Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mini Raw Citrus Ice Cream Cakes



I was quite excited to get my hands on a bag of kumquats last week...my first of the winter.  Although I love to eat them unadorned, I thought that I needed to make something special with them though instead of simply popping them into my mouth.  Then I got to thinking...how would they be in ice cream?  They have so much flavor, so much tartness...and you can eat them peels and all, so no zesting required!  I decided to try it out. 


I added some orange juice along with the kumquat for more flavor, and I was recently sent some duTerra essential oils, including orange oil and I thought it would be lovely in my ice cream as well! It made the ice cream so aromatic and if happiness was a smell, this smelled like it.  


The ice cream base was so delicious, that I decided to make it into ice cream cakes.  Sometimes, I cannot resist the cuteness of  a mini cake, and I thought the citrusy ice cream would be perfect atop a pine nut coconut base.  Plus, a cake is so much more special than scooped ice cream. They were adorable once I garnished them with a bit more citrus, almost too cute to eat, but who am I kidding.  They smelled amazing and I did not wait to dive in.  I was instantly in my happy place with the aroma and flavor of tart sweet citrus that melted in my mouth!  Putting kumquats in ice cream was a wonderful idea!  I hope I get some more soon so I can try them in more desserts!



Mini Raw Citrus Ice Cream Cakes
Makes 2  4 inch cakes

crust:
3/4 cup pine nuts
3/4 cup finely shredded, dried coconut
1/2 cup sprouted, dried buckwheat
4-6 dates
a pinch sea salt

Ice Cream:
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup kumquats
1 cups young coconut meat (or raw cashews, soaked 4 hours and drained if unavailable)
1cups soaked raw cashews, drained (soaked at least 4 hours)
1/4 cup raw agave nectar or raw honey or raw coconut nectar
seeds of one vanilla bean
1 drop doTerra wild orange oil (optional)*
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

2 small oranges, peeled and sliced into rings
6 kumquats, sliced

For the crust, combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until finely ground and starting to hold together when squeezed (add more dates if not sticky enough).  Press into the bottoms of two four inch springform pans, sprayed with non-stick spray and lined with parchment paper.  Set aside.
Add orange juice to a food processor, along with kumquats, cashews, coconut, agave nectar, vanilla, sea salt and oil. Process until smooth, then with the processor running, add the coconut oil slowly and process until well incorporated, about a minute. Pour the strained mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Remove from ice cream maker, and pour into the prepared crusts.  Set in the freezer for about 4 hours, or overnight. When ready to serve, garnish the tops of the cakes with orange slices and kumquats.  Serve!

*For the orange oil, you have got to check out their site and these oils, they are amazing! http://www.mydoterra.com/essentialsfirst/

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Raw Black Bottom Cupcakes

 
When I was about 10 I can remember looking through a church cookbook with my Mom and finding a recipe for black bottom cupcakes.  If you do not know what a black bottom cupcake is, it is a chocolate cupcake with cream cheese filling with chocolate chips.  I wanted to make them so bad, the cream cheese filling was what had caught my eye as I loved anything containing cream cheese.  I begged my Mom to make them and she gave in although it was unusual to make cupcakes in my family. They were so good, I fell in love with the chocolate cake/ cream cheese filling combination, not to mention the gooey chocolate chips as we ate them warm.
 
 
I made them a few more times as a kid, but I admit, I have not had one since I was probably in middle school.  For some reason I decided to make raw filled chocolate cupcakes this weekend and I thought about many options but my mind kept returning to black bottom cupcakes.  Not being one to not listen to cravings, I gave in and decided to rawify them.

 
I made a raw "cream cheese" filling and even chocolate chips (well more like chunks) with my raw chocolate.  I decided to make them a little more fancy and top them off with a bit of chocolate "cream cheese" frosting as well.  I had no doubt that they would be delicious as I devoured the extra cake I had scooped out of the centers and tasted the filling before pouring it in.  Turns out they were even better than those black bottom cupcakes I had as a kid! 

