How do you like your chocolate cake? Do you like a soft and light crumb? Or do you like a denser texture? Do you like plain chocolate, or do you like to add some fresh fruit or other flavors?
What about if you tried something completely and totally different with your chocolate cake?
Everything you thought about chocolate cake is about to change. Enter, the “raw” chocolate cake. No, I don’t mean that I forgot to bake a chocolate cake, or even that I under-baked it. I mean that I didn’t use the oven at all to make this cake.
Three awesome layers of healthiness make up this chocolate cake.
Quick side note: I may say “healthy”, but as usual, everything in moderation.
Another quick side note: for this cake to be officially “raw”, you have to use ingredients that are raw. My cake isn’t officially raw because I didn’t use raw honey.
First, we have the bottom layer, which is made from ground hazelnuts, honey, cacao butter, and cacao powder. This mixture is pressed into a springform pan and chilled while the middle layer is prepared.
The middle layer is my favorite part. It’s made from ground pecans, cacao powder, honey, vanilla, medjool dates and dried figs. This mixture is pressed into the pan on top of the bottom layer. This layer would also taste fantastic on its own, formed into “bites” or bars.
Finally, the frosting is a combination of coconut oil, cacao powder and agave nectar. This is chilled slightly and then spread on top of the middle layer, like a ganache. It sets with a texture similar to coconut oil in its solid form, so it’s definitely firmer than the average frosting.
This cake comes together so much quicker than a baked cake, and a little slice goes such a long way.
Use a really sharp knife and a gentle slicing action to serve a piece of this cake, as with a blunter knife you may have trouble cutting through the firmer coconut oil-frosting layer and you’ll end up with a messy slice.
For my first full-on raw cake experience, I was really pleased. If you’re a traditionalist with your chocolate cakes and prefer them baked, then you’re going to need an open mind when you taste a raw chocolate cake. But in the end, once slice of this cake will be slightly healthier than a slice of butter- & sugar-laden baked cake, and you’ll be enjoying a number of good-for-you ingredients.
- 60g cacao butter
- 1 cup (150g) hazelnuts
- 2½ tablespoons raw cacao powder
- 1½ tablespoons raw honey
- 300g pecans
- 150g pitted medjool dates
- 150g dried figs
- 2½ tablespoons raw honey
- ⅓ cup (50g) raw cacao powder
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 200ml coconut oil, melted if solid
- 100g raw cacao powder
- 2 teaspoons raw dark agave nectar
- Line a 20cm springform pan with baking paper.
- For the base, finely grate the cacao butter into a heatproof bowl, then place in a large bowl of hot water and allow it to melt (not allowing it to go over 34C, so it is still considered raw).
- For the base, finely grind the hazelnuts in a food processor, then add in the melted cacao butter, cacao powder and honey. Press firmly and evenly into the prepared pan and chill.
- For the filling, finely grind the pecans in a food processor, then add in the remaining ingredients for the filling and process until it starts clumping together. Press into the pan and chill for 3 hours (I chilled mine for 30 minutes in the freezer).
- For the frosting, combine all the ingredients for this layer and chill for 20 minutes to set a little. Tip- once it starts setting, it sets fast, so get a move on and quickly get the frosting on the cake and spread out in a pretty pattern before it sets.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator.