Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Radically Natural Recipe: Raw Cheesecake with Coconut Cacao Mousse

My family is still healing on the GAPS protocol; we each have different sensitivities, which makes baking quite a challenge.  One child does poorly with coconut, seeds and nuts, another with eggs, another with dairy.  As we have continued the protocol without cheating, however, we find issues steadily resolving.  That's real healing...slow and steady.

My challenge this week was to create a birthday cake for little princess that everyone could eat without too many flare ups.  We are all doing fairly well with small amounts of our raw goats' milk yogurt and raw cacao, so this delicacy was the winner!  (Because of our sensitivities, we do the cheesecake without crust.)

I always joke with my family about how it takes three days to make the cheesecake, but only three minutes for them to devour it.  I adapted the raw cheesecake recipe from Nourishing Traditions; the mousse is my own creation.  I often don't measure when creating in the kitchen, so bear with me.  LOL

Before making the raw cheesecake, you need to make raw cream cheese, which requires that you've previously made raw yogurt.  I make raw yogurt with our goat milk using Culture's for Health Villi yogurt culture. We love our is so mild and creamy.  Once you have yogurt, strain it to make cream cheese. 

I strain my yogurt in a reusable, washable nut milk bag suspended over a bowl.  In the past, I have used a cheesecloth lined strainer sitting on a bowl, and I have also used the hanging flour sack towel method.  I found both of those to be messier than the nut milk bags (particularly the towel method).  You can find the fine mesh nut milk bags on Amazon or ebay and other places online.  They are easy to use, easy to clean.  

To make your cream cheese, just pour your yogurt into the bag, secure the top with a rubber band and hang the bag (by the rubber band) on a cabinet pull.  (If using a towel, place yogurt in middle and gather ends up, securing with a couple rubber bands and hang.)  Place a bowl under the suspended bag.  The whey drips into the bowl and the yogurt becomes cream cheese.  Your straining time will vary depending upon relative humidity in your home; you want all the whey to drip from the cheese.  I find the process takes anywhere from four to eight hours, depending upon how thick or runny my yogurt is.  See photos below.

Empty yogurt into nut milk bag
Secure top of bag with rubber band and hang from cabinet 

Allow whey to drip out completely

Raw Cheesecake (crust-free)

(Adapted from NT's Raw Cheesecake, page 566)

4 cups soft raw cream cheese (see above LOL)

4 pastured eggs, separated
1 cup raw milk
2 Tb. gelatin (I like Jensen's)
1/2 cup raw honey
1 Tb. raw Vanilla Powder
pinch sea salt
dash fresh organic lemon juice 
  • Gently heat milk and egg yolks, stir in gelatin until dissolved, remove mixture from heat.
  • In food processor (or blender), combine cream cheese with honey, vanilla, lemon.
  • Add egg yolk mixture, blend until smooth.  Transfer to bowl, put in fridge.
  • Beat egg whites until stiff (add pinch of salt, it helps firm up the whites), gently fold into cheese mixture.
  • Pour cheesecake filling into ramekins.  Refrigerate for a few hours.
  • Before serving, top with cacao mousse!

Coconut Cacao Mousse

Super easy, super delicious!  I warned you, though, I don't measure I'll give you my best guess measurements based on eyeballing what I do.  Play with it, taste as you can't fail with these ingredients!  When making a large batch, I use a handheld beater; smaller batches, I whisk.

In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup each:

With 1 heaping tablespoon each:
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla Bean Powder
And 1/4 cup raw honey (certainly measure and add honey to taste), plus a dash of sea salt to enhance the chocolate flavor.  Optionally, add a small spoonful of maca root powder, an adaptogenic herb/superfood rich in calcium, magnesium and B vitamins, that helps to balance hormones and increase energy

Keep the mousse at room temperature and top your cheesecake ramekins just before serving.  Enjoy!

This post is part of Kelly's Real Food Wednesday.  Check out the other wonderful treats featured at her carnival.

More about Maca Root and Adaptogenic Herbs