Oh raw desserts.
I have a funny opinion about them.
I think they’re beautiful, I love the idea of them, I TOTALLY respect those that swear by them (and the raw lifestyle), and, well, shucks, the cake I made today is quite tasty!
This is my first “cheese”cake, and I think first dessert that I’ve ever made of the raw type. It’s inspired by a beautiful raw cook(?)book that I own and all of the amazing raw food blogs that I frequently creep on. I’ve seen heaps of raw desserts that I would genuinely LOVE to try…
I may have to say that at the end of the day, I do indeed prefer a piece of (baked) cake.
That being said! This “cheese”cake has endless possibilities for flavour addition, and it suits every diet (ahem, unless one is allergic to nuts). Most importantly, as stated before: it’s really, really good.
I look forward to trying more raw desserts. I’ve recently seen a beet tartelette that looks like it is right up my alley.
I think in the near future you guys may see a mixture of raw desserts mixed with baked goods. I’m having a lot of ideas, and I just recently bought cheesecloth (ooh the possibilities!) that needs to be put to good use.
Until then… today we have a matcha green tea “cheese”cake. The cheese part actually comes from a lovely blend of cashews, coconut oil, and agave syrup (with matcha!).
Rawwwr. (Hippo for I’m hungry?)
Matcha green tea “cheese”cake – What you need:
For the base:
- 1 cup of raw Brazil nuts, soaked* 8 hours
- 1 cup of raw cashews, soaked 8 hours
- 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder
- ½ cup of chopped dried figs, packed (8-9 medium figs)
- ¼ tablespoon salt
For the filling:
- 3 cups of raw cashews, soaked 8 hours
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted**
- 2/3 cup agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder
- zest of one lemon
- 1/8 teaspoon, or just a pinch, of salt
* Soak your cashews (or any nut that you want to blend or use as a base for 8 to 10 hours in enough water to completely cover them, and then some. Keep them in the fridge while soaking.)
** To make it “truly” raw, melt your coconut oil in a bowl that is resting in hot (but not boiling) water. If you don’t mind about the genuine raw aspect, you can pop it in the microwave, and check on it frequently. You want the oil barely melted. I did it the raw “genuine” way to stick to the spirit of the raw cake!
Matcha green tea “cheese”cake – What you do:
Soak your cashews and Brazil nuts for 8 hours in a sealed container in your fridge.
Rinse them very well with fresh water after the soaking period, set aside.
In a food processor, combine the nuts, figs, cocoa, and salt (all of the base ingredients). Blend until the mixture sticks together well, and starts to form a ball. This should take about 2 to 3 minutes.
Press the base mixture into a spring form pan firmly.
Rest in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
To prepare the filling, gently heat the coconut oil until barely melted. Add the agave syrup and mix well.
Put the cashews, lemon juice, matcha powder, salt, and the oil/agave mixture into a food processor.
Blend until everything is EXTREMELY smooth. I first blended for about 3 minutes, and then I scraped down the sides of the food processor and stirred it up a bit by hand.
Then, I blended for about 3 to 5 more minutes, repeated the stirring procedure, and then finally let it go for another minute or two.
Taste the batter as you go along… add more matcha if you want a stronger matcha flavour, add more agave if you want a sweeter cake, etc.
Remove the base from the fridge and pour the cashew filling into the pan.
Smooth it all out and tap the pan on the counter a few times to spread the filling evenly in the pan.
Ideally, place the cake in the freezer for 3 to 4 hours, minimum, or over night for best results. I don’t have a freezer, and just used the fridge – it turned out fine! If you do use a freezer, allow the cake to thaw slightly (20 to 30 minutes) before serving.
I didn't use any parchment paper. It didn't stick to the sides at all, but if you want to transfer the entire cake out of the pan to a platter (and be fancy, unlike me : D), I would recommend using parchment on the bottom.
I was so scared it wouldn't cut easily because I didn't freeze it! But, voila:
Yes, despite all my raw-indecisive noted above, I'm definitely going to try some more of these cakes with different nut combinations and flavours. Something I was slightly disappointed about was the thickness of the cashew filling layer.
I don't think this has much to do with the recipe, I just have a MASSIVE spring form pan. I'm going to see if I can invest in a smaller pan to try and get a larger filling to crust ratio.
Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker:
Wowah-we-wah. I adore NPR (National Public Radio - an American radio station, but you can find it on the internet!). First I adore the stories found here: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/
And now I stumbled upon these:
They have "Tiny Desk Concerts" for so many amazing artists. Other ones I'm in love with are:
And, well, OBVIOUSLY: Patrick Watson <3
Oh gosh, and the Beirut one.
I LOVE THEM ALL! ... And I love cake. nom.