I’ve been determined to make the most of cherries this season so I’ve been thinking of some traditional cherry recipes that most people love and I couldn’t go past a Black Forest cake! I decided to make a baked cheesecake as opposed to a traditional cake because I’m just generally more confident with vegan cheesecakes and I wanted to make sure I could pull it off!
The result was an extremely decadent cheesecake with no funny coconut after taste (because I didn’t use coconut) and a really yummy dark chocolate crust. I will admit that the cake was a little intimidating, I struggled a little with the recipe and also with styling this cake for the photos! It didn’t come out completely perfect but it was still so good I just had to share the recipe! I used my new deep dish baking tin for the first time and unfortunately, the very top of the crust did get a little bit overcooked and the base of the cheesecake got a little soggy especially after the first few days. Next time I’m going to try freezing the cake to see if it helps halt some of the sogginess.
I love using silken tofu in my baked vegan cheesecakes as I love the hormone balancing aspects of good quality soy as well as the fact that it doesn’t impart a strong taste (like coconut), but if you avoid soy products then you can use about 1 cup of any vegan yoghurt you like instead.
I used frozen cherries for this cake because I find them a lot easier to deal with when cooking/baking. I love that they come already pitted (pitting cherries is a nightmare) and I love that they are available all year round so I can enjoy cherries whenever! They’re not the same as fresh, so they aren’t very good for snacking on, but they are a really great alternative that’s a lot better than the sugar-laden canned cherry variety. I was a little concerned that because this was a baked cheesecake, the frozen cherries would completely disintegrate and turn to mush, but after a bit of research, I found that frozen cherries keep their shape really well! In fact, they are very tough and can be difficult to soften if you’re trying to make a pie etc. In my case, I wanted the cherries to keep their shape so was quite happy with the result (even if they made my base a little soggy over time).
If you have been following me for a while you will know that my recipes are not very precise and they tend to lean more towards rustic than perfect. That’s mostly because I’m not a perfectionist and I prefer keeping my recipes as simple and health-promoting as possible, even if they aren’t perfect. So although this cheesecake isn’t a perfect replica of a traditional Black Forest cheesecake, it’s still absolutely delicious (I prefer it over the real deal) and full of good-for-you nutrients!
I’m not sure how many people know that cherries are one of the top foods to help balance hormones. Cherries are a really good source of melatonin which helps us sleep better at night! They are a great addition to the diet for people that suffer from insomnia. Cherries also contain a lot of nutrients that are great for brain health as well as helping balance thyroid and adrenal hormones. When I was struggling with my low progesterone, my anxiety meant that I would often find it very difficult to fall asleep. I also had frequent nightmares at certain times of the month and remember having nights where I would be terrified of not being able to sleep, especially if I had a full days work the day after! I don’t think I ate enough cherries to help me with my issues (mostly because they are not in season long enough) and even if I did they’re not a quick fix solution, but they are a delicious addition alongside many other hormone-balancing foods. I absolutely love cherries so was very excited to find out they’re so great for our hormones. Combining them with good quality soy from tofu, cacao powder, and dates like I have in this vegan Black Forest cake is a nutrient powerhouse for balancing hormones.
This recipe is gluten-free, refined sugar-free and has no coconut. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do. Happy hormone balancing!
This recipe was republished with permission from Hazel and Cacao.