Venturing into the Raw foods world: A super yummy vegan ‘Cheese Cake’

I have to confess…until a few months ago I did not know that there were an increasing number of folks in the world who were following a totally ‘raw foods’ diet!  My first reaction was – wow, that’s great – so healthy and ‘no need to cook’!  I looked over a lot of raw food bloggers’ websites  and saw how creative they were getting with their raw food recipes!  Gosh, it is mind boggling! Personally for me I don’t think I can manage a complete raw food diet since I would crave for warm food from time to time!  However, hats off to those who can pull it off and doing well with it.

So anyways as I have started following more raw food bloggers on my instagram, I continue to get inspired by their creations. One of these was the ‘raw cheese cake’ which is only made using nuts, dried fruits and other fruits! Watching numerous such vegan ‘cheese’ cakes and reading their recipes, I have been meaning to try making one for a few weeks now. The fact that I am currently on a AIP (autoimmune protocol) version of the Paleo diet was one reason – cos I am not allowed to eat nuts on this diet :(.  However, last week was hubby dear’s birthday. Him being a lover of cashew nuts , I thought why not give this raw cheese cake a try?

I looked for recipes and found that the basic recipe was pretty much same – nuts and dates for the crust or the base. And then a cashew nut cream filling. Then you can use your imagination for flavors – I decided to use mixed berries to create a two layer cake. And then topped it with a lot of fresh berries.  I also decided to do the crust only with shredded coconut and dates. I was so proud of my creation!  Our rhododendron had just blossomed too and the color of the topping of the cake perfectly matched with the light purple flowers! What a beautiful evening it was – my husband absolutely loved the taste of the cake!  He said it was better than any dairy cheese cake that he had before! The kids also loved it. I also had a couple bites – I had to see the result of my efforts, you see? 🙂  – Creamy, mildly sweet filling combined with the wonderful coconut crust  made for a delectable dessert! Simply superb is my verdict.

Btw, I would like to mention here a few of the bloggers who have inspired me to make this cake and whom I love to follow:

Edgar raw: https://www.instagram.com/edgarraw/?hl=en

Olivia from Lovehealthok : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoCEQG-JcqA

Sophie from A squirrel in the kitchen : http://asquirrelinthekitchen.com

Bringing this raw, vegan cake to the Plant based Potluck party this week.

Venturing into the Raw foods world: A super yummy vegan 'Cheese Cake'
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, sugar free dessert
Cuisine: Vegan raw cake
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 9 dates
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil melted
  • Pinch sea salt
For the Filling:
  • 2 cups cashew nuts soaked overnight
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp coconut cream
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup mixed berries
Instructions
  1. Soak cashew nuts in warm water and let sit for at least 24 hours.
  2. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch springform pan with parchment paper.
  3. For making the crust, in a food processor blend all the crust ingredients except the shredded coconut. Then mix this with the shredded coconut in a bowl to form a thick mixture. Press this mixture to the bottom of the pan. Freeze the pan for 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling by blending all the filling ingredients (without adding any water) except the berries to get a thick creamy filling.
  5. Pour ¾ of the this filling mixture onto the pan after the base has set. Then to the rest of the filling mixture, add the berries and again blend to get a creamy smooth mixture. Pour this over the top of the white filling layer. Place pan back in freezer for at least 5-6 hours.
  6. Remove pan from freezer about 30 mins before serving the cake.
Notes
For making the crust, I do not blend the shredded coconut with the dates since then the mixture becomes too fine and the crust will become a hard crust. When you have loosely packed crust, it firms up perfectly after freezing.