 
Raw Black Bottom Cupcakes
Makes 8
 

Cake:
1 cup raw almond meal
1 cup sprouted oat flour (or additional almonds)
1 3/4 cups dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
12 medjool dates, pitted
3 small organic bananas, mashed
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder

Cream filling and frosting:
1 1/2 cups raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1/2 cup coconut water

1 tsp cider vinegar


2 cups fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
1/4 cup plus 2  Tbsp raw coconut or agave nectar or raw honey

1/2 tsp sea salt
2 teaspoons vanilla and seeds of half a vanilla bean

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

1/2 cup chopped raw chocolate
1/4 cup raw cacao powder

For the cake, combine the almond meal, oat flour, and coconut in the food processor and process until finely ground like flour. Add sea salt, vanilla, and dates and process until well combined and dates have blended into the flour. Add the bananas and process until smooth.   Add raw cacao powder. Process until well combined and blended. Spread out into a square about 2 inches tall on a lined dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 115 for about 12 hours, then remove and use a round cookie cutter to cut out 8 circles.  Place back in the dehydrator and continue to dehydrate until dry, but still moist in the center like cake about 2-3 more hours. Remove from dehydrator, let cool, then using a pearing knife, carefully cut out the centers, down about an inch.  (you can eat the centers, my favorite part about being the baker).
For the filling and frosting,  combine the cashews, coconut water, vinegar, sea salt, agave nectar, and vanilla anc process until smooth. Add the coconut oil slowly with the motor running (If the mixture starts to separate and clump, the filling is too cold to emulsify the oil, so warm some of it and process again).  Remove 1/3 of the cream mixture and stir in chopped chocolate.  Spoon this mixture into the centers of the cupcakes.  Place in the freezer to set, about 3o minutes. Place the remaining cream back in the food processor and add 1/4 cup raw cacao powder.  Process until smooth, then place in the freezer until it is frosting consistency, about 20-30 minutes.  Place in a pastry bag, and pipe over the cupcakes, covering the filling.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Raw Banana Tiramisu


I used to be a huge coffee drinker.  3 32 oz mugs of coffee every morning were a requirement.  I loved the stuff...the aroma of the beans when I ground them, the warm coffee as I sipped it...it was an essential part of me being happy in the morning.  I was addicted to it.  Until about 9 months ago when I got ill, and after I recovered I could no longer stomach coffee.  The smell of it started to bother me as well.  It was a sad day.  I have to admit I went through a bit of a caffeine withdrawal the week after that, but in the long run I am sure my obsessive coffee drinking was not the best for my body.  I haven't added it to desserts since then either.  That is until this weekend.


A couple weeks ago, my boyfriend Eric asked me to make tiramisu.  I admit my first response was "no, I hate coffee and is it even raw?"  So I put it out of my mind for a while.  Until for some reason, it started to appeal to me.  Could I make it raw?  I had made the classic version years ago when I was in my non-vegan coffee loving phase and it was sooo good at the time.  Why not give rawifying it a try.  


 But this was not going to be classic, I wanted to add bananas, because I thought banana would pair well with the coffee and chocolate. There would be no lady fingers, but instead a layer of banana cake, and in place of the Zabaglione/whipped cream would be coconut cream layers...one laced with chocolate and coffee, one coffee cream layer and a layer of plain vanilla cream. I used coffee extract as well instead of real coffee, so there would be no actual strong coffee (which I still cannot stomach). I included perfectly ripe bananas, shaved chocolate and of course raw cacao powder to top it off.  


It was amazing...better than any tiramisu I have tasted, and even though I do not like coffee I devoured every last bite of my first piece!  I shared it with Eric and he approved as well. I guess even I am too quick to judge what will be good sometimes. So...thank you Eric, for the idea to make tiramisu, I am glad I gave it a chance.

