Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Deep Forest Carob Cake with Fudge Frosting (Raw!)

Friends, I have a new favourite cake. And it's raw! And that also makes it sugar-free!

I will admit that even though I've been vegan for years and years and I should know better than to be all judgey wudgey about people's personal food choices, I seriously did not get the raw thing for the longest time. It probably has more to do with how I came to be vegan than anything else, which I discussed at length in my previous post. And much like health-motivated vegans likely look at my endless array of buttercream-frosted cupcakes with a raised eyebrow, a food-obsessed ethical vegan like myself was, once upon a time, mighty skeptical about raw food. Especially raw desserts. Because what's a dessert without sugar?!

I'll tell you what it is. It is incredible. Magnificant. Life-changing. Rolling around on the ground, rubbing your stomach, "mmmmmm"ing, awesome.

My perspective on raw food changed in May 2010, when we traveled to Montreal and had an amazing outdoor dinner at a raw restaurant called Crudessence. It wasn't originally on our itinerary, but while having dinner on the patio of another one of Montreal's amazing vegetarian restaurants, a woman a couple tables over heard that we were from out of town and all but demanded we stop by Crudessence. So we put it on our agenda and never looked at raw food the same way again.

The desserts were what especially won me over. There is something about raw desserts that I can't quite explain. It's like a complete flavour punch. You taste every single element of the dessert because there are no flours and no conventional sugars to mask them. I find raw desserts to be so much richer and bolder than traditional desserts.

This recipe comes from Ani Phyo's Ani's Raw Food Kitchen and it is so simple and involves so few ingredients and you will be positively amazed at the sophisticated cake that results!

The base of the cake is comprised of brazil nuts and coconut and the sweetness comes from pitted medjool dates. The fudge - carob! People are often put off by carob because they expect it to taste just like chocolate, which it does not. Chocolate definitely has a more powerful, rich flavour. They are very much two different things. But don't let that put you off. While carob is different from chocolate it is no less delicious and if you're not a believer, pick up this cookbook and try this cake. And then invite me over to have some. Further, unlike chocolate, carob is completely caffeine-free and it contains three times as much calcium as chocolate. Plus, while chocolate is extremely toxic to dogs, carob is puppy-safe. So if you're a mess in the kitchen like I am, and your canine buddy happens to lick up a little bit of the carob that you've dropped on the floor, she's going to be alright.

If you're a raw vegan (and if even if you're not!) this would make a great birthday cake. A cool, nutrient-dense answer to the standard supermarket chocolate birthday cake. And so filling. If given the chance, I could probably sit and eat an entire non-raw chocolate cake in one sitting. It's a fact I'm not proud of, but it's a fact nonetheless. This one? Not a chance. Seriously. It's one that you nibble on throughout the week, not devour in one or two sittings. I've known Paul for fourteen years and I have never once seen him not finish a slice of cake that's been cut for him. Until this one. The good news is that it keeps great in the fridge!

Easter is just around the corner. If you're still looking for a dessert, this would be a great way to end a cardboard egg hunt and a delicious animal-free meal. It gets bonus points because it can be made well in advance, cutting down on holiday stress. It will make a raw believer out of you and everyone else!


Kim said...

Oh dear god I *have* to try this!
I must have seen the recipe in my book and have not made it yet. I wonder if it would still work with cashews instead of brazil nuts?
It's so funny how I've had this cookbook for over a year and a half and there are still so many recipes out of it I have to try. I have yet to try the buckwheat crispies even though I really wanted to after you talked about them ;p

Mary said...

Kim - I was going to ask you if you'd tried it, since I knew you had the book! I'm not sure if it would work with cashews...I really can't see why not, though, it should create the same texture and bind okay. I've often wondered why so many of her recipes are with brazil nuts...I don't know much about them and truthfully I don't think I'd ever even had them until I bought the book and tried some of the recipes. I wonder if it's just a personal preference or if they make a difference in terms of taste and texture and that's why she uses them. Either way, the cake is awesome...I think I'm going to tackle her cheezecake next!

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