Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chocolate Raspberry Rhapsody Cake

Carmi came up with this most magnificent cake a while back - I don't even remember exactly when it was, but it immediately went on my "To do when the dessert book recipes are done", list. So, I finally got to it last week.

Oh man, you should definately make this if a) you have a sweet tooth, b) you like/love chocolate, c) like raspberries, d) like pretty things, or e) want to impress dinner guests.
I made a few adjustments - because I was in the mood for double chocolate, I opted for a chocolate cream topping, instead of the vanilla cream, and drizzled the top with raspberry sauce.

Raspberry Chocolate Rhapsody Cake

Chocolate Brownie Layer:

2 cups walnuts
2 cups pecans
1 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup cacao
1/3 cup carob
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbs water

Place walnuts and pecans in a food processor and process until ground.Add dates, cacao, carob and vanilla extract. Process until well mixed.Add the water and process briefly.

White Chocolate-Raspberry Layer:
(Adapted from Vanessa Sherwood's wonderful White Chocolate-strawberry Cheesecake)

1 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
1/2 cup cashews and/or macadamia nuts
3 Tbs melted coconut butter
1 Tbs melted cacao butter
2 Tbs honey or agave1 tsp lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Blend in Vita-mix or high speed blender until smooth.

Here's Carmi's cake - doesn't it look amazing?

Coconut Vanilla Creme Topping:

1 cup young coconut meat
1/4 cup coconut or regular water
1/2 cup cashews, soaked
2 Tbs coconut butter, melted
1 Tbs honey or agave
2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Blend in Vita-mix or high speed blender until smooth. Put it fridge or freezer to thicken up.

In a springform pan or large plastic margarine tub lined with saran wrap, layer 1/2 of the chocolate mixture, followed by 1/2 of the raspberry mixture. Put in freezer to set. Then repeat. Again, let set in the freezer.When the last raspberry layer has firmed up, gently transfer the cake onto a serving plate. Cover with the Coconut Vanilla Cream topping. If desired, decorate with chocolate sauce (just mix 1 part melted coconut oil with 1 part agave or maple syrup and 1 part cacao powder) and/or fresh raspberries.

Close your eyes and savor how scrumptious raw desserts can be!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Into The Pumpkin Patch

For Canadian Thanksgiving a few weeks ago, I made this really delicious pumpkin pie, after searching out many recipes, and having one failed attempt already. Thankfully, a pie by Poemomm on Goneraw looked promising and had rave reviews, so I decided to give it a shot with a few adjustments. I chose to for-go the crust, turning this dessert into a crustless pumpkin cake, topped with whipped cream and pecans. Eat this well chilled, as it does begin to soften and melt quickly - now I'm sure this would be fine when contained in a pie shell, but not cheesecake style like the one I made.

Pumpkin Pie
(Recipe adapted from Goneraw.com)

1 cups macadamia nuts
1 cup cashews
1 cup water
½ cup agave
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups peeled, chopped carrots (1-2" chunks)

In a high speed blender, cream the nuts, water, agave, salt, and spices until smooth.
Add the carrots and continue blending until completely smooth.
Pour into a pie shell or into a spring form pan and chill in the fridge or freezer for a few hours until set.
Top with whipped cream.

Note : I'm going to experiment more with this. It definitely needs some coconut oil to hold up properly in this style. 

Carmella's Whipped Cream
1 cup cashews or a mixture of cashews and macadamia nuts
1 cup + 2 tablespoons fresh coconut milk (simply blend 1 part dried coconut with 3 parts water in high speed blender)
1/8 - 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar (depending on how sweet a tooth you have)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla
Pinch sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon lecithin powder*
*Lecithin is derived from soybeans and acts as an emulsifier. Look for lecithin (preferably non-GMO), in granules or powdered form, at your local HFS. If using granules, make sure to grind them up in a high speed blender of coffee grinder.
Blend all ingredients except coconut oil and lecithin until smooth. Add oil and lecithin and blend until thoroughly mixed. Set in fridge for about 1 hr.

A little drizzle with caramel sauce makes a nice addition :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Adventures to The Sunny Raw Kitchen - Part 3

While Carmi and I enjoyed much rest and fun outside the kitchen, we still had our fair share of time pumping goodies outta the "Diva Dessert Factory" Yippeee! :)
Here's a sneak peak at some of the things that needed a final testing for my upcoming "Just Desserts" ebook. Let's just say, there was never a shortage of sweet treats at Carmi's!

Raspberry Lemon Tarte - this could be topped with any berry, but we chose the oh, so special wild mullberries that Carmi picked! Aren't they pretty? This was my first time trying these berries, Mmm. We served it with a raspberry sauce.

Chocolate Maca Cake...Dense nutty layer topped with a smooth chocolate layer. This is the same cake I had at my birthday (few posts below), only I decorated it with chocolate covered banana chunks.

You might also remember this cake from my birthday post - Tropical Cheesecake - topped with mango, banana, and strawberry sauce.

This is one of my favourites since I created it a few summers ago. Chocolate Berry Pie - Normally I use only blueberries, but we made it with blue and raspberries. Yum! We served it with Double Strawberry Ice Cream.

Chocolate Mint Cups - Since Carmi had fresh mint growing in the garden, it was the perfect opportunity to try these fresh delights - choccie and mint always go so well together!

Shortbread Cookies - simple and yummy. These bring me back to my childhood memories of being in Scotland!

Chocolate Chip Granola Bars - After making these many times, and Carmi making them too, I think we finally nailed the recipe :) I absolutely love these bars!

White Chocolate Orange Cake - Carmi's favourite of my desserts...she has already made this cake since my visit! :) The above slices are her pics - she sure did it justice, eh?

Mint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream - yup, this is one of my faves...I could eat this almost every day!

Chocolate "Peanut Butter" Cups - Another childhood favourite that I had to replicate. Carmi, Don, and I enjoyed snacking on these!

So those were just a few things from the book...but don't think we stopped there! Here are some other things we created.

Mullberry Tarts - Nut crust filled with vanilla cream, mullberry puree, and berries.

Mudslide Pie - A tried and true Cafe Gratitude recipe. Carmi has made this before, and I have been wanting to make it, so I finally got the chance. Yum yum, double...triple yum! This is a swirl of chocolate, white chocolate, and almond butter filling.

During our sweet "D" (dehydrator) day, we made another Cafe Gratitude signature item - Cinnamon Buns. We made these 2 days before my departure, with no time to eat them because of all the other goodies on the menu. They lasted a 2 day trip home, in time to make caramel sauce to top it all off. Oh dear lord! Carmi did the same at her house - actually, I think it was like 10 days before she finally got to eat hers, lol.

Isn't it gorgeous?? Carmi definately took the better pic, I just wanna reach out and grab one.
Here are my 2 buns...dripping with sauce, just the way I like it :D
We also tried some cookie recipes from the Raw Epicurean Cookie Ebook by Ingrid. She provides a really wide variety of beautiful, tasty recipes.

Zucchini Cookies - Carmi added some lemon zest and it really topped them off! Yumm, so moist and chewy too!

Fruity Tropical Macadamia Cookies - These were really amazing, especially if you enjoy flavours like pineapple, mango, papaya, and coconut!

Oat Groat Coconut Cookies - These really jumped out at me because I like anything "oaty". I really like the texture and flavour, plus they were super simple to make.

Almond Cookies - Wowsers, for anyone who likes almond, this cookie is for you! I loooved the flavour, however, the texture didn't come close to what it shoud have been, and we're not quite sure what went wrong, as we followed the recipe. It turned out more like marzipan, even after dehydrating longer than called for.

So that wraps things up in the sweet department...I think we accomplished all we set out to do, and had a blast every step of the way. I love un-cooking with my sister and look forward to our next time in the kitchen together (hopefully sooner than later)!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Adventures to The Sunny Raw Kitchen in BC - Part 2

The raw Divas meet again!!! As you know, I was just warming up in Part 1 of this fabulous adventure out to Carmella's place.
I know I promised to continue with the food production, but before I get to that, let me first share with you some breathtaking views of the scenery out there. I thought I could do it all in one post...but I have too many other pics to post, so stay tuned!

Wow, how I love the mountains! They are so strong and powerful!
Suzanna (Mosaica from RFC) and Carmi, in front of the river/mountains.

Notice the inukshuks here?? (The rock formations) - very cool!

Zsolt, Suzanna, Carmi, Don, Heathy - taking a little stop to watch the sunset :) We had a picnic here - what a great spot for it, eh?

British Columbia is known for it's natural hot springs. We went one afternoon and it was absolutely wonderful! I'm amazed that these hot tubs pop up in the middle of nowhere!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chocolate Banana Almond Butter Pie

Due to all the raw almond butter I have in stock right now, I decided to create this pie last week. It features chocolate, banana, and almonds - all flavours that I love! The great part is that you can make the whole thing in a food processor.

Chocolate Almond Butter Pie

1 cup pecans
½ cup almonds, ground
½ dates

Process ingredients together in a food processor until crumbly and the mixture sticks together.
Press into the bottom of a 9" pie plate.

1 1/4 cup almond butter
½ cup agave
¼ cup + 1 tbs cacao powder
¼ cup almond mylk
1 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp sea salt
2 tbs melted cacao butter

2 large bananas, sliced into rounds

Combine all ingredients, but bananas, in a food processor until smooth. The mixture will be thick. Spread 1/2 of the filling over the pie crust. Arrange banana slices evenly on top. Now spread the remaining filling over the bananas. Top the pie with slice bananas.