Grain-Free, Vegan + Sugar-Free Chocolate Berry Swirl Cheesecake

Candida diet chocolate berry cheesecake on

Are you a romantic? I’m pretty sure I’m what you’d call a “hopeless romantic.”

Did I cry at Titanic? Let’s just say I felt responsible for at least 50% of all that gushing water that swept Jack away from Rose while I was watching that movie. Do I hoard  save mementos from my former beaux? Okay, so maybe our moving costs increased around 30% because of all my boxes of sweet nothings the movers had to lug to this house and set gingerly in the basement. (But hey, last time I went searching for some bank statements, I really enjoyed coming across that pink satin ribbon Spaghetti Ears used to wrap the long-stemmed rose he gave me when I was 22!). And that seven-layer chocolate-and-coconut-and-cherries-and-rum cake that took me almost 3 days to bake the first time I invited the HH over for dinner? I’m pretty sure my midsection is still paying the price for that one.

The HH, on the other hand, is most definitely NOT a romantic. Unless, of course, you consider “forgetting to buy me a birthday gift for my 40th birthday only three weeks after we started living together” as romantic. (Don’t worry, we had quite the blowup  near-breakup teachable moment after that one. Now he knows to ask, “Is this an occasion where I have to get you a present?”). How about “not noticing that not only did I CUT my hair, but I also switched the color from blonde to redhead” type of romantic? Are you feeling all misty-eyed yet? Or what about “wearing his dog-walking clothes out to dinner because, hey, it’s the weekend and why bother changing?” kind of romantic? Be still, my heart!

vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free chocolate berry cheesecake on

And yet, as my friends and family regularly remark (and as I’ve come to appreciate over the years), The HH is perfectly compatible with me in pretty much every way–Spock-like emotional expressiveness notwithstanding.

After almost two decades together, The HH remains the one person I’d rather spend time with than any other. I am free to be silly, be intellectual, be introspective; ask ignorant questions, ask for help, ask for a hug; play together with the dogs, read together in silence, shovel the driveway together, dig my nails into his forearm on takeoff, walk around totally unself-consciously in crumpled sweats and greasy hair; kiss on the lips even when I haven’t yet brushed my teeth; admit I didn’t like his choice in music (or books, or new shoes) without any fear of offending him; count on him to be the one person at the dinner party who is knowledgeable about any and every topic that arises; cringe when he gets into debates about economics (or politics, or medical care); beam when he compliments my cooking or freely brags about me to others; and, basically, feel confident that he has my back on virtually every issue or in every situation.

In short, dear readers, my friends and family are right about us.

So, never mind that I won’t get roses this Valentine’s Day. I’m pretty sure that chocolates are off the table, too. And a piece of jewelry? Fuggedaboutit.

On the upside, before we rolled over to sleep last night, the HH and I kissed good night, as we do every night. Then, in his soporific stupor, he leaned over with a dreamy look in his eyes. Was it, finally, a form of starry-eyed romanticism? He moved in close and whispered, “So, is this one of those occasions where I have to get you a card?”

Yes, darling. This is one of those occasions. And yes, the fact that you asked is, somehow, immensely lovable.

I hope you all have a wonderful (and incredibly romantic) Valentine’s Day!

 vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free berry cheesecake recipe

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  1. LOL you two sound adorable. 🙂 And how interesting to use tofu! I love a good cheesecake and it’s always nice to see when I can enjoy a healthier version of it.

  2. This looks and sounds amazing! I seriously can’t keep up, you have created so many amazing recipes! My stomach isn’t big enough haha. I can’t wait to give this a try!

