Raw Chocolate Cake with Raspberries

June 26th, 2012 :: 12 comments :: permalink

What a busy few weeks. There have been work and personal engagements, planning for a wedding, and my sister just moved in with us for a month or two. I have still been cooking as usual, but haven’t had time to document as much as I’d like. I also need to add getting in shape to my list, because it’s crunch time (pun intended, love puns) with only a month and a half to go until our big day. I just signed up for CrossFit and a few boxing classes. I let you know how all that goes. I think I have fairly healthy eating habits, but Dustin and I both have trouble resisting our sweet tooth. Last week I was really craving something decadent, but didn’t want the guilt afterwards, so I decided to make a raw chocolate cake with raspberries.

A lot of raw recipes use nuts of some type as a base. You start this recipe by grinding 1/2 cup of almonds in a food processor. In our pre-processor days, I would grind the almonds in a plastic bag by hitting them with a blunt object. I do not recommend that method!

I combined the ground almonds with 2 Tablespoons Cacao, 1 Tablespoon agave, and 1 Tablespoon coconut oil. As you mix all the ingredients, the agave and coconut oil help the mixture stick together. For that reason, agave and coconut oil are staple ingredients in many raw desserts.

Pat this mixture into a 2 -3 inch mold to make a perfect circle. Make sure to apply some pressure so it creates a solid base. This will be the crust for the cake. I used a little coconut oil on the metal molds so the crust wouldn’t stick. Keep the crust in the mold for now so the next ingredients layer up nicely.

Place fresh raspberries on top of the crust.

Next is the most important part, the chocolate topping. Whisk 1/2 cup cacao powder, 1/2 cup agave and 1/4 cup coconut oil. The mixture isn’t terribly fluffy, but will firm up once it’s in the refrigerator. Drizzle the chocolate on top of the raspberries. It creates a very pretty mid layer.

Then top with a few more raspberries finish things off.

With the cakes still in the mold, put everything in the refrigerator for around 20-30 minutes. If they are still a little soft, then give them a bit more time.

Dustin and I straight up devoured every single bite. Part of me wondered how something so good could still be (mostly!) healthy for me, but there is no disputing the ingredient list. With our sweet tooth completely satisfied and our bellies full, we decided to reward ourselves again with a Sunday afternoon nap. It was a good day.

Raw Spaghetti Recipe

May 2nd, 2012 :: 2 comments :: permalink

I first learned about raw foods from Stacy Stowers, a traveling chef that teaches the health benefits of eating raw and proves, through her dishes, that it can be just as delicious as cooked. Everything she said made sense. The more raw veggies you can get in your diet the better and heat can degrade or destroy some of the health benefits in vegetables. She cooked for me and my co-workers and I was honestly a little skeptical when I heard “completely raw” in her description. My first thought was that I would be hungry in an hour and my second was that it would taste like eating raw carrots. I was amazed at how flavorful everything was. Her raw spaghetti dish was one my favorites. I could enjoy pasta textures without eating pasta…amazing. I built my recipe off of hers.

I love mushrooms (the vegetable), but don’t necessarily like them completely untouched. I soaked the mushrooms in olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little Balsamic vinegar for 6 hours. The longer the soak, the more flavorful the mushrooms. I then took out all my veggies: tomatoes, red and yellow peppers, celery, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, basil, arugula, pine nuts, onions and half a lemon. For a simplified version you really only need sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes, basil and zucchini, but I wanted a little more zing.

Start the sauce by blending or food processing the peppers, pine nuts, celery, onion, pepper and salt until blended. Don’t overdo it, because there is still one more step.

I then added fresh tomatoes, lemon juice, and sun-dried tomatoes to my food processor. I find it better to go in this order otherwise things can get really mushy.

Making the noodles is easy. I don’t own a spiral slicer, which makes noodles that are extremely convincing, so I made linguine style pasta  then topped everything with my marinated mushrooms and arugula. Raw spaghetti prepared this way tastes very fresh and has so much flavor. There is also no guilt if you get a second helping!

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