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 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.