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Monday
Mar192012

Dairy-Free Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes

Are you living dairy-free? Who says you have to swear off a silky chocolate cheesecake?

Of all things, this chocolate cheesecake recipe was inspired by a pan—yep, a pan. Specifically this pan.

Last Thanksgiving my sister made the most adorable mini raw pumpkin cheesecakes using this pan (well, raw except for the pumpkin part). They were almost too cute to pop in my mouth! So on Black Friday you can bet what I was out hunting for. A mini cheesecake pan of my own (and let me tell you, it was hard to find—I finally resorted to Amazon). I just had, had, had to have one and that meant I had to come up with a sweet something to fill it with to justify the expense.

I think this recipe justifies it. No?

The base of the recipe comes from this Mini Strawberry Cheesecake post. To lighten it up a bit (raw cheesecakes are usually a combination of cashews and coconut oil ... sometimes tofu ... but we don't do soy ... so ...), I added some non-dairy yogurt to the mix. The result; a cross between a cheesecake and frozen yogurt! These are the bomb when frozen and then allowed to thaw a bit prior to serving—oh, and topped with a decadent dairy-free Kahlua Ganache, of course.

Instead of recreating the wheel, I asked our friend—Kelly of The Spunky Coconut—to recommend a graham-cracker-like crust. She pointed me to this one. The only addition was a bit of cocoa powder to make it a chocolate graham cracker crust. Perfect!

You'll get the silkiest results with a high-powered blender like the OmniBlend, Blendtec or Vitamix.

Let me know what you think!

Chocolate sells—here's the proof.

Oh but wait, before we get to the recipe, I have a funny for you. Let's call it the Blogger Tip 'O The Day. Looky here at this chart.

See that spike? That's 4,200 of you stopping by Lexie's Kitchen over the course of one day to get your chocolate fix.

This graph shows daily traffic to my site. You see that spike there? Wanna know what caused it? A simple but ooey gooey chocolate recipe (this 5-Minute Microwave Mug Brownie). So if you're blog is stalling a bit, my advice is to post a decadent chocolate recipe. You're bound to see that traffic rebound in a jiffy. The proof is in the pudding—or ahem, in the chocolate brownie—WE LOVE CHOCOLATE!

Mini Chocolate Silk Cheesecakes with Kahlua Ganache

Gluten-Free | Casein-Free | Citrus-Free | Corn-Free | Dairy-Free | Egg-Free | Fish-Free | Nightshade-Free | Peanut-Free | Potato-Free | Rice-Free | Shellfish-Free | Soy-Free | Wheat-Free | Grain-Free | Sesame-Free | Yeast-free | GFCF | Vegetarian | Easily Vegan (use alternative liquid sweetener in place of honey in crust)

Serves:  12

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
Make 1/2 a batch of this WALNUT-BASED PIE CRUST, adding 1-1/2 tablespoons COCOA POWDER.

For the Filling:
1 cup raw CASHEWS, soaked for 4 hours and rinsed well
1 cup non-dairy vanilla YOGURT (I use So Delicious)
1/3 cup COCONUT OIL, liquefied
1-1/2 tablespoon fresh LIME JUICE
1/4 cup COCONUT SUGAR (or sugar of choice)
3 tablespoons COCOA POWDER
8 drops vanilla liquid STEVIA (or sweeten to taste with more sugar)
1/4 scant teaspoon SEA SALT

For the Ganache:
1/3 cup COCONUT CREAM (see notes)
1/3 cup "safe" CHOCOLATE CHIPS
Optional 2 tablespoons KAHLUA LIQUEUR

Directions:

  1. Make crust according to Kelly's directions. Just add 1-1/2 tablespoons of cocoa powder to the mix.
  2. Divide crust evenly between, and press into, 12 mini cheesecake pan molds (like this one).
  3. Bake 350˚F for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool 10 minutes.
  4. Blend all cheesecake ingredients in a high-powered blender until super smooth, scraping sides.
  5. Fill cheesecake molds with cheesecake mixture. 
  6. Transfer to freezer.
  7. To make the ganache; heat coconut cream over medium heat in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips and liqueur. Continue stirring until smooth.
  8. Remove pan of cheesecakes from freezer 15 minutes prior to serving. Push them out of molds, remove the metal disk, and transfer to individual serving plates. 
  9. Top with ganache and serve.
  10. Store leftovers in freezer or refrigerator. It just depends if you prefer a firmer or a creamier texture.

Notes:

Coconut Cream: Set a 14 fl. oz. can of Thai Kitchen full-fat coconut milk in a cool spot for 24-48 hours. Open can and spoon off 1/3 cup of the white solids. This is "coconut cream." Use the remainder of the can in a smoothie!