Chocolate Love Cake (Vegan Chocolate Cake with a berry filling)

Healthy Chocolate Cake (Vegan)February brings mixed emotions in me. One one hand it brings us a lot of snow storms but on the other hand it also is so romantic because of Valentine’s day. Our wedding anniversary also falls close to V day so for me Feb says ROMANCE in capital letters 🙂 And so once again I got my twin heart shaped cake pans out from the pantry. Since I have been on a dairy free diet for the last 4 months in an effort to reduce my RA flares, I thought of going completely dairy free i.e. no eggs too and so decided to bake a vegan cake. I had also been meaning to bake this Sri Lankan ‘Love’ cake that I had pinned several weeks ago when I was browsing and collecting interesting Sri Lankan recipes. When I had first seen this recipe, owing to its name, I had mentally pinned it to bake it for our ‘Anniv cum V- day’ celebration.  How perfect – love cake for Valentine’s, isn’t it? This cake looked so good with the richness of cashew nuts. Yes, it is indeed called as the ‘love cake’ 🙂

DSC_0874Anyways now since I was going the vegan route, I decided to skip the original recipe which is heavy on eggs but decided to still add cashew nuts to my cake. And further in my quest for really making this a healthful cake I also added another of my favorite (and secret) healthy ingredient …yeah you got it …beet puree! 🙂 I had made Beet Red Velvet Cup Cakes once before so I was confident that it would be all good! And I wasn’t wrong. I also replaced part of the flour with whole wheat flour. But I also wanted to make this a really decadent cake with minimal frosting and so made a cherry and strawberry filling. A decoration with fresh fruits sealed the healthful deal.

DSC_1419Pleased to report that hubby and the kids were bowled over by both the beauty and the decadence of this vegan beauty. See, it’s possible to make a healthy cake and eat devour it too 🙂 Happy Valentine’s day to you and ‘yours only’. Much Love to you all!

DSC_1430I am bringing this healthy and delicious ‘Chocolate Love Cake’ (yes I think ‘love cake is a perfect way to describe this beauty) this week to Throwback Thursdays as well as Fiesta Friday.  Lily at the Littlesweetbaker  and Julianna from Foodie on Board are co-hosting FF this week. What fun!

Chocolate Love Cake (Vegan Chocolate Cake with a berry filling)

  • Servings: Makes about 8-10 servings
  • Time: about 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

Adapted from the Basic Vegan cake recipe from Sweetlittlebluebird

Ingredients:

For the chocolate Cake:

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
5 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup beet puree (beets cooked and then pureed with very little water to get a thick puree)
1/4 cup cashew nut (powdered in a food processor)

For the berry filling:

1/2 cup water

2 tbsp sugar

1 cup mixed frozen or fresh cherries and strawberries

1 tsp cornstarch

2 tbsp water

For the frosting:

6 oz bar, semi sweet baking chocolate (vegan), chopped into pieces

1/2 cup soy whipping cream / soy creamer

Method:

Pre heat oven to 350 deg F(180 deg C). Mix all the dry ingredients-flours, baking soda,salt,cocoa and sugar in a parchment paper/tray.

In a large mixing bowl add the water, oil,vinegar and vanilla. Add the above dry ingredients to this and mix using an electric mixer.  Add the beet puree and the cashew nut powder. Mix till well blended and you get a smooth mixture.

Pour into 2 greased heart shaped pans. Bake at 350deg F (or 180 deg C) for about 20 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cakes from oven and let cool.

For the filling:

In a small pot, add the water,sugar and the berries and heat on low to medium heat until the berries are all mashed through. Mix the corn starch in the 2 tbsp water to form a slurry and pour into the berry mixture and stir quickly to form a jelly like texture. Put the heat off and keep aside to cool.

For the frosting:

In a microwave safe bowl, add the soy creamer and heat in microwave for about 30 seconds. Add the chocolate shavings/pieces and stir to completely melt the chocolate. Heat further(20-30 seconds more) if needed. You will get a chocolate ganache. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Assembling the cake:

First arrange one of the heart shaped pieces on the cake tray. Top with the berry filling.  Top with the second cake. Frost with the chocolate ganache. Decorate with fresh fruits.

Notes:

Oven times may vary depending upon pan used. So keep checking early on to see doneness of cakes. If you overcook cake, cakes will dry and will not be moist. You can brush cakes with a simple sugar syrup after they are baked to make them extra moist.

 

Healthy Chocolate Cake (Vegan)DSC_0876