“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little ‘extra’.”
Chocolate Dipped Cheesecake Bites
Makes about 12- 1 1/2 inch squares
For the cashew “cheese” cake:
3 cups raw cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours)
3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk
40-45 billion probiotic strains*; amount of capsules will vary
1 teaspoon gelatin powder plus 2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon gelatin powder plus 2 tablespoons water
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup softened ghee or coconut oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
For the Crust:
1 cup fine ground almond flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons melted ghee or coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the chocolate coating (optional)
1 10- 12 ounce bag of dark chocolate chips
1 Tablespoon Ghee or coconut oil.
*Soil based probiotics will not work well for this recipe. Check the store’s refrigerated section for best options. Jarrow is a great formula we love but there are other great options as well. You want to be sure the probiotics are fresh and potent. They lose potency over time and if not stored properly.
1 standard 9″ x 5″ loaf pan
Food processor or high powered blender
For the “cream cheese”
1. To warm the oven, just turn the oven light in before you begin preparations. No other heat is needed. DO NOT turn your oven on to low or warm. Even the lowest temperature will kill the probiotics and fermentation will not take place.
Note: Don’t have an oven light? Another option is to use a dehydrator set on low or a yogurt maker. Any method for making yogurt will work, though it may ferment faster. We’ve even fermented it outside in the Texas summer, haha!
2. The night before, combine the cashews and coconut milk in a food processor/high powered blender and process until smooth (food processor is my first choice). This could take up to 5-10 minutes (depending on the machine and blade sharpness) to get the smoothness desired. Patience is a virtue here. (see pictures, first row). Stop periodically to push down any cashew that creeps up the sides. Eventually, it will move cleanly on its own.
Note: You will notice a change in texture and movement towards the end. It will become quite smooth and creamy in color and somewhat like the texture ricotta cheese.
3. Once the mixture is ready, add the contents of the probiotic capsules to the mixture. Blend until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a clean medium sized bowl. Cover with a lid or a plate that fits and place in the oven (with the oven light turned on).
4. Let sit in the warmth for at least 12-16 hours or overnight. It should be good and sour when it’s ready. If it’s not sour, let it sit longer. Times will vary depending on the environment and the quality of the probiotic. Old probiotics or ones that were left out of the fridge will have less fermenting power.
Method for the crust and filling:
5. Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line and grease the loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving long flaps hanging over the sides of the pan (for easy removal later).
6. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, baking soda and salt and cinnamon. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and beat till fully combined. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
7. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden then remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
8. While the crust is cooling, in a small bowl combine the gelatin with the water and let sit for 3-5 minutes to bloom. Melt the gelatin with short bursts 10 second bursts in a microwave or warm over low heat until it is clear and all the graininess is gone. Do not let it boil or it will lose it’s gelling power.
9. Put the “cream cheese” mixture, gelatin and the rest of the ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend until smooth (as seen in the 2nd row of pictures). If needed you can add 1-2 tablespoons more of coconut milk to keep the mixture moving through the container.
10. Pour the batter over the cookie crust in the prepared pan (as seen in the 2nd row of pictures). Smooth the top if needed. Cover and chill in the freezer for 2-4 hours or until good and firm.
11. Cutting, Dipping & Serving: In a dry bowl set over barely simmering water, melt the chocolate and fat together, then stir till smooth and glossy. Remove from heat.
12. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and run a knife along the sides of the cake to help it release from the pan. Using the parchment paper flaps, pull the cake out of the pan, placing it face down on a cutting board with the “cookie side” facing up (as seen in the last row of pictures). Cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch squares with a sharp knife. If the cake is too hard, heat the knife in a glass of hot water and while dry before cutting.
13. Use a wood skewer or fondue dipper to pierce each cake piece, then dip and coat with chocolate (as seen in the last row of pictures). The chocolate ail begin to harden quickly.
14. Once fully coated, place them on a chilled parchment lined cookie sheet so that the bottoms firm quickly and don’t spread out. Let the chocolate set completely then serve or transfer to a sealed container and store in the fridge.
I prefer to not keep these bites frozen as the chocolate will accumulate condensation, bloom and look unpleasing. Chocolate coated bites can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days. Uncoated bites can be frozen up to 1 month and dipped before serving.