I know I know. Valentine’s day is a meaningless, commercial day with no relevance as decent human beings show their significant others, friends and families that they love them each and every day! As much as it feels cliche to bring the valentines theme in to the blog, I love experimenting with styling and decoration and seeing as I already romanticised my natural and organic body moisturiser bar recipe last week, I figured I may as well do the same this week and continue the pretty, pink, roses theme, which fits in nicely to valentines week but is beautiful any time of the year also!
It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything sweet on the blog so I decided to make a heart shaped Valentines themed cake. There are plenty of raw ‘cheesecake’ type cakes around, which are delicious, but I felt like experimenting a bit and decided to make a vegan ice cream type cake instead. This magnificant cake would be the perfect token of your love this Valentine’s day, or if you don’t feel like sharing, the numerous nutritional benefits of organic raw chocolate can be used to justify keeping this all to your self in the name of health! This cake is not just a pretty face, it’s packed full of protein, fibre, antioxidant flavonoids and omega fatty acids.
White chocolate and strawberry is one of my favourite combinations, and this cake proves that you don’t need to use dairy white chocolate to achieve that taste combination as the cacao butter combined with the creamy cashew and vanilla essence hits the spot just right! I love the versatility of raw desserts, and there are many ways that you could adapt this cake. Any other nut will work instead of almond in the base, and you could omit the cacao powder or change the flavourings here. Instead of strawberries, there are endless combinations of flavours which you could experiment with by adjusting some of the ingredients -an orange and white chocolate marble, or a dark chocolate and white chocolate marble would also be delicious, or you could use raspberries, mixed berries, cherries or blackcurrants instead of the strawberries. Try adding some lemon juice to the mix if you would like to create a ‘cheesecake’ flavour.
I made the filling in a high powered blender but most decent blenders should be up to the task, but you may need to make it in smaller batches and blend for longer intervals to achieve the desire consistency. Tinned strawberries also work well in this if there are no fresh ones in season, but bear in mind that these often contain added sugar syrup and the cake would technically no longer be raw due to the temperatures involved in canning. Agave syrup is a bit controversial in the health world. I am comfortable using it occasionally in small amounts, but substitute another liquid based sweetener if you prefer. If you would like to increase the pink colour to enhance the swirl effect, you could add some natural red colouring such as dried raspberry powder. I also sprinkled some edible dried rose petals on top.
Freeze this cake, preferably overnight, and remove from the freezer before you want to slice and serve, to allow it to thaw out a little bit. You can allow it to defrost for between one and three hours, depending on the frozen consistency you prefer. I like it thawed about 2 hours, but it depends on your freezer and how warm the room is when it’s thawing. After four hours, the cake will be almost fully thawed out if you’d prefer to have it not frozen. It might be a little soft at this stage, but finger lickin good! If you don’t think that you’ll devour all of this in one sitting, try slicing it with a sharp knife while it is partially frozen and then return it to the freezer. It will then be easier to take individual portions from the freezer.
- 1 cup almonds
- 2.5 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 10 – 14 dates
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- small pinch of salt
Soak the almonds in a large bowl of filtered water for 8 – 12 hours. Drain and put in a food processor along with the raw cacao, dates, vanilla extract and salt. If you are unsure of the moisture content of your dates, add six and pulse the mixture. If you think that it needs a bit more moisture to bind together, then add an extra two and pulse each time, until you get a consistency like moist breadcrumbs. Line the base of a spring form pan with parchment paper and press the mixture in to the pan. Press down firmly with your fingers or the back of a spoon to ensure that the filling is smooth, solid and compacted. Place in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.
- 3 cup cashews
- 2 cups almond milk
- 2/3 cup cacao butter, melted
- 3/4 cup agave syrup or alternative
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Large punnet strawberries
Put the cashews, almond milk, cacao butter, agave syrup, vanilla extract and salt in to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You may have to blend for a while until it is no longer grainy. Expect to blend for much longer than you anticipate. It should be super smooth. Pour half of the mixture in to a bowl, and then add the strawberries to the remaining mixture in the blender, and blend again. You can add some natural colouring at this stage if you like. Pour the non-strawberry mixture in to the pan on top of the base and smooth out until it is evenly covering the pan. Pour the strawberry mixture on top in a spiral, and then use a chopstick to make a swirled pattern in the filling. Place in the freezer when done.