Reader Comments (25)

Stunning, Lexie!! Haha on the spike. Yes, we all do LOVE our chocolate! ;-) Enjoy the spike on this one, too. Hehe.

xoxo,
Shirley

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShirley @ gfe

I am SO making these!! Total YUM (and very cute little pan, too!). :)

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRicki

O.M.Chocolatey goodness. This looks absolutely decadent. And I'm loving that it's free of so many allergens. This is definitely on the top of my must make list!

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlyssa

Thansk for sharing your recipe. Looks so delicious I am going to make this for easter, I have all the ingredients already as I make a lot of raw desserts.

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDee

My bet is you will get another traffic spike from this one!!

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa

Where can I find liquid stevia? I have not been able to locate any.

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLori

This is SUCH a Lexie dessert. I love it and want it right now! I agree with everyone else, I'm sure this will get you another spike! Time to take up volleyball. Hahahahaha xo

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie

Oh wow! That looks unbelievable, Lexie. Yum.

We had to control ourselves not to eat the whole thing tonight - And I made a double batch! haha But we did control ourselves so we can eat the other half tomorrow. Even Andy was loving it and he isn't much for "cheesecakes." He mostly just likes fruit pies.

Anyway, had to tell you how much we loved it. Thank you!

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKelly

These sound delicious! I'm not too fond of the taste of coconut oil-is there a substitute or different oil I could use that you think might work?
Thanks!

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKayla Parks

Lexie - that is such a gorgeous photo!! And your recipe, of course, looks amazing too. I get that too with chocolate posts...funny thing is I don't actually crave chocolate. I am one of those that could live without it. But it is so much fun to cook with and blog about, LOL!

-Ali :)

March 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAli

Kelly, thank you so much for leaving a review : ) You are bold, making a double batch. I think your pie crust works so nicely with this recipe. Thanks for recommending it.

Ali, thank you for your kind words ... sometimes we have to cook for the masses, LOL!

xoLexie

March 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterLexie

Kayla ... try refined coconut oil. Refined has been deodorized. There is no replacement for coconut oil in this recipe as it is what lends firmness to the cheesecake. Here is a bit on the difference between refined and unrefined coconut oil: "Difference from Pure Coconut Oil: Refined Coconut Oil differs from pure coconut oil in many respects. First, you won’t find any scent (typical coconut scent) or taste of coconut in it, unlike in pure coconut oil. This deodorization is deliberately done since although many may like the scent of coconut in their cooking oil, there are many who don’t. Being refined, it is certainly more hygienic than the crude coconut oil, but not that beneficial from the point of view of health. It is left with almost no proteins or minerals. Its shelf life is longer than that of crude or pure coconut oil." From: http://www.organicfacts.net/organic-oils/organic-coconut-oil/refined-coconut-oil.html

March 20, 2012 | Registered CommenterLexie

I can't WAIT to try this recipe, Lexie!! Our anniversary is coming up...this seems special enough, for sure. :-)

Thank you again for all the resources you sent me. I can't say how pivotal it has been in our journey with Caleb. I am going to see one of his doctors tomorrow and will be armed with a new direction, thanks to the research I've been able to do that was very much helped by your info. :-) I'm SO glad I found you and your blog! xo

March 21, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney @ Whole & Free

Courtney ... I am so glad we can support each other. It was another mom who helped us along the way to find our AHA! moment with Miles. I am so thankful!!!! xoLexie

March 21, 2012 | Registered CommenterLexie

What a recipe. I love that this is dairy free. I'm definitely going to have to give this a try. It looks so scrumptious!

Wowza! Beautiful. I love the photo.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCasey

Funny. That pan's been on my Wish List for 2 years now. I think I've talked myself out of buying it about a dozen times. I'm afraid I might hurt myself by eating dozens of mini cheesecakes. Go ahead, call me a coward. But gosh, they sure do look purdy, you amazing Lexie, you.

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLaurel

Stunning little cheesecakes! It might be dangerous. They look like I could just pop them in my mouth one right after another. lol

March 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDebi

That photo is gorgeous! I don't need to make the recipe, I just want to stare at the photo...and lick it. Well, people keep saying we eat first with our eyes, I guess this post just proves their point.

March 23, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbob

definitely making this! A dessert without too much guilt! I am featuring this recipe this week on AFW..I am early, but I am off to vacation so i am dotting all my i's and crossing my t's!

March 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTessa Domestic Diva

Lex: I made this Saturday night for a party and it was a tremendous hit. The kids we're following me like pied piper pining for seconds. I even spotted someone licking their plate!

March 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCassie Q

Thanks all for visiting and ooing and ahhing!

Cassie ... AWESOME ... I was begged for seconds and thirds, too : ) So glad it was a hit!!

xoLexie

March 26, 2012 | Registered CommenterLexie

Lexie-another amazing recipe!! I am featuring this dessert on Allergy-Free Wednesdays this week :)

I was wondering if there might be something I an use for the Cashews? I would LOVE to make this for my MIL, but she's allergic.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoan

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