Monday, January 28, 2013

Italian Raw Chocolate Cake

With Valentines Day creeping up I thought I'd post a recipe that is fitting for the occasion. I've been too busy making raw chocolates (get your orders in soon!) to make any special new desserts so instead I'm sharing a recipe that I created a few years ago and was featured on Give It To Me Raw. 
Traditional Italian Zucotto is a well known dessert that I've never actually eaten, BUT I got inspired to make a raw version that turned out wonderfully. Several people have made it since that time and said they really enjoyed it. I hope you do too!

Chocolate Almond Zucotto

An Italian classic in the raw. Walnut cake with a hint of orange is layered with crunchy almond vanilla cream, and smooth rich chocolate cream, in this elegant dessert.  Serve it with orange segments , or fresh seasonal berries for an added burst of flavor and lightness. 


1 cup walnuts
2/3 cup almonds
1 cup pitted, packed medjool dates
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a food processor, grind the almonds into a fine powder. Transfer to a bowl. 
Grind the walnuts into crumbs. Add to the almonds. 
Process the dates with the zest and extract until smooth. Add the nuts and process into a smooth dough.
Line a  1 quart mixing bowl (or bowl of your choice to make it smaller or bigger) with plastic wrap and press the dough evenly into the bottom and up the sides. Set aside.

Almond Cream

1 cup cashews
1/3 cup almond milk
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 -2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons chopped almonds

Blend all but the coconut oil and chopped almonds, until smooth. 
Add the oil and blend again. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the almonds.
Spread a thick, even layer of the cream on the cake layer. 
Chill in the freezer for a few hours, or until the cream is firm enough to spread the next layer on top. 

Cacao Whipped Cream

3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons cacao powder
3 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons carob powder
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
Pinch celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons melted cacao butter
1 tablespoons coconut oil

In a blender, combine all but the butter and oil, until smooth and creamy. 
Add the cacao butter and coconut oil and blend to incorporate. 
Spread the mixture over the almond cream, filling the hole. 

Chill the cake in the freezer for a few hours, or in the fridge overnight, until firm. 
To unmold, invert the cake onto a plate. Remove the bowl and plastic wrap. 
Dust with cacao powder, slice, and enjoy with friends!

Snuggle up with your sweetie and enjoy a slice of this!

My raw Chocolate Valentines Special is running. Order your chocolates now! Info HERE

Or maybe you want to make your own chocolates for your loved ones. Try the recipes from my Raw Chocolate Dream eBook. Download a copy now HERE!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Banana Coconut Cupcakes

As you know, I haven't been making too many treats lately because of my sugar cleanse - which I'm happy to say was successful, and after 17 days I'm off it and enjoying small amounts of sweets again. The first treat I made for myself was a batch of carob nut cups - a great chocolate replacement, and something that I enjoyed a lot when I went off cacao for 3 months in the past.

The only change I made to the carob cup recipe was to use protein powder (sweetened with stevia) in place of the second ingredient in the recipe. Definitely give it a try if you want a satisfying sugar free treat without any caffeine in it. Of course raw chocolate is in my diet again as I'm busy fulfilling Valentines chocolate orders.

Here's a sweet recipe that I featured at one of my raw dessert parties a few years ago - yes years ago and I'm only getting to posting now. Mini cupcakes are a great treat when you want something small, or in the case of the party there were so many desserts to try that I made everything in small portions.

Raw Banana Coconut Cupcakes

1/2 cup almond pulp*
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup oat flour**
3/4 cup shredded coconut
2 tablespoons maple or coconut sugar, or to taste
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
Pinch of salt

In a food processor grind the almond pulp, pecans, oat flour, shredded coconut, and maple sugar.
Add the banana, vanilla, and salt. Blend again to incorporate.
Add the coconut oil last and pulse in.
Press this cupcake dough into mini muffin cups (pressing lightly will give a more fluffy texture). Set aside.

*leftover from making almond milk
**Grind enough raw oat groats or regular oats to make 1/4 cup

White Chocolate Banana Frosting

1 1/2 cups mashed banana
1/2 cup cashews
3 tablespoons maple or coconut sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons melted cacao butter

In a high speed blender, combine the banana, cashews, coconut sugar, lemon, and vanilla until smooth and creamy.
Add the cacao butter and blend again.
Chill the mixture in the fridge in a large bowl/container for at least 8 hours until it firms up.
Pipe or spread over the cupcakes.

Remember to get your Valentine chocolate orders (HERE) in soon! I've been a busy bee working to makie and ship them out. It's something that makes my heart sing.