 
Raw Banana Tiramisu
Makes 1 6 inch cake

Cake:
1/2 cup raw almond meal
1/2 cup sprouted oat flour (or additional almonds)
1 cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4  tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
8  medjool dates, pitted
1 1/2 small organic bananas, mashed

Cream topping:
1 1/2 cups raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1/2 cup coconut water

2 cups fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut nectar, agave nectar

1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds of half a vanilla bean

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

4 tsp coffee extract, divided
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder

1 Tbsp brewed coffee, whisked together with 1 tsp raw coconut nectar or agave nectar (optional)
3 bananas, sliced
raw cacao powder
shaved raw chocolate 

For the cake, combine the almond meal, oat flour, and coconut in the food processor and process until finely ground like flour. Add sea salt, vanilla, and dates and process until well combined and dates have blended into the flour. Add the bananas and process until smooth.  Spread out into about a 6 inch circle on a teflex lined dehydrator tray and dehydrate for about 12 hours, or until dried but still a little moist in the middle. 
Meanwhile, to make the filling and topping, combine the cashews, coconut water, sea salt, agave nectar, and vanilla anc process until smooth. Add the coconut oil slowly with the motor running (If the mixture starts to separate and clump, the filling is too cold to emulsify the oil, so warm some of it and process again). Divide into 3.  Add 1/3 back to the processor and add 2 tsp coffee extract. Remove and add another 1/3, to that add 2 tsp coffee extract and 1 Tbsp cacao powder.  Place the 3 bowls of topping in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes until it firms up to whipped cream  consistency.
Once ready to assemble, line a 6 inch springform pan with parchment on the bottom and sides. Place the banana cake at the bottom (trimming edges if too large).  Brush with the coffee/agave mixture (this is optional, I did not because I do not drink coffee/caffine, but it will give the tiramisu a more pronounced coffee flavor). Sprinkle with some shaved raw chocolate, and spread the chocolate coffee cream over.  Top with a layer of bananas, then sprinkle with more shaved chocolate and spread the coffee cream over.  Top with another layer of bananas, then sprinkle with more shaved chocolate, then spread the plain vanilla cream over. Dust the top with raw cacao powder and sprinkle with more shaved chocolate.  Place in the freezer for 3-4 hours to set, then unmold and serve!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tropical Fruit Spring Rolls with Raw Lime Avocado Banana Ice Cream

 
Since I can not go on a tropical vacation this year (a little out of my budget), I thought I would at least send my stomach on one.  You see, I was at the store, and I had an urge to buy a pineapple. I had not had one since last summer and them smelled so sweet and ripe that I thought it was about time.  When I got it home I was ready to simply slice into that thing and eat it all, but it seemed a shame to waste such a beautiful fruit that way. So I ate half and made the rest into something delicious.

 
I had seen a raw recipe somewhere that used thinly sliced pineapple for spring roll wrappers and I had to try it out for myself.  Although mine weren't quite as thin as I would have liked, they worked out just fine.  I stuffed them with mango, kiwi and orange, and decided that they would be wonderful bathed in a sweet and spicy lime syrup. 

 
Also, I thought that they deserved to be served with a cooling creamy element as well, so my raw avocado lime ice cream did the trick.  It was a deliciously refreshing dessert that made me feel as if I had been transported to somewhere tropical, and it cost me a whole lot less money. 

 
 
Tropical Fruit Spring Rolls with Raw Avocado Lime Ice Cream
Serves 3-4

half an organic pineapple, sliced paper thin from top to bottom (you should have sheets)
1 large mango, cut into matchsticks
3 medium oranges, cut into supremes
4 kiwis, skinned and cut into thin slices

Chili Lime Syrup:
3 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp raw agave nectar, raw honey, or raw coconut nectar
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Raw Lime Avocado Banana Ice Cream (recipe follows)

To assemble spring rolls, lay out 2 pieces if pineapple, overlapping slightly, and along the right edge, place a line of mango 1/2 inch thick (top to bottom), then about 3-4 slices each orange and kiwi.  Roll up, enclosing the fruit to the left.  Set aside and make 4-6 more depending on how much pineapple you have.  
To make the syrup, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. 
To plate, cut each spring roll in half, carefully and place 3-4 halves on a plate.  Top each with a little chili lime syrup, then scoop a few scoops of the lime avocado ice cream alongside.  

