Monday, October 15, 2012

Mini Raw Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake

It has been a while since I have made cheesecake...well, maybe more like a month and a half.  But that is a long time considering I was making it every weekend for a while!  I guess I was giving the cheesecake a break for a while so I wouldn't get tired of it.  But then again I do not think it is possible to get tired of raw cheesecake.  It is one of my favorite things in the world.  This weekend I decided to break that no cheesecake streak and make some. 


I have had quite a few requests for a raw pumpkin cheesecake, so pumpkin it was!  I suppose I could have gone traditional and just done a pumpkin filling and left it at that.  But that is not how I operate, so although I packed the luscious pumpkin filling with plenty of spice and deliciousness, I added caramel swirls as well.  


If you have been keeping up with my blog, there has been a lot of raw caramel going on, as it is quite addictive.  I knew it would be perfect combined with the creamy filling!  I decided to use a combination of pumpkin seeds and pecans in the crust in keeping with the whole pumpkin theme and it was delicious with the rest of the cake! 


Spiced pumpkin seeds made it onto the top of the cake as well, because I couldn't resist pairing the lovely green with the pale orange of the cheesecake.  I couldn't wait to dive into this one.  As if I hadn't sampled plenty of the filling already, but there is something more special about having your own individual cake to devour.  Devour I did.  I have a feeling you would love this too, so do check out the recipe below!


Mini Raw Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecakes
Makes four 4 inch cheesecakes

Pumpkin seed garnish:
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp raw agave nectar or raw honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp sea salt


 
Crust:
1 c
up raw pumpkin seeds 

1 cup raw pecans, soaked and dried
10 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1/4 tsp sea salt


Caramel:
10 medjool dates
2 Tbsp raw coconut butter or macadamia butter (raw almond butter will also work)
3 Tbsp raw agave nectar or honey
1 tsp maple extract

1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp fleur de sel
1/4 cup filtered water (or more if too thick, add an additional Tbsp at a time)

Filling:
2 1/4 cups raw cashews (preferably soaked 6 hours)
1 cup fresh young coconut meat (or additional cashews if not available)
1/2 cup coconut water (or filtered water)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup plus 3 Tbsp raw agave nectar or raw honey
2 inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)
2 cups chopped raw organic squash or pumpkin*
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

Cream for edges:
3/4 cup raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1/4 cup coconut water
1 cup fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
3 tablespoons raw agave nectar or raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla and seeds of half a vanilla bean (the other half of the one you used for the filling)
1/4 cup coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

For pumpkin seed garnish, mix together seeds, agave nectar, spices and sea salt and spread out on a dehydrator sheet.  Dehydrate until dried (about 4 hours), and set aside. 

Lightly coat four 4 inch spring form removable bottom pans with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process pumpkin seeds, pecans and sea salt in a food processor until the pecans are fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers. Firmly press crust into the bottom of the prepared pans, and set aside in the freezer.

To make caramel, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until smooth (if too thick add a little more water 1 Tbsp at a time).  Press the caramel mixture through a fine meshed strainer to get rid of any date bits (optional, but makes for a prettier caramel).  Set aside. 
To make the filling, drain the cashews and combine them with coconut water, lemon juice, agave nectar, ginger, spices, sea salt, vanilla and squash in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Slowly add the oil to the food processor with the motor running and let process until well blended.  Remove the filling from the food processor, and press through a fine meshed strainer (if a smoother result is desired, but you can skip this step if you don't care). To assemble the cheesecake, pour half the filling over the crusts then dot the filling with caramel by the tsp.  Pour the other half over, then dot the top of the cheesecake with the caramel by the tsp, and swirl with a thin knife.  Then place the cheesecakes in the freezer until it is set, 4 to 6 hours, then once set store in the fridge. 

To make the cream for the edges, combine all ingredients but the coconut oil in the food processor and process until smooth. Add the coconut oil with the motor running and process about a minute more.  Place in a bowl and put in the freezer to set until frosting consistency, about an hour. 

To serve the cheesecakes, place on plates.  Place cream in a pastry bag and pipe along the edges of the cheesecakes (if you have extra and you feel like it you can go along the tops as well).  Garnish the top of the cheesecakes with the pumpkin seeds and serve!  Store leftovers in the fridge.

*I use squash instead of pumpkin in my recipes because it is sweeter, you may need to adjust the sweeteners and add more if you are using actual pumpkin.

14 comments:

  1. What kind of squash do you use?

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    1. I used hubbard here, but I also like to use kabocha or butternut.

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  2. So very pretty with the swirls and pumpkin seeds! Thank you for sharing such a sweet recipe. A lovely way to begin the work week! I hope yours is full of good food, friends, and laughter!

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    1. Thanks so much Monet :)! It is going well so far! I hope you have a wonderful week too!

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  3. A labor of love. Beautiful!

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  4. Yuuuummmmm Amy! Ive been wanting to try a cheesecake with raw squash. This looks delish (as always ;)

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    1. Thanks Heather :)! The squash is so much sweeter than pumpkin, I know you would love it!

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  5. This looks super delicious and I love the list of ingredients! I'm intrigued by your raw caramel!

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    1. Thanks Vicki :)! I am addicted to the stuff ;)!

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  6. Love the luscious swirls on top, Amy! Absolutely beautiful.

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  7. Another amazing recipe to tempt me away from my savoury pumpkin leanings. This looks wonderful and something that my omni daughters might even fall for (fall...get it? ;))

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    1. Thank you :)! I think anyone might fall for it ;)!

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