Raw Chocolate Truffles

Raw Caramel Pecan Choccie Clusters

Raw Chocolate Almond Butter Cups

Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Valentines Chocolate Special and a Raw Dessert Recipe

With Valentines Day just around the corner it's time to start thinking about chocolate! Mmm my favorite treat. How will you be celebrating? J and I will be in Calgary for the night. If you know of any great restaurants there, let me know. 

Now you can order my organic raw vegan chocolates to celebrate this day of love! Treat the one you love with healthy, delicious chocolates. Or maybe you just want to treat yourself ;)

Here's what's available from the Sweetly Raw Chocolate Shop. I'm taking online orders (for North America) from now until February 6th. All orders placed in the next 24 hours (night of Jan 16th) will receive a free raw chocolate macaroon

For full details and to order, email me:

Caramel Pecan Choccie Clusters
Pecans and caramel wrapped in rich dark chocolate

Caramel Cinnamon Nut Cluster
Pecans and cinnamon caramel wrapped in rich dark chocolate

Chocolate Truffles - Silky chocolate centers wrapped in rich dark chocolate. 6 flavors: dark chocolate, orange, mint, coconut, cinnamon spice, banana. Box of 6 or 12. 

Pink or white boxes

Jumbo Almond Butter Cups
Sweet stone ground almond butter filling encased in dark chocolate, topped with crunchy almonds.

Jumbo Peanut Butter Cups 
Sweet peanut butter filling encased in dark chocolate, topped with peanuts (peanut butter filling not raw).

All raw, vegan, organic, gluten free, grain free.

What better way to kick off Valentines Day than with a raw dessert recipe featuring chocolate?! It's only right, right?

Chocolate Pecan Brownies with Maple Maca Ice Cream and Spiced Apple Compote

This dessert is sure to get you and your sweetheart in "the mood", as it's filled with cacao, maca, cinnamon, and a little spice. I like to drizzle it with chocolate sauce too (it makes a great edible body paint).

Chocolate Pecan Brownie

The maple sugar provides not only great flavor, but a neat texture in this brownie. If you don't have access to maple sugar you can coconut sugar. 

4 cups pecans
1/2 cup pitted packed dates
1/4 cup maple sugar
2/3 cup cacao powder
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch Himalayan salt

Grind the pecans into crumbs in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and process into a moist, crumbly dough. Press the mixture into an 8x8" or 9x9" pan. Chill and slice into squares before serving. 

Maple Maca Ice Cream

Steam things up by giving your significant other lots of maca!

2 cups cashews
2 cups water
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean
1/2 - 2/3 cup maple syrup
1-2 tablespoons maca powder

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Taste. It should be on the sweet side as the sweetness will decreased when frozen. Chill for a few hours. 
Process through an ice cream maker according to manufacturers instructions 
OR fill ice cube trays and freeze, then puree in a high speed blender using the tamper. 

Spiced Apple Compote

This compote doesn't need to be dehydrated, but it does make a difference - it takes on a wonderful "cooked" texture, and the flavors get a chance to mingle. I find that the spices and fruit help balance out the chocolate and maple. Plus, the spices will help you get spicy in the bedroom (or kitchen)!  

4 medium apples, peeled, cored
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup raisins, or chopped dried figs*
2 tablespoons goji berries
2 dates, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 Pinches cardamom
Cayenne, to taste, optional

Soak the raisins and goji berries in enough water to cover for 2-4 hours. Drain. 
In a food processor, chop the apples into small pieces. 
Add the remaining ingredients to the apples, including the drained fruit, and stir together.
Process half the mixture until smooth. Fold into the other half. 
Dehydrate for a few hours at 115F, until the apples take on a warm, "cooked" feel. 

*Use figs for a super aphrodisiac effect

For more details and to place a raw chocolate order, email: All mail out orders must be placed by February 5th (but can be shipped out as late as February 11th)

All orders places within the next 24 hours (evening of Jan 16th) will receive a free raw chocolate macaroon.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sugar Free Detox and Christmas in Cuba

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. J and I shared an excellnt time in Cuba.

Have you made any resolutions for 2013? Now that I'm home and settled, I'm going to write down all my goals for the new year. It's something I do every January along with reviewing what I wrote a year ago. One of my goals was to start off with a sugar free detox and I've done just that (I'm on day 5) This means I won't be posting on Sweetly Raw for a few weeks. No dessert recipes as I'm completely off sugars (well except some berries and stevia). But please pop into Food and Yoga for Life where I'll be posting lots throughout the month about my cleanse, yoga, and other things.

You can check out my first post on my sugar free detox and my favorite chunky eggplant dip recipe here: My New Year, No Sugar Detox.

I also posted about our Christmas in Cuba HERE