When I was thinking about what to write about this vegan cheesecake all I could think about was ‘It’s just damn good!’. That much is true, it’s stinking GOOD. Better than I thought it would turn out in fact. A while back (like over the summer), my fiance asked for a chocolate cookie crust chocolate chip cheesecake. In the months since, I forgot that it was a chocolate chip cheesecake he requested, rather than a chocolate swirl cheesecake, but this seems to be fulfilling that request just fine for now. I’ve had that request he made in the back of my mind in the meantime and just seemed to keep finding a reason to not make it (there was fudge to eat, there were books to be read, etc. the usual). Finally, I soaked my cashews, cracked open a can of coconut milk and just kind of freestyled my way into making this cheesecake.
For some reason, it seems like when I meticulously plan out a recipe, referencing other recipes, looking up ratios, etc., the recipe doesn’t seem to turn out as I planned. But, when I just start throwing things into the food processor and kind of measure out ingredients, the recipe almost always turns out as I planned! The bad side of this approach to recipe development is that oftentimes, while I’m cleaning up I’m thinking about awesome my recipe turned out, anticipating typing it up and sharing it with you guys. Then I realize, I didn’t write a stinking thing down. Not one thing. If I tried to type out some of these recipes it would be a lot of really conservative guessing on measurements, cooking times, etc. and I would be afraid that someone would say ‘I tried to make this and set my kitchen on fire and then this tasted like tar, so thanks a lot’. To avoid that from happening, when I made this cheesecake I did my usual approach to making a recipe; start throwing things in, whirring together in the food processor, pour into the pan, all the good stuff. But, this time I stopped right after each step and wrote down the measurements of each ingredient and instructions for the step in the process. This not only helped me avoid an ‘oh crap’ moment when I started typing up the recipe, but also made me think about what should be going into each component more and how it might turn out. Although I did forget to spray the bottom of the pan liberally for this cheesecake (don’t be like me, spray away!), everything else turned out pretty wonderful and I can share it with you too. Hip hip hooray for cheesecake!
Vegan Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake with Chocolate Cookie Crust
- For the crust:
- 2 cups vegan chocolate cookies or wafers
- 1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
- For the filling:
- 2 cups cashews soaked for at least 4 hours
- 1 can full fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons almond milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a springform pan or pie plate (especially the bottom!) and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the chocolate cookies or wafers until they are ground into a fine crumb. Add the agave nectar or maple syrup and continue to pulse together for another 30 seconds or until mixture comes together. Press cookie crust into the bottom of the greased pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven when done. While crust is baking, prepare the filling.
To prepare the filling; in the bowl of a blender or food processor, blend together the cashews, coconut milk, maple syrup, cornstarch, and vanilla on high until smooth and creamy. This should take about 30 seconds to a minute, depending on your machine. Once mixture has come together, pour it into your prebaked cookie crust. Prepare chocolate swirl mixture as directed below and swirl into the filling mixture.
For the chocolate swirl, melt the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons almond milk in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute, or until melted together. Add to cheesecake filling.
Bake cheesecake for 35-40 minutes, or until set and edges are starting to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Chill in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.