No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake

This is one of those recipes that WOWS non-vegans.  It has both nut-free and gluten-free options.

A few weeks ago, I made this "cheesecake" in the hopes to make a cheesecake base that has the potential to be nut-free.  I have several in my recipe index that have cashew centers.  They are delicious, but I wanted people to have some options.  I wanted to be sure (for my readers' sakes) so after some research, I found that most people who have tree nut allergies are not allergic to coconut.  Wahoo!

I brought this test cheesecake to a gathering.  It was a huge hit.  No one could tell it was vegan and no one could taste the secret ingredient: avocado.  The only thing you taste is the peanut butter and chocolaty goodness.

This cheesecake tastes a bit dense, like a torte, or a flourless chocolate cake.  You can make your own nut/date crust or you can use any hard cookie of your choosing.  I chose to use Biscoff...because it just tastes so good!

You can also choose to use my chocolate ganache/sauce on top; it's shiny and adds just another layer of flavor.  A sprinkle of cacao nibs is also a recommended touch.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake
Adapted from Comfy Belly

For the Crust*
2 c. dry cookies, like Biscoff
2-3 T. vegan butter, like Melt Organic Spread

*You can also make a raw nut crust if you'd rather not use cookies.

For the Filling
1 large avocado (ripe)
1/2 c. pure maple syrup
scant 1/2 c. almond milk, or other non-dairy milk
2-3 T. vanilla-infused bourbon (learn more about infusing your own liquor!)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. coconut oil, softened
1/2 c. nut butter**
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder

**I used natural peanut butter in my recipe.  You could easily choose almond butter or cashew butter as well.  For a nut-free option, you can use sunflower seed butter or chocolate tahini.

Directions, for the crust:
Grease an 8 inch spring form pan with coconut oil.  Set it aside.

In your food processor, combine the cookies and vegan butter and pulse.  You should end up with a fine meal.  Press the crumbs/meal into the bottom of the spring form pan.  Try to make the crust as even as possible.

Directions, for the filling:
In your food processor, combine all of the filling ingredients - it's that easy!  Puree the ingredients until they are nice and silky smooth.

Pour the filling onto your prepared crust.  Using a spatula, even out the filling.  Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least an hour.

After the hour has elapsed, you can make the ganache/sauce and pour it on.

***TIP*** If your ganache is a bit chunky, heat it up.  It just means that your coconut oil is too cold (sometimes from the coldness of chilled maple syrup).

Refrigerate the cheesecake for another 30-60 minutes.  Serve it cold and, remember, store it in the fridge when it's not being eaten.  The filling will soften up to a pudding consistency and make it difficult to cut.

This chocolate peanut butter cheesecake is a DREAM.  My husband - the proclaimed non-dessert eater - had three pieces without my asking!  Enjoy sharing this recipe with your family and friends.