Raw Lime Avocado Banana Ice Cream 
Makes about 4 cups

1 cup lime juice
2 Tbsp lime zest
2 cups young coconut meat (or raw cashews, soaked 4 hours and drained if unavailable)
2 cups avocado, chopped
1 large banana
1/2 cup raw agave nectar or raw honey or raw coconut nectar
seeds of one vanilla bean
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

Add lime juice to a food processor, along with zest, cashews, avocados, banana, agave nectar, vanilla, and sea salt. Process until smooth, then with the processor running, add the coconut oil slowly and process until well incorporated, about a minute. Pour the strained mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Remove from ice cream maker, and pour into a freezer safe container. Let chill in the freezer for a few hours until a little more firm before scooping.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Raw Coconut Lime Macaroons


It was -12F degrees Monday in Minnesota where I live...downright frigid! Let me tell you, if I could have hunkered down and not left my home to go out into that air I would have.  Luckilly I have a treadmill, so I can avoid running in it but I still have to drive to work.  After driving home Monday, my toes took forever to warm up as my car did not seem to want to either.  I miss summer, I miss 70 degree weather.  Which is why I have been enjoying citrus in every form lately.  I feel as if it is a way of ingesting sunshine.  I am envious of anyone who lives where these fruits are in season right now. 


I am also making plenty of desserts with citrus, like these Raw Coconut Lime Macaroons I made last weekend.  One bite of one and I feel like it is summer again and I forget about the cold for that minute of heaven.


I used plenty of lime juice and zest because I like things tart, and it was beautiful with the sweet coconut.  I even tinted them green with spinach (don't worry, you could not taste it they were just a lovely color with it). They were delicious plain, but I decided make them extra yummalicious with a bit of dark chocolate.  Eating one reminded me of warmth of the sun, key lime pie and the days of running through sprinklers.  All things that I would trade for that Minnesota winter in a heartbeat.  If you are craving summer, you should make yourself some too, you will feel a lot better!



Raw Coconut Lime Macaroons
Makes 12

Macaroons:
3/4 cup raw almond meal*
2 Tbsp organic lime zest
2 Tbsp lime juice
a pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup raw agave nectar (or raw coconut nectar or raw honey)
a few spinach leaves
2 cups finely shredded unsweetened coconut

Chocolate:
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 cup raw coconut oil
2 Tbsp raw agave nectar
a pinch of sea salt

Place almond meal, lime zest, lime juice, and sea salt in the food processor and process until well combined. Add the agave nectar and spinach and process until the mixture holds together. Add coconut and pulse until the mixture holds together. Form the mixture into 12 balls, and place on a dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate for about 12 hours, or until they are dried, but not so much so that they are not a little chewy in the middle.
To make chocolate, whisk all ingredients together until smooth in a bowl and let sit until it thickens a little (about 15-20 min). Lay out a sheet of foil on a sheet pan. Dip each macaroon into the chocolate and place on the foil. Once all dipped, put in the freezer to set. Once chocolate has hardened, enjoy!

*I used soaked, skinned and dried almonds to make the meal.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mexican Chocolate Kale Chips


I have recently seen lots of recipes for chocolate kale chips, and I admit I was a bit skeptical as to whether or not chocolate and kale would be good together. Something sweet on a green?  It sounded a bit wierd to me, but I am not one to completely pre judge before I try things so I decided that I needed to taste for myself chocolate kale chips.  It partly had something to do with my Mother asking me to make them for her, as she had seen them on a cooking show.  So I gave it a go. 

 
I based the recipe off of my cheezy kale chips, leaving out the savories and adding chocolate, not too difficult.  Also, I decided to make mexican chocolate kale chips, adding a bit of chipotle and cinnamon to the chocolate mixture.  Let me tell you, this chocolate mixture tasted like raw chocolate cheesecake batter before I spread it on the chips...so I knew if it tasted as good once they came out of the dehydrator these would be delicious!  Luckilly, they did!  I woke up the next day to the sweet aroma of chocolate and I couldn't wait to taste them.  I admit they are not the prettiest things, but they were damn tasty!  Intense chocolate with a bit of spice and crunch!  If you closed your eyes, you would not know you were eating kale.  I can not imagine a better way to get your dessert as well as your greens in one, especially if you are a fan of crunchy things like I am.


