I was going to let Halloween pass by this year with nary a mention. Then the other day, after talking to a girlfriend about her over-the-top ghoulish creation, I was bitten by the trick-or-treat bug.
So much as I love the crazy Halloween recipes that float across the interwebz this time of year I find myself sticking with a slightly tamer theme — if you’ve been here a while you may recognise the colour combo from my Halloween Ice Cream Bars with Chocolate & Green Goo Magic Shell — and once again I simply could not get orange and green out of my head.
Before I knew it I was blitzing up a raw-ish vegan cheesecake somewhere around midnight (of course I was) and photographing it in dying afternoon light the next day.
This vegan cheesecake started as pumpkin but very quickly turned to choc-orange. The flavour was spot on — as proven by RJ as he inhaled a slice for dinner last night along with the leftover orange wedges (yes, we eat like 5 year olds more often than not).
The zebra effect was simply to see if it would work. The fact that the chocolate shards kind of look like teeth (or vampire spikes perhaps) is a happy, delicious, coincidence.
If I make it again I’d make the colours deeper (more cocoa, more matcha) so they don’t blend as much. And for whatever reason my chocolate layer was a touch thinner than the other two so it got a bit squished out — great for the look of the top, slightly lost in the stripe.
In other news I now plan on making all the things zebra striped, you’ve been warned, and I am challenging my self to come up with something suitably terrifying for Halloween next year. I any case, have a very happy/scary/sweet Halloween — I’m off to eat cake for breakfast.
Trick-or-Treat Zebra-Striped Choc-Orange Vegan Cheesecake
Makes one 8 inch cheesecake
- 1 ½ c (225g) raw cashews, soaked 4 hours
- ½ c melted coconut oil, divided
- 1/3 c lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ c chopped fresh dates (5-6 large)
- ½ c orange juice, divided
- ½ c roasted pumpkin puree
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder + hot water
- 2 tsp matcha green tea powder + hot water
- 1 quantity raw or pre-baked pie crust, I used this Gluten-Free Chocolate Quinoa Pie Crust but any crust will do
- grated dark chocolate to serve
Prepare pie crust in an 8 inch (20 cm) removable-base tin, making sure to line the sides with baking paper. Crust should be warm or at room-temp when it is filled, not cold from the fridge.
Drain and rinse soaked cashews. In a food processor or high-speed blender blitz cashews until they start to form a paste. Reserve 2 Tbsp coconut oil for later, then add the remaining coconut oil, all the lemon juice, vanilla and salt to the cashews. Puree until smooth then add dates and half the orange juice and puree again.
Place ½ c filling into a small bowl then divide the remaining filling between two more bowls.
Return the ½ c filling to the processor with the pumpkin. Add reserved 2 Tbsp coconut oil and remaining ¼ c orange juice, puree until smooth and set aside. Dissolve cocoa in just enough hot water to form a paste and stir into one reserved bowl of filling. Dissolve matcha just enough hot water to form a paste and stir into other bowl of filling.
Create the zebra-striped effect:
Drop a heaped spoonful of orange filling into the centre of your prepared crust. Repeat with chocolate, dropping directly onto orange, and then with green. Repeat dropping heaping spoonfuls until all filling is used, finishing with chocolate. Never stir or spread, pay no attention to the mountain that is forming.
When all the bowls are empty tap pan sharply on bench top until the filling levels out to a nearly flat surface. I say tap sharply, in reality I picked the pan up and dropped it, loudly, about
472 10 times.
Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight before removing pan and paper. Top with grated chocolate and slice while cold. Store in fridge.
- Leaving the top edge of the crust a bit jagged and not too high lets the colours of the filling show around the side of the cake once you unmould it. You could make this with just crust on the base — or even without a crust — it’s all good.
vegan // vegetarian // gluten-free // dairy-free // soy-free // nuts // probably-paleo