes! Then there is the mint! I had to add mint because I remembered my mother’s favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip and I thought, “Well perhaps I can make this cake (turned bars) like a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake!” Thus, I did just that. There is a hint of banana in the avocado layer because I did add one banana. If you don’t like bananas, never fear. You can add coconut butter instead (see instructions below). If you are a fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream, then this cake (urrr cake cut into bars) is for you!

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“You’ve got this life and while you’ve got it, you’d better kiss like you only have one moment, try to hold someone’s hand like you will never get another chance to, look into people’s eyes like they’re the last you’ll ever see, watch someone sleeping like there’s no time left, jump if you feel like jumping, run if you feel like running, play music in your head when there is none, and eat cake like it’s the only one left in the world!” ~C. JoyBell C.

Prep time: 25-30 minutes Cook time: None! Just freeze it overnight once prepared

Bottom crust layer ingredients:

1 cup raw pistachio nuts
1 cup raw walnuts or pecans
2 cups medjool dates, pitted and softened
3 tablespoons cacao powder
1-2 tablespoons ground coffee of choice (optional, I used dark French roast)

Middle avocado layer ingredients:

1 large, ripe avocado
1 large, ripe banana or 3 tablespoons coconut butter
3-4 medjool dates, pitted and softened
5-8 drops peppermint oil
1-2 tablespoons cacao butter (optional, but highly recommended)
1 teaspoon Stevia powder (optional, for extra sweetness)

Top vanilla coconut cream ingredients:

1 (15 oz) can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
½ cup your favorite vegan ice cream, vegan yogurt or two frozen bananas (I used ice cream and haven’t tried it with yogurt or bananas, but I imagine both would be suitable alternatives!)
7-8 medjool dates, pitted and softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon ground vanilla bean

Top chocolate swirl ingredients (this part is optional):

4 tablespoons cacao powder
3 tablespoons cacao butter
1 teaspoon Stavia powder

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Directions:

Place parchment paper over an 8×8 baking tray. To prepare the crust, blend the raw pistachio nuts and walnuts in a food processor until a fine powder is formed. This shouldn’t take more than a minute or so. If the dates are hard, soften them by soaking them in water for a few hours or soaking them in water and heating them in the microwave for 30 seconds before draining them of water and adding them to the food processor along with the cacao powder and coffee, if using. Process until a nice dough is formed. If you are having any trouble processing the volume of ingredients (I didn’t, but it is possible), take half of the crust out of the food processor and process the remaining half until an evenly mixed crust is formed. Then add the other half and do the same.

Mold the “dough” into a flat crust using your clean hands. You can mold the crust along the sides as well as on the bottom (as I did) or you can just flatten the crust on the bottom of the pan. Once you’ve created the chocolaty crust and molded it in the pan to your liking, place it in the fridge to harden for 15 minutes while you prepare the avocado-mint layer.

To prepare this layer, melt cocoa butter in the microwave for 30 seconds if you are using it. Process all ingredients in your (cleaned!) food processor until smooth and creamy. Pour it on top of the crust and flatten out the top using a large spoon or icing knife. Place it in the fridge while you prepare the vanilla coconut cream layer.

To prepare this layer, process all ingredient in your (cleaned!) food processor. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to process into a nice, evenly mixed cream. Pour this layer on top of the avocado mint layer and smooth out the top using a large spoon or icing knife. Once smooth on the top, place it in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate swirl. It’s okay if the coconut layer is liquidy. It will harden in the freezer.

To prepare the chocolate swirl layer, melt cacao butter in the microwave by heating it for 30 seconds. If it is still firm, heat it up for another 30 seconds until it is a liquid. Place it in your (again clean!) food processor with the other ingredients and voila, you will have a chocolaty topping. Pour it into a small bowl or cup. Take the cake out of the freezer and then using a small spoon, pour the chocolaty layer on top of the coconut layer. You don’t want the coconut layer to be firm yet. It’s ideal if it is still liquidy so that you make swirl in the chocolate. To swirl the chocolate on top (as shown in the photo), use a sharp knife and in circular motions, swirl the chocolate into the coconut layer. It’s easier than you might think if you’ve never tried it before. You will see what I mean when you do it yourself!

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