Mexican Chocolate Kale Chips
Makes about 8 cups

1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked in water for 2-4 hours, drained
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp raw agave nectar or raw honey
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
filtered water

1 large bunch kale, washed and torn into bite sized pieces

In a food processor, combine the sunflower seeds, cacao powder, sea salt, agave nectar, cinnamon, and chipotle powder and process until smooth.  Add filtered water, a few Tbsp at a time until a smooth mixture a little thinner than nut butter consistency is formed.  Place the kale in a large bowl, and pour the chocolate mixture over it.  Use hands to massage mixture into the kale, coating all the pieces entirely. Place the kale on 2 teflex lined dehydrator sheets, and dehydrate for about 8-12 hours (overnight) until dry. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Raw Lemon Dream Mousse Cake



If lemon came in cloud form, this Raw Lemon Dream Mousse Cake would be it.  It is light and fluffy, dreamy, and creamy with just the right balance of tart and sweet.  I myself am a lemon lover which is why when I had a large bag of lemons in my fridge this weekend, I decided that a special lemon dessert was in order.  


I had thought about making a tart, but I wanted something a bit more magnificent  with more filling...because the more luscious filling the better.  So cake it was.  This turned out to be a bit of a cross between cheesecake and mousse, which was just what I was going for.  I decided to make a sweet poppyseed crust, because it is lovely with lemon, and for the filling, plenty of luscious coconut meat and tart lemon in the forms of curd, zest and juice.  This had to be tart, that was a requirement.


Once it was all assembled and chilled, I topped it off with some coconut cream, and dove in...yummalicious! I shared some with one of my biggest critics, my Mother and she loved it too, finishing off every last crumb.  Who says lemon does not come in cloud form?


Raw Lemon Dream Mousse Cake
Makes one 6 inch cake

lemon curd:
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp hot filtered water

1 Tbsp flaked agar agar
1/2 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp raw agave nectar or honey
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp coconut butter, warmed to liquid
1 Tbsp coconut oil, warmed to liquid

Crust:
1 cup raw almonds, soaked, skinned and dried 

1 cups shredded, dried coconut
1/2 cup sprouted, dried buckwheat (or additional coconut
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
8 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped

1/4 cup poppyseeds

Filling:
1 1/2 cups raw cashews (soaked 4 hours at least, drained)

1 1/2 cups young coconut meat or soaked cashews (drained)
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 Tbsp organic lemon zest
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)
1/4 cup raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid)

Cream topping:
3/4 cup raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1/4 cup coconut water
1 cups fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
3 Tbsp raw agave nectar or raw honey

1/4 tsp sea salt
1 teaspoons vanilla and seeds of half a vanilla bean

1/4 cup raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid)


For the lemon curd, dissolve the agar in the hot water, then add the lemon juice,agave nectar, vanilla, butter, coconut oil and whisk until combined and all dissolved.  Place in the fridge to set up and cool completely.  Once cooled, place in a food processor and process until smooth.  Set aside in the fridge.

 For the crust, combine the almonds, coconut, and buckwheat in a food processor and process until crumbs. Add the sea salt and dates and process until the mixture starts to come together when squeezed. Mix in poppyseeds well, then press into the bottom and up the sides of a 6 inch springform pan, sprayed with non-stick coconut oil spray. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

For the filling, combine cashews, coconut,  lemon juice and zest, honey, sea salt, and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the coconut oil and process for a minute. Add half the lemon curd and process until well combined.  Pour 1/3 of the filling into the crust, then drop a few Tbsp of lemon curd over, then half of the remaining filling, then another few Tbsp curd, then the last of the filling then more curd.  Swirl with a knife to marble and place in the freezer to firm up, about 2-3 hours or so.
Meanwhile, to make the topping, combine the cashews, coconut water, sea salt, honey, and vanilla anc process until smooth. Add the coconut oil slowly with the motor running (If the mixture starts to separate and clump, the filling is too cold to emulsify the oil, so warm some of it and process again). Place the topping in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes until it firms up to frosting consistency. Once frosting consistency, move to the fridge until ready to use.
Once the filling has set, place the topping in a pastry bag and pipe decoratively over the tart. Serve! Store extra in the fridge.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Lavender Lemon Caramel Dark Chocolates


