The 12 Days of Christmas: Cherry “Cheesecake” Balls

Cherry _Cheesecake_ Balls (1)Amy:

Cherry. Cheesecake. Balls.

I’ve made a few “cheesecakes” during the summer, once for my husbands birthday in fact!  In coming up with the remaining 12 balls of Christmas I wanted to come up with something really unique.  Instead of making a cheesecake they are in the form of balls!  If I had the sticks they would make awesome cake pops!  This was intended to be the final ball of Christmas but after tasting them yesterday I had to post them today!  SO PLEASED!  Who says you can’t make deliciously addictive but nutritious plant based desserts for Christmas?

These could be adapted to many different flavours like pumpkin cheesecake, lemon cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, peanut butter cheesecake….you get the idea….

Ingredients:

2 cups of cashews (4 hours but preferably overnight)

6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Juice of one lemon

1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

Pinch of salt

3/4-1 cup dried cherries or cranberries, divided (soaked for an hour)

Chocolate coating:

1/2 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder

2 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

IMG_0363

Directions:

1. Soak the cashews for 4 hours to overnight.  They need to be very soft in order for it to blend well.  Soak dried cherries for about an hour until a bit softer.

2. Add all of the cheesecake ingredients, except for half of the cherries, into a food processor. If you have a really good blender….mine didn’t work well at all for this, use that.  Process until it gets as smooth as possible.  Scrape down the sides as you go.

3. Spoon into a pan or bowl. Take remaining cherries and process in the food processor until in small chunks.  Swirl the cherries into the batter.

4. Place the pan in the freezer, mixing occasionally for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until able to mold into balls.  (If you let it freeze for too long like I did…just let it thaw on your counter until softened a little) Roll into 1 inch balls between your hands and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Should make about 30-36 balls.  Place into the freezer until firm.

5. Prepare the chocolate coating.  Melt the chocolate ingredients in a double boiler or a bowl over top of a pot of water.  Gently heat until warm and melted.  Take each ball and coat with chocolate, place back on parchment paper.  The chocolate should harden almost immediately.

Store balls in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer.

 

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