Choc Mint Mini Cheesecakes (dairy-free)

Choc Mint Mini Cheesecakes (dairy-free)

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time: 00:15
  • Cooking Time: 00:00
  • * Plus 1 hr soaking and 2 hrs freezing time
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These delicious dairy-free, no-bake, mini cheesecakes will really impress your guests. The chocolate mint cheesecake filling texture is light and fluffy, and perfectly flavoured. I find many raw cheesecake fillings made with coconut oil and cashews produce a very heavy cheesecake. My ingredient combination has created healthy, delicious tasting mini cheesecakes.

Ingredients

* Please click on the green icon next to the ingredients listed below for extra details and helpful information.

  • BASE:
  • 50g (1/2 cup) almonds
  • 50g (2/3 cup) coconut (finely-shredded)
  • 6 soft Medjool date(s), pitted
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • CHEESECAKE FILLING:
  • 200g raw cashews, soaked beforehand for 1 hour
  • 100ml coconut cream, (a thick brand like Ayam)
  • 100ml almond milk
  • 1/4 cup almond butter/spread
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (100%)
  • 3 Tbsp cacao raw powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (organic)
  • 3 - 4 drops peppermint essential oil (edible), (I use doterra oil)
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE:
  • 50g of 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 drop peppermint essential oil (edible)

Directions

You will need a silicone muffin tray with 1/3 cup (80ml) holes to make your mini cheesecakes.

Place the cashews for the filling into a bowl and pour over hot water. Set aside for 1 hour to soak.

Place all the base ingredients into a food processor and blend until you reach a moist crumbly mixture. Stop from time to time to squeeze a little mixture between your fingers, once it sticks together, it's ready.

Spoon the base mixture evenly between 8 muffin holes. Use your fingers to press the mixture firmly into the base and create an even surface. Place in the freezer to firm up.

To make the filling: Rinse and drain the cashews well, then add to a high-speed blender with the remaining filling ingredients. Blend for 30 seconds, then scrape down the sides and continue blending until you reach a light and fluffy, smooth consistency. Check the consistency from time to time as you blend, it will warm a little with all the friction but you should have a lovely fluffy texture.

Remove the muffin tray from the freezer and spoon the cheesecake filling evenly over the bases, smooth the tops and tap the tray on a hard surface to remove excess air bubbles. Return to the freezer for at least 2 hours to set firm. Store in the freezer until ready to serve.

When you are ready to serve your desserts, melt the chocolate, coconut oil and peppermint oil over low heat (stir while melting).

Remove the tray from the freezer and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Press your fingers under each base lifting the mini cheesecakes up and out gently. Place on serving plates and drizzle with the chocolate and garnish with strawberries and mint leaves. Allow to sit for a further few minutes to half-thawed before serving. If you prefer a softer cheesecake serve thawed, chilled straight from the fridge.

Store leftovers covered in the freezer.

almonds

Almonds have 240mg of calcium in 50gms, as much as is found in 200ml of milk. Nuts are a great protein snack. Eat them raw or activated and it's best to avoid store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils. When ground finely almonds make a wonderful nut meal/flour for grain-free baking.

coconut (finely-shredded)

In the majority of my recipes where I use dried coconut, I use finely-shredded desiccated coconut (unless I have stated otherwise). Make sure you are purchasing unsweetened and organic - many regular brands contain preservatives (sulphur dioxide).

Medjool date(s)

I use Medjool dates in my recipes, I like the flavour and softness of these dates. A bonus, there are no preservatives used with these dates. They blend easy when adding to recipes and give a slight caramel flavour.

Medjool dates are an excellent source of dietary fiber, rich in potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium and vitamin B6.

sea salt

Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.

cashews

Cashews work well in a paleo lifestyle, as they are so versatile. They can be used to make dairy free milk, cashew butter, cashew cream or sour cream, dips and many more. Where possible, it is best to soak nuts before using to assist with digestion. Eat them raw but in moderation as they are quite high in omega 6. Stay away from store bought roasted nuts that have been cooked in canola, sunflower or similar vegetable oils.

coconut cream

I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. When purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.

almond milk

A dairy free milk made from soaking almonds over night, rinsing well and blending with fresh water. Drained through a nut bag and all the liquid milk squeezed out. Recipe on page 297 of The JOYful Table cookbook, if purchasing a commercial brand, read label to avoid added sugars, gums, thickeners and preservatives.

almond butter/spread

Almond butter may also be called almond spread. It is finely ground down almonds to a texture resembling a paste. In my cookbook I have a recipe for roasted almond butter, which has extra flavour due to the roasting and a little organic salt added. If purchasing a commercial almond butter in a jar, make sure it's 100% almonds.

maple syrup (100%)

Maple syrup is an earthy, sweet tasting amber liquid that is produced by boiling down the sap of maple trees. Use organic 100% maple syrup which is a natural food sweetener, not a flavoured maple syrup. Pure maple syrup contains a decent amount of some minerals, especially manganese and zinc, some traces of potassium and calcium but it does contain a whole bunch of sugar. I try to reduced the amount of sweetness in each recipe to the lowest possible without compromising taste. Feel free to adjust to your liking. I use maple syrup in place of raw honey when I don't want the strong honey flavour coming through in a recipe. I have paleo cookies and desserts in my cookbook made from whole food ingredients with natural sugars but please don’t overindulge. Use as a treat only for special occasions.

cacao raw powder

Raw cacao powder and cocoa are made from the same source but are so different. Cacao powder is raw, unsweetened and in it's natural state, it has a stronger flavour and you would use less than cocoa powder. It is so good for you; high in dietary fibre, iron and is a good source of magnesium and antioxidants. Cocoa has been heated and processed, the high heat when processing kills all the minerals and vitamins.

vanilla extract (organic)

Use an organic vanilla extract (not an essence) or vanilla powder. Vanilla makes a big difference to the flavour of a recipe, I recommend keeping to the quantities I have stated in a recipe. I prefer Madagascar pure vanilla extract manufactured by ‘Simply Organic’ and for powder, Vanillamax 100% pure, finely ground Madagascar vanilla beans produced by Bulletproof.

peppermint essential oil (edible)

Use a high-quality edible, pure essential oil, I use the Doterra brand. Essential oils are very concentrated so only a few drops are needed.

sea salt

Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.

dark chocolate

In some of my recipes I have used Paleo approved dark chocolate drops/chips, they are dairy, soy, and gluten-free (my favourite brands are, 'Absolute Organic' or 'Chef's Choice' certified organic 70% cacao, purchase online or from health food stores). I also used 70 - 85% organic dark chocolate blocks, they can be broken into pieces or melted for recipe. I also make my own chocolate from: cacao butter or coconut oil, raw cacao powder and sweetened with 100% maple syrup, pinch of sea salt and vanilla extract.

coconut oil

Coconut oil is one of the most nutritious fats to cook and bake with. Use organic extra-virgin coconut oil which is unrefined and unbleached from non GMO coconuts. Coconut oil has a high smoking point and it is slow to oxidize due to its high saturated fat content, thus, resistant to going rancid. Some studies suggest coconut oil helps with digestion, including irritable bowel, tummy bugs, candida and parasites due to this oil containing short term medium-chain saturated fatty acids (MCFAs), which is a healthy form of saturated fat.

peppermint essential oil (edible)

Use a high-quality edible, pure essential oil, I use the Doterra brand. Essential oils are very concentrated so only a few drops are needed.