Recipe — Raw chai coconut cake
I've always been a little sceptical about raw/healthy desserts. If you're gonna have dessert, then surely it's never gonna taste as good if it's healthy? What's the point?
I've now been proved wrong. By my own experiment… Typical. I kept seeing recipes on Pinterest for raw cheesecakes, and a chai one really caught my eye. My coworkers keep bringing cakes and treats into the office so I started to feel a bit tight as I wasn't bringing anything tasty in to share. Cue my experiment.
I mashed together about three recipes as well as using my own creativity with this one, and I have to say it paid off. I wasn't sure myself what it was gonna taste like — but it went down a storm THANK GOD. We have someone who's gluten free, a few people who appreciate clean eating and some gym goers so this worked great for all of them. Even the avid cake lovers complimented it — which is the ultimate achievement.
The spices of the chai and the creaminess of the coconut, all frozen together taste like an amazing ice cream cake. And totally guilt free, whaaaat!
It is quite rich so I only had a small piece, making the cake stretch to about 10 people which is awesome. I like my creamy desserts quite firm so I kept it in the fridge and ate it soon after taking it out of the freezer. Leave it out for longer if you'd like it a bit softer, simple.
For the base—
1 and a half cups of pecans
1 cup of dates
A pinch of salt
For the topping—
2 cups of cashews, soaked for at least four hours
Half a can of coconut milk
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
4 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
A pinch of salt
A pinch of black pepper
Soaking the cashews — pop the two cups of cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Leave them to soak for at least four hours, preferably overnight (it's easier to just do it the night before you plan on making your cake).
Making your base — Add your pecans, dates and salt into a good food processor or blender. Blitz until it creates a crumb-like texture. I needed to add a teaspoon of water to my mixture as it needs to be able to stick together. If it's too dry, it won't work! Test it by pressing some of it together between your fingers. If it sticks then it's all good.
I used a round 20" springform tin for my cake and it worked perfectly. Grab something similar, and press your base mixture into the bottom of the tin. Using the back of a tablespoon, really compress that mixture down so that it all sticks together as a sturdy crust.
Making your topping — Melt your coconut oil, either in a bowl over hot water or my cheat way - in the microwave for 30 seconds! Drain your cashews, then just put all of your ingredients into the blender. Blitz, and hey presto. Make sure you keep blending until the mixture is smooth - if its lumpy then no ones gonna enjoy that.
When it's smooth, pour the lot into your tin, on top of your base. Use a spoon to smooth it out, and that's your 'cooking' done! Just put your tin in the freezer overnight to set, and decorate however you like when you get it out to serve. It should last around two weeks in the freezer so you can make this way ahead of an event. I chose to decorate mine with dried coconut and a little whole star anise.
Serve straight from the freezer, or leave to defrost for half an hour if you prefer it softer. Don't leave it out for too long or the consistency will be too soft!