Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Raw Strawberry Lemon Cake Bars



I was having one of those moments last weekend where I was craving two different flavors and could not decide.  Lemon or strawberry...that was the question.  Strawberry shortcake sounded amazing, but I was also craving some tart sweet lemon cake.  Then it hit me, why not combine the two?  I thought about making some lemon cupcakes topped with creamy strawberry cream frosting, but I wanted the dessert to be more than that.  

 
I wanted luscious layers of cake full of flavor and topped with cream, but it was too much work to make a large cake, so I thought cake bars would be perfect! I started off with a lemon cake base on the bottom, then a sweet strawberry cake layer.  Then some creamy strawberry filling which was topped off with tart lemon frosting.  It was four layers of deliciousness for sure!  I knew it would be good since I had tasted all of the components as I was making the cake and I was quite excited.  

 
The finished cake was even better than I expected!  Tart and sweet, layers of flavor, soft cake that melted in my mouth and creamy frosting!  I was on cloud nine while enjoying it, and I knew that compromising and combining the two flavors and desserts I had wanted was the right choice.  It seems things always turn out the most delicious when I do not know what I want when I start, but play along the way.  
 

Raw Strawberry Lemon Cake Bars
Makes 9

2 1/2 cups raw almond meal*
2 1/2 cups dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup sprouted buckwheat flour or additional coconut
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup raw coconut nectar
1/2 cup fresh organic strawberries

strawberry and lemon cream:
2  cups raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1/2 cup lemon juice

2Tbsp organic lemon zest 
2 cups fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
1/2 cup raw coconut nectar, raw agave nectar or raw honey

1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

1/2 cup fresh organic strawberries



For the cake, combine the almond meal, coconut, buckwheat flour, and sea salt in the food processor and process until finely ground like flour. vanilla, coconut nectar, lemon juice and zest and process until smooth and evenly blended. Remove half the batter from the food processor and set aside. To the remaining half in the processor, add the 1/2 cup strawberries and process until blended. Place the lemon dough on a lined dehydrator sheet, and spread out to an even square about 3/4 inch thick. Place the strawberry dough on top of the lemon, and spread it to the sides to create 2 even layers.  Dehydrate at 115 for about 8 hours, until dried but still moist in the center.
For the strawberry and lemon creams, combine all ingredients except the coconut oil and strawberries in the food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, add the coconut oil and process a minute longer. Remove half of the cream from the food processor and set aside in a bowl.  Add the strawberries to the remaining cream and process until smooth and well blended.  Pour into another bowl, and place in the freezer for about 45 minutes or until it is frosting consistency. Once chilled, spread the strawberry cream over the bars, then place the lemon cream in a pastry bag and pipe over the strawberry cream.  Cut into small 9 bars. 

*I use soaked, dried almonds which have been ground in the food processor to flour, but you can also use almond pulp that has been dehydrated.

12 comments:

  1. Hi there Amy,
    What kind of Food Dehydrator do you use? I am trying to find on in the $45-$55 price range that will make things like this lovely dessert you have here. What can you recommend?
    Warmly,
    Jessica
    www.automaticdoll.etsy.com

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    Replies
    1. I use an excalibur, but mine was about $165. The lowest for a new one was still over 100. You might try looking for a used one? I would reccomend an excalibur as they last the longest so you can get your money's worth. You can always make these in the oven at a low temp as well, if you do not mind them not being raw ;).

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  2. What exactly is coconut nectar and where can I find it? If I buy a whole coconut is it the meat or the water or something else... thanks!

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    1. They sell it at most health food stores, but you can get it online as well. I buy it from Vitacost online because it is cheaper.

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    2. It is a coconut sweetener that is lower glycemic than most other liquid sweeteners.

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  3. Lemon and strawberry are wonderful together. Thank you for sharing. As always, a bright and delicious spot in my day. I hope you have a wonderful and warm Spring week!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Monet :)! I hope you have a wonderful spring as well!

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  4. Brooke, you can buy coconut nectar at Whole Foods with the sweeteners and sugars. It comes in a liquid and powder form. I love using it!

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  5. Amy, this is a beautiful dessert! I would have a hard time deciding between strawberry & lemon also, so this is perfect! So Spring-y too :)

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  6. Do you make your own sprouted buckwheat flour? I have sprouted buckwheat drying in the dehydrator right now, and I'm not sure if I can make my own, I don't have a SUPER high powered blender or food processor, just an average one.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, see how on this page: http://fragrantvanillacake.blogspot.com/p/helpful-things-for-recipes-on-this-blog.html
      Your blender should be fine.

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