What if, instead of saying negative things to others, we gave them chocolate instead?  Really, the world would  be a much happier place.  It may sound silly, but I guess I just feel like there is way too much negativity going around lately.  It is winter, we are all cooped up inside and people are crabby.  But if we all stopped to think about the negative things we are about to let escape from our mouth, would they really be necessary?  Probably not.  So instead of letting them escape why not share something lovely and delicious instead. Yes, positive words would do, but if you had a bag of chocolate, why not?  Maybe that other person is having a rough day as well, and you would create a better day for you both?

 
I recently made some pretty darn heavenly chocolates that would make anyone's day just a bit brighter.  Raw Lemon Lavender Caramel Dark Chocolates.  It may sound like an unusual combination, but it was lovely!  Afterall, I like to think outside the bix when it comes to flavors.  

 
The lemon was so bright and tart, perfect with the sweet caramel and the lavender gave them a lovely aroma against the rich chocolate.  They were so good, I admit I ate 8 when I was aiming to taste one...not to mention licking the chocolate bowl clean and finishing off extra caramel.  I was one pretty happy girl!


Lavender Lemon Caramel Dark Chocolates
Makes about 16



Caramel:
10 medjool dates
2 Tbsp raw coconut butter or macadamia butter (raw almond butter will also work)
3 Tbsp raw agave nectar or honey
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract


1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp fleur de sel

1/4 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp lemon zest
filtered water as needed
1 1/2 Tbsp dried lavender flowers

Chocolate:
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
a pinch of sea salt

16 hole chocolate mold (I used silicone)

To make the caramel, combine all ingredients (except lavender) in a food processor and process until smooth. Add a Tbsp or more of water if too thick.  Press the mixture thorough a fine meshed strainer to remove any date bits. Stir in lavender.  Place into a pastry bag and pipe small 1/2 tsp mounds onto a piece of foil. Place in the freezer until hardened slightly.
When caramel is frozen, to make the chocolate, combine all ingredients and whisk together until smooth. Take your chocolate mold and fill holes half full with chocolate. Take your caramel and spoon one mound into each hole on top of the chocolate. Top with remaining chocolate in the holes so it is even with the top of the mold. Place in the freezer to harden, then pop out of the molds and enjoy!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Raw Banana Swirl Coffee Cake

 
Do you ever have one of those indecisive days where you just cannot decide what sounds the best to eat?  I do...a lot.  Especially when it comes to desserts.  Like last weekend.  I wanted banana cake, because I still had lots of bananas even after the banana cream pie.  It was a toss up, between chocolate and vanilla banana streusel cake. 

 
Although in the past it would have always been vanilla, as I am a vanilla girl, I admit my boyfriend Eric has me leaning towards chocolate a lot more lately. Influencing the way I choose desserts sometimes, since he loves chocolate. So I was torn between the two. They both sounded amazing.  Then I realized I could do both!  Why not make a swirl cake?  I had never made a raw swirl cake, and banana chocolate swirl would be so heavenly! 

 
I even added a bit of chocolate to the streusel, why not keep the delicious theme going.  Let me tell you...this cake was pretty decadent, sweet, chocolaty, yet vanilla scented, crunchy and nutty from the streusel.  The best of both of the banana cake worlds I was dreaming of. Sometimes it is nice to not have to choose favorites.
 

