It’s that time of year again where romance in the air!
With Valentine’s Day approaching, I wanted to create a mini no bake easy treat with a twist to celebrate. So, I decided to turn a classic cheesecake recipe into these cute l’il hearts combining a few healthy ingredients for the crust while having the filling remain rich and decadent.
First let me tell you something that you may not know about me.
I find cheesecake to be pretty intimidating. It’s something that I think I have made once or twice in my lifetime and never really loved the end result.
Like, who wants to deal with water baths? What about the hours of slow baking? Then there’s THE FEAR OF CRACKING! It just feels like it’s too much trouble and not worth the stress – I think I’ll pass.
Then I thought…….what about a version that doesn’t require any baking? A version that is creamy and delicious? A cheesecake that is actually easy to make? Now THAT is something that I’m signing up for.
No bake vanilla and mocha heart shaped cheesecakes are a perfect way to fix your sugar craving. The sticky date crust paired with two different flavoured layers of whipped cream cheese filling is absolutely delish! I had some leftover ingredients so I made a few test ones for Steve to try. He gave me the thumbs up on the mocha layer because he’s totally obsessed with any combo that has chocolate and coffee in it.
I personally like the mini version of these cheesecakes. Much less tempting to eat a half of a cheesecake when it’s a single portion. You can even store them in a tupperware in the fridge or freezer and grab one whenever you want! Best part? You don’t even need to turn on your oven to make them. Chill baby, chill.
Will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year? We usually opt for a special meal at home instead of going out to a crowded restaurant. I mean, we may sound a bit dull but it’s clear that no matter where we are, there’s love in the room. Besides, don’t they always say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach?
A couple of tips before getting to the recipe.
- If you don’t have your cream cheese perfectly softened there’s a good chance your filling will come out a little lumpy. Nothing romantic about lumpy cream cheese so I highly recommend that you let your cream cheese sit out to soften for several hours.
- One the many reasons I love plain cheesecake is that it can be tweaked in a number of ways. I decided to flavour the second layer of these with a combination of chocolate and coffee. There are tons of add-ins you can try for this recipe. Here’s are a few of my faves. Caramel or chocolate sauce, blueberry or cherry pie filling, fresh berries and jam or jelly. The options are endless! Just swirl in a few tablespoons of whatever you like and enjoy!
- Pack it in. The crust for these recipe is sticky and so yummy. Just make sure you press it in well to the molds so they chill well and there’s no issues when you unmold them.
- Speaking of chilling. The key to these no bake treats is a long enough chill time in the fridge. At least 4 hours in the fridge or overnight is even better to ensure they are firm enough to release from the mold.
- It’s all about the date. And I’m not referring to the date you are having with your significant other or friends. I’m talking about the Medjools here. A few posts ago, I made a no bake vegan bar that was out of this world. One of my colleagues at work immediately ran out and bought the ingredients to make them at home. She told me her bars crumbled. Hmmm…., not what I wanted to hear about a recipe that I created. So, I did a little cross examination and discovered that she used dried dates in her mixture. That’s a big “no no”. If you don’t happen to have Medjool dates handy, just make sure you plump up your dates with water. It’s easy. Place them into a bowl. Pour boiling water over them to cover. Set your timer for ten minutes. Drain and use in your recipe. You are essentially bringing back that dried fruit to life. A plump date is better than a dried one. It’s just that simple.
So, what inspired me to make this recipe for Valentine’s Day?
Dairy, of course! This is my second campaign with the Dairy Farmers of Ontario and I couldn’t wait to showcase my love for creamy and dreamy desserts! If you have someone in mind to share these with, try making them these for Valentine’s Day this year. I pretty sure you will be loved even more.
Sending my love !
- For the Crust
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates (make sure they are plump)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- For the Filling
- 8 oz (one brick) full fat cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup coconut sugar (you can use regular granulated as well)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup 35% heavy whipping cream
- For the Mocha Paste filling
- 2 tablespoons organic cocoa powder +1 tablespoon espresso powder or regular coffee granules mixed with a pinch of cream or water to make a paste
- For the Coconut Heart Garnish:
- 400ml (14 oz) can of unsweetened coconut cream, drain off the coconut water
- 2 tablespoons manuka honey
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of pink himalayan sea salt
- For the coconut hearts, line an 8x8 inch square baking pan with parchment paper leaving an overhang so you can lift out the frozen mixture. Mix the coconut cream with the honey, vanilla and sea salt. Spread the coconut mixture into the prepared pan and freeze for 30 minutes. Using a small heart shaped cookie cutter, cut out the hearts and refreeze until ready to use.
- To make the crust In a food processor combine dates, nuts and coconut then process until you have a sticky mixture to work with. About 2 - 3 minutes should do it.
- If you have silicone baking molds use them. If not, line a mini muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.
- Divide the base crust evenly between the molds and press down the mixture down firmly with your fingers. (NOTE: I used a 1½ tablespoon cookie scoop and that worked perfectly to fill 6 large mold spaces. Place the mold in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Prepare the filling by beating the cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, about 3 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract.
- In a separate bowl, whisk or use a hand mixer to beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form.
- Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until fully combined. Divide the cream cheese mixture in half and fold in the mocha paste to one half of the mixture.
- Make the cheesecakes by topping the crusts with a 1½ tablespoon scoop of plain mixture divided amongst the molds. Then finish by dividing the the mocha filling evenly over the molds
- Place mold into fridge for at least 4 hours to set (overnight is even better). Top with coconut hearts and desired garnishes.Serve chilled.
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