Birthdays are always great fun. I love going to birthday parties and I also love to plan them for my kids and loved ones. But when it comes to my own birthday I’m usually not as enthusiastic. I can’t really explain why I feel this way. I just don’t feel like making a big deal out of it. A good cake though, always brings me joy. Especially a guilt free, homemade version which makes me feel good while eating it and afterwards.
If you think it’s too much hustle to make three layers plus a jelly layer, just pick one flavour that’s your favourite. Just make sure to readjust the measurements. Raw cakes are not like baked cakes. The recipes are totally forgiving.
- 400 gr raw cashew nuts. Soaked in water for 3 hours or overnight
- 400 gr medjool dates (or any other soft dates) pitted
- 200 gr hazelnuts, skinless
- 1 vanilla pod or 1tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 organic lemon. Zest and juice
- maple syrup to taste. I probably ended up using 100ml altogether
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 cup of frozen raspberries
- 1 tsp agar agar
- 1 pomegranate
- 100 gr dark chocolate (optional)
- Fresh berries for decoration (optional)
Process 200 grams of medjool dates and 200 grams of hazelnuts in a food processor or blender until you get a sticky dough. When the dough forms a ball and doesn’t stick to the sides of your food processor, it’s done.
Spread the crust in over the cake pan with moist hands. I always line the pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with coconut oil.
Drain the cashew nuts and put them in the (rinsed) food processor. Add the vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, coconut oil, and maple syrup (save some for the jelly layer)
Pulse until it becomes smooth, like cream cheese. Spread 1/3 of the cashew ‘cream cheese’ over the crust and put the cake in the freezer to set a bit.
Save half of the cashew filling in a separate bowl. To the other half, add the cacao powder and blitz until well incorporated. Take out the cake from the freezer (make sure it’s set just enough to hold it’s firmness while you add the second layer) Spread the chocolate layer on top and return the cake to the freezer.
Rinse out the food processor and add the last bit of the cashew filling (maybe you will need to add some more nuts and maple syrup, like I did) Throw in the frozen raspberries and blend again until smooth. Spread the last layer on top of the chocolate and return the cake to the freezer one more time.
Extract the juice of the pomegranate. I just bashed the seeds through a sieve with a pestle (from my pestle and mortar). You can also use 100 ml of store bought cranberry juice or any other tart juice.
Bring 400 ml of water to a boil in a sauce pan. Add 1 tsp of agar agar. You can use regular gelatine if you prefer (not plant based, but same result) Boil for 2 minutes and let cool a little bit. Add maple syrup to taste and the extracted juice and stir. Let cool until it’s lukewarm. Don’t let it cool completely for it will set in the pan.
Take the cake from the freezer and pour the gelatine layer on top. Put in the fridge until the gelatine is set.
Now you can remove the cake from the pan and decorate as you wish. I used melted chocolate to drizzle over the edges. Just let it melt in a double boiler and drizzle away J
I also blended some dates with water and cacao powder into a smooth paste. This is a great ‘glue’ to adjust your berries and other decorations. Just transfer to a piping bag and squeeze dots where needed.
This is the part where you can get really creative. Add some (edible) flowers, coconut flakes, fruit, berries or nuts. Make sure to keep your cake well refrigerated!