Raw Banana Swirl Coffee Cake
Serves 4

Cake:
1 cup raw almond meal
1 cup sprouted oat flour (or additional almonds)
1 3/4 cups dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
12 medjool dates, pitted
3 small organic bananas, mashed
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder

Streusel:
3/4 cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut
3/4 cup walnuts, soaked and dried
8 medjool dates, pitted
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped raw chocolate

Caramel:
10 medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp raw coconut or macadamia butter
2 Tbsp agave nectar or honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp filtered water or more as needed


For the cake, combine the almond meal, oat flour, and coconut in the food processor and process until finely ground like flour. Add sea salt, vanilla, and dates and process until well combined and dates have blended into the flour.  Add the bananas and process until smooth.  Remove half the batter from the food processor and set aside, and add 3 Tbsp raw cacao powder.  Process until well combined and blended.  Remove from the food processor. on a dehydrator sheet lined with teflex, alternating plain and chocolate batters, drop by the Tbspful onto the sheet in 2 six inch circles (you can cut 2 6 inch circles out of parchment if you like and drop it on those if it makes it easier).  Swirl the batters in each circle and smooth the tops (they will not be visible so it does not matter if the batter is a little messed up on top, you just want it smooth).  Dehydrate for 20- 24 hours at 115 degrees or until dried but still slightly moist, flipping after 12. 
Meanwhile, to make the streusel, combine the 3/4 cup coconut, 3/4 cup pecans, dates and sea salt in the food processor and process until chopped and sticking together slightly.  Add the remaining walnuts, coconut and chocolate and pulse until roughly chopped.  Remove from the processor and set aside.
To make the caramel, combine the dates, coconut butter, agave nectar, sea salt, coconut oil, vanilla and water and process until smooth (adding more water a very small amount at at time if too thick).  Remove from the processor and press through a fine meshed strainer to remove any date bits (optional, but makes for a smoother caramel). 
To assemble, place one cake on a plate, top with 1/4 inch thick caramel, then sprinkle with half the streusel.  Top with another cake layer, press down slightly and top with more caramel and the rest of the streusel.  Enjoy!  Store leftovers in the fridge.
 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Grapefruit Pistachio Crumble with Lime Avocado Ice Cream


A pink grapefruit a day keeps the doctor away...well, that is what the saying should be, nothing against apples.  I do eat a grapefruit a day at least, in the winter months.  They somehow make winter tolerable with their beautiful pink flesh, pleasing aroma and sweet tart flavor.  


Although I eat them unadorned, peeled like an orange most of the time, I thought that they would be quite lovely and delicious combined with some bright green pistachios!  Not to mention delicious.  I have served the two together in a salad together so I knew it was a good combo.  This time I wanted the grapefruit to be covered in a pistachio crumble topping.  I cannot resist that, sweet fruit, with crunchy topping!  But rather than going the conventional route of just cutting up the grapefruit and piling the crumble on top, I thought it would be more fun to stack grapefruit slices with crumble in between them.  



That alone would have been amazing, but crumble needs ice cream, it is essential as far as I am concerned, so I served it with some avocado lime ice cream, keeping with the citrus theme.  It was all lovely together, but more importantly it was lovely to my taste buds.



Grapefruit Pistachio Crumble with Lime Avocado Ice Cream
Serves 1

Streusel:
3 Tbsp golden raisins
1/4 cup pistachios
1/4 cup flaked coconut
a large pinch sea salt
1 Tbsp raw agave nectar or raw honey

1 large pink grapefruit, peeled and cut into 4 slices horizontally

additional raw agave nectar or honey (optional)

Raw Avocado Lime Ice Cream (recipe follows)

For the streusel, place the raisins in a food processor and process until finely chopped.  Add pistachios, coconut and sea salt in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, and combined with the raisins.  Add agave nectar and pulse a few times to combine.
Place one grapefruit slice on a serving plate (the bottom slice), then top with a bit of streusel, and a drizzle of agave nectar.  Top with another grapefruit slice, then more streusel and honey and repeat twice, ending with streusel. Scoop some raw avocado lime ice cream alongside and serve!



