Today I present this sweet creamy Cherry Vanilla Swirl Cake Bites with Chocolate for my first challenge with Recipe Redux. I feel honored to be included among the other food bloggers who are making delicious healthy recipes. This challenge is to help celebrate their 6th birthday of healthy recipe re-dos with mini bites of cake goodness.
This version of a "cheesecake" is made without eggs or dairy and is actually quite easy, although it looks like a lot of work. No baking, just a little soaking of raw cashews and the use of your blender and your half way there. The use of nuts help to make it creamy, but it does add fat so that's why just a little bite will do 'ya.
The addition of cacao or cocoa in the crust adds a touch of chocolate as do the cacao nibs on top. These have no added sugar and it's not missed in this combo. You could use mini chocolate chips instead but would be adding more fat. And, otherwise, these yummy little bites have healthy nuts as their base with some sweetness from maple syrup and dates. Each little bite is rich so you don't need many to get your fill and this whole dish serves up 64, 1" pieces. Enough to feed 16 people, 4 pieces each.
This Cherry Vanilla Swirl Cake reminds me of Cherry Garcia Ice Cream. It's sure to please a crowd and it won't keep you in the kitchen long. I like that's it's sitting ready in the freezer for your guests. If you take it out about 15 minutes before you're ready to serve, it'll be easy to slice.
The crust is made in the food processor and you don't need to soak the raw almonds. It comes together quickly with several whirls of the blade. Pinch the crust dough to made sure it holds together then press it into the bottom of a square 8 x 8" baking dish, preferably with straight sides. If you don't have one with straight sides, you can trim off the edges to make it straight (and munch the little bits for yourself).
The creamy filling is made with soaked raw cashews which you can find at most health-food stores. I've also seen them at Costco. All of the filling ingredients are thrown into your high-powdered blender and whirred to creaminess. Then, you split off a portion to blend with the cherries and almond extract. Lay down a layer of cherry flavored filling, then the vanilla filling and top with dollops of cherry. Swirl these through with your spatula after you've sprinkled on a few cacao nibs.