Posted by: njbrown | March 26, 2011

Black Forest Chocolate Cherry “Cheesecake” (for vegans and everyone who loves chocolate and cherries)

Black Forest Chocolate Cherry “Cheesecake”

When my daughter was getting married almost two years ago, the big question was what kind of cake she could have.  As a vegan, she was determined to have something that contained only vegan-friendly ingredients.  She finally found a “live food” restaurant in Toronto, and they served a fabulous Black Forest “cake.”   It was deeply chocolate, filled with delicious cherries and had a slight coconut flavor.  With much effort, we were able to get it for her wedding.  All the guests loved it, and the photographer (who’d eaten about two hundred wedding cakes), said it was the best wedding cake she’d ever had.

My daughter has started working at a raw food restaurant, and the chef has encouraged her to bring recipes that she thinks people will like.  For those who know as little about “live food” as I, apparently it includes dehydrated ingredients as well as food that has been heated no higher than 120 degrees.  It is usually more labor-intensive than regular cooking, but extremely healthy.

In my limited experience with vegan and live food restaurants, desserts are the weakest part of the menu.  I’m hoping Nzyme (where my daughter works) will begin offering the Black Forrest “Cheesecake.”  I found a recipe on a wonderful British site geared to green living.  The recipe is by Vanessa Sherwood who demonstrates it in this video: My daughter’s cake had a lovely cherry glaze, but I’ve not yet found a recipe for it.  Obviously, Vanessa thinks this cake is fabulous without a glaze, so I don’t think the absence is crucial.

For the filling:

  • 2 Cups Cashews, soaked 1 hour or more
  • 1/4 Cup Agave Nectar
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Cacao Butter, Melted
  • 1/4 Cup Coconut butter, Melted
  • 1 -2 Teaspoons Coffee Extract (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Seeds From 1/2 Vanilla Bean
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • One 10 oz Package Frozen Cherries


  1. Blend everything together except for the cocoa powder and cherries until completely smooth.
  2. At this point, if your blender can take it, blend in the cocoa powder. Otherwise scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl and whisk the cocoa powder in by hand.
  3. Hand mix in the thawed cherries. If you want to make a sauce out of the cherries, either set some aside or use an additional package.

About the coffee extract. Coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate.  She uses Java Juice- Pure Organic Coffee Extract. The website is
If you don’t want to use it, substitute more vanilla extract or just leave it out.

For the crust:

  • 1/2 Cup Brazil Nuts
  • 1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons Agave
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons Cacao Nibs
  • 1/4 Vanilla Bean Seeds from 1/4 vanilla bean


  1. Process the brazil nuts, shredded coconut, salt,
    cocoa powder and vanilla bean seeds in a food processor until fine crumbs.
  2. Add the agave and cacao nibs until the mixture just starts to stick together.
  3. Press into the bottom of a springform pan.
    If you are making a large cheesecake, feel free to double or even triple
    the recipe (crust and filling).
  4. Pour the filling over the crust and chill or freeze until ready to

I hope you enjoy it.




  1. Thanks, its usefully for me.

  2. Love the texture. Great photo.

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