Paleo Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate cheesecake is a necessity of life! Imagine luscious New York cheesecake merging with dark chocolate truffles. Sounds like heaven, right? Only this recipe is super-easy to make and totally dairy-free, of course. Its vegan cream cheese texture comes from blended lemons and coconut butter. These are pretty intense and chocolaty, so I suggest small pieces. You’ll get a little endorphin lift from the chocolate – Oh yeah! But there will be no sugar spike or weight gain if you use the suggested natural non-glycemic sweetener. Yay! Keep these bars chilled, and they’ll hold their firm shape better. You can store them in the fridge for a week, or freeze for up to three months. You’ll need a food processor and a blender. A digital scale is helpful too. Makes a 9 x 13 pan, which could serve from 20 – 70 people depending on how you cut them.  

Paleo Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

51

Ingredients

    Chocolate Crust:
  • 2 cups nuts, soaked and toasted if possible.
  • About 1 cup sweetener to taste such as Just Like Sugar
  • 1/3 cup pure cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon unprocessed salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons water if needed to make it soft and sticky
  • Chocolate Filling:
  • 1 cup thick unsweetened alternative milk
  • 2 cups sweetener such as Just Like Sugar Table Top
  • 1 1/2 cups soaked cashews
  • 2 - 3 lemons, peeled, seeded (180 grams pulp) Meyer lemons are less acidic.
  • 1 1/4 cups pure cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon plus a pinch unprocessed salt
  • 200 grams (about 1 cup, packed tight) pure coconut butter
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (place jar in lukewarm water to melt)
  • 1 teaspoon instant decaf coffee powder (optional)
  • Cook separately and add to food processor:
  • 1 tablespoon agar flakes (or 1 teaspoon agar powder)
  • 1/3 cup any unsweetened alternative milk, to cook agar

Instructions

    Chocolate Crust:
  1. Mix all crust ingredients in a food processor until pliable and sticky. Press into a 9 x 13 pan.
  2. Filling:
  3. In a blender, combine the coconut milk, sweetener, cashews and lemons. Blend till smooth and creamy, then pour into a food processor. (It's quicker to liquefy the cashews in a blender. The filling gets very thick for a blender, so I used a food processor after the cashews are liquefied.)
  4. Add to the processor: cacao powder, vanilla, salt, coconut butter, oil, and coffee powder (if using). Process until smooth.
  5. To thicken with agar: In a shallow nonstick pan over medium heat, stir the agar into the 1/3 cup of coconut milk. Cook and stir gently for 2 to 3 minutes until it is bubbling and gummy, and the flakes begin to dissolve. (Agar powder cooks even faster) Add the agar mixture to the processor immediately and mix well to remove any lumps. Sweeten to taste. This is moderately sweet, and you may want it sweeter.
  6. Pour the filling into chilled crust. Refrigerate for 3 to 5 hours. You can chill it faster by placing it in the freezer for 30 minutes. However, if you freeze longer than that it will be too difficult to cut.