  3. If it makes you feel any better, my SIL got an iron from her (newish) boyfriend for Christmas. In all fairness, she had mentioned she needed one…

  4. That cheesecake looks amazing – I really want to make it (though have just taken 6 years to make your chocolate avocado pate so it might be some time til I make it). Is it chocolate overkill that I wonder if the base should be chocolate too – or it is just to look prettier that you don’t add chocolate? And your description of the HH makes him sound like a real catch – enjoy valentines day

    • That’s too funny, Johanna! (How did you like the pate?). I actually did think about it–briefly–and figured that a chocolate crust with a chocolate filling might be overkill. Not for me, you understand–but I do always think of my readers first. 😉

  5. That looks amazing! Cashew cheesecakes are always terrific 🙂

  6. I must be a hopeless romantic to the 10th power. I was laughing at all your very funny description of the men in your life, your hoarding….umm loveably collecting and then I was nearly gushing the water for this romantic post. Awww you had me adoring your husband and your loving marriage. Who needs presents when every day he gives you the true gift of his heart and support.

    • Glad it brought a smile to your face, Jul’s! And glad you found it romantic. I had no idea people would respond to the HH this way (maybe he IS romantic, after all–?) 😉

  7. Hahaha loved this post (I live with one of those also). I have become wiser in my old age these days, I throw hints to him days before any important occasion is coming around the corner. Happy Valentines Day Ricki! As always enjoy all your posts and of course the food!

    • Thanks so much, Arlene (aren’t we the lucky ones?). 😀 I don’t even bother with hints any more–I just tell him outright if I want a particular something! 😉 Hope you and your own HH have a wonderful day, too!

  8. Why does this recipe have to contain tofu???

    • Hi Kelcey,
      Aw, so sorry you don’t like the tofu! I actually mentioned the fact that it has tofu and that I realize it’s not for everyone in the recipe itself. I’m sure there are hundreds (thousands!) of tofu-less vegan cheesecakes out there on the internet courtesy of Mr. Google. 🙂 For me, this is a special treat and I find that the texture just isn’t the same without tofu. You could always try these raw cheesecakes (use a red swirl, like the cranberry sauce or 100% fruit jam I mention here) if you want something soy-less. Hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! <3

  9. Another one of your wonderful recipes! I had to take a break from creating and blogging but I still read and enjoy your recipes vicariously 🙂 The HH sounds like a relative of my wonderful guy whose Dad came from Canada. We have dispensed even with the cards after 35 years. When you are with ‘the right one’ every day is Valentine’s Day.
    Best wishes to you and the HH for many, many more of your special celebrations!

    • Thanks so much, Gretchen! And sorry about the break (hope everything is okay with you). How cool that your FIL was Canadian, too! I’ll have to wait till year 35 to see if we give up on cards, too–so far, he’s still game. 😉

  10. If this is anything like your lemon cheesecake (cashews + tofu, too), I cannot wait to try it out. Thank you for sharing it, Ricki. 🙂

    • Thanks, Janet! You know, I didn’t realize the base was similar when I made this, but I think it’s because I find the combination so reminiscent of dairy-based cheesecakes, which I loved. Hope you had a good Valentine’s Day! 🙂

  11. as usual, your recipes are so gorgeous!

  12. WOW! This cake looks so delicious – nothing beats the combination of chocolate and berries. This sounds so heavenly! I’ve never tried using tofu in a cheesecake before, so I will definitely have to try this out 🙂

    • Thanks, Harriet! There are other ways to make vegan cheesecakes (most especially cashews or macadamia nuts), but I still love the texture that tofu confers to this sweet treat. 🙂

  13. What could I use in place of tofu?

    • There isn’t a sub for it in this recipe, Debbie. The tofu forms the substance of this cheesecake, so if you changed it, you’d have a completely different recipe. You might like this one, made with a cashew base, instead. 🙂

  14. I am sensitive to chocolate (so-sad!). Could I just leave it out?

  15. Margaret M Sands says

    Can you substitute almond butter for cashew butter?

    • Margaret, unfortunately, no, not in this cake. The cashews lend a very specific texture that approximates “real” cheesecake. A good substitute would be macadamia nut butter, if you can have it. Hope that helps!


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