Raw Avocado Lime Ice Cream
Makes about 4 cups

1 cup lime juice
2 Tbsp organic lime zest
2 cups avocado, mashed
2 cups young coconut meat, chopped
1/2 cup raw agave nectar or raw honey
seeds of one vanilla bean
a pinch of sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid

Add lime juice to a food processor, along with zest, avocado, coconut meat, agave nectar, vanilla, and sea salt. Process until smooth, then with the processor running, add the coconut oil slowly and process until well incorporated, about a minute. Pour the mixture through a fine meshed strainer and press through until you have removed any coconut bits (you can skip this step, but it makes for a smoother ice cream). Pour the strained mixture into an ice cream maker and process according to directions. Remove from ice cream maker, and pour into a freezer safe container. Let chill in the freezer for a few hours until a little more firm before scooping.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Raw Banana Macadamia Coconut Dream Pie

 
When I started to get serious about making desserts back in college, one of my favorite things to make was banana cream pie.  I thought my recipe was the best...deep dish banana bourbon cream pie, piled high with billowy, clouds of whipped cream and topped off with toasted coconut.  It was pretty amazing, and I made it many times, never thinking it could be trumped. 
 

 
That is, until this weekend.  I made the most amazing banana cream pie I have ever tasted, and it by far kicked that other banana cream pie's butt.  It needed no dairy, eggs, and refined sugar, it was veganlicious, and way more amazing! 

 
I had two large bunches of bananas on my counter last week, so a banana something or other was in order.  I made a cake, which will be posted soon, but I also made this Raw Banana Macadamia Coconut Dream Pie.  I call it a dream pie because it was.  When I started to make it, there were three things I was sure of.  It needed a coconut macadamia crust, plenty of sweet, creamy filling, and coconut cream on top.  

 
Once I got to making the filling, however, I decided that it would be even more amazing with a layer of chocolate and vanilla cream frosting.  The best of both worlds to accompany the bananas in the sweet pie! 

 
Once it was set, I topped it off with coconut cream, but then decided that something crunchy on top would be even better so I topped it off with a sort of macadamia and coconut streusel.  This pie ended up being a fufillment of all of my cravings.  Crunchy and a little salty from the crust and topping, creamy, sweet and dreamy in the middle, plus chocolate and fruity bananas...pure heaven!  You simply must make this if you love banana cream pie so you can try it for yourself!


Raw Banana Macadamia Coconut Dream Pie
Makes 1 6 inch tart

Crust:
1 cup macadamia nuts

1 cups shredded, dried coconut
1/2 cup sprouted, dried buckwheat (or additional coconut
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
8 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped


Filling:
2 cups sliced bananas
1/2 cup raw cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours in filtered water and drained)
1/3 cup coconut water
1 1/2 cups young coconut meat or soaked cashews (drained)
1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp raw agave nectar or raw honey
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean (other half reserved for topping)
1/3 cup raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
2 sliced bananas
3 Tbsp raw cacao powder
Cream topping:
3/4 cup raw cashew pieces (preferably soaked overnight)
1/4 cup coconut water
1 cups fresh young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if not available)
3 Tbsp raw agave nectar or raw honey

1/4 tsp sea salt
1 teaspoons vanilla and seeds of half a vanilla bean

1/4 cup raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts
1/2 cup large flake coconut
large pinch of sea salt
1 Tbsp honey
 
For the crust, combine the nuts, coconut, and buckwheat in a food processor and process until crumbs. Add the sea salt and dates and process until the mixture starts to come together when squeezed. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 6 inch springform pan, sprayed with non-stick coconut oil spray. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
 
For the filling, combine 2 cups bananas, coconut, cashews, coconut water, agave, sea salt, and vanilla in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the coconut oil and process for a minute. Divide the mixture into 2 bowls, then place one back in the food processor and add cacao powder.  Process until combined. Pour the chocolate filling mixture over the prepared crust, then top with sliced bananas, then the plain filling, then more bananas.  Place in the freezer to set for about an hour. 

Meanwhile, to make the topping, combine the cashews, coconut, coconut water, sea salt, agave nectar, and vanilla anc process until smooth. Add the coconut oil slowly with the motor running (If the mixture starts to separate and clump, the filling is too cold to emulsify the oil, so warm some of it and process again). Place the topping in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes until it firms up to whipped cream  consistency. Once frosting consistency, move to the fridge until ready to use.
Once the filling has set,spread over the tart.
In a food processor, place macadamia nuts, coconut, sea salt, and honey and pulse until chopped.  Sprinkle over tart, and serve! Store extra in the fridge.