Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Raw Superfood Carrot Cake w/ Vanilla Frosting

You won't believe this carrot cake is raw!
A couple of weeks ago I threw my third Pop-Up Dinning Event! This time I teamed up with my very good friend Grace van Berkum of Gracious Living and we presented four courses of delicious raw foods for 24 guests. We held this event at another friend's amazing little gelato cafe, Boreal Gelato. The evening was a great success and all the guests left with full bellies and happy faces!

On our menu was:
▶  Curry Coconut Pumpkin Soup w/ Sunflower Sprouts
▶  Apple, Fennel & Walnut Salad w/ Maple Lemon Dressing
▶  Mixed Veggie Noodles w/ Creamy Thai Sauce (get this recipe here)
▶  Chai Spiced, Superfood Carrot Cake w/ Vanilla Frosting 

My favourite dish of the evening was our Chia Spiced Superfood Carrot Cake. One guest even asked if you could eat it for breakfast without feeling guilty... And you know what? - You can! This baby is packed full of nothing but healthful nutrition! We even got to try out a fantastic new vegan protein powder called: Raw Power Superfood Mix and we incorporated it into this delicious cake.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did...I think this is my new favourite dessert ;)

2 C Raw Almonds
1/2 C Raw Walnuts
1/2 C Raw Pecans
12 Fresh Medjool Dates, pitted 
1/2 C Raisins
1/2 C Shredded, Unsweetened Coconut
4 Large Carrots, shredded
1/2 C Pumpkin Protein Mix (optional)
2 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Black Pepper
2 Cloves
8 Cardamom Seeds
Fresh Ginger to Taste
2tsp Chia Seeds

Vanilla Frosting:
1/2 Fresh Vanilla Bean or 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2.5 C Raw Cashews, soaked
3/4 C Water (room temperature)
3/4 C Cacao Butter or Coconut Oil
4 Tbls Maple Syrup
1 tsp Sea Salt

Food Processor
Shredding attachment for food processor or Cheese Grater
Blender, preferably a high speed one, like a Blendtec or Vitamix
9" Springform Pan (but you could use any baking pan too)
 Spice/Coffee Grinder (if using fresh spices)
Olive Oil (for greasing pan)

☞ Soak the raw cashews for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. Make sure you buy raw, unsalted cashews and not roasted ones. Rinse them after they are finished soaking and set aside.

☞ If using cacao butter for the frosting, place it in an oven-safe pan inside your oven, and set to the lowest temperature your oven goes to. Alternatively, you could put it inside a dehydrator set to 115°F. Cacao butter solidifies at room temperature very quickly, so you want to keep it warm until you are ready to use it. If you can't find cacao butter, coconut oil will also work, but the end result will be a much softer frosting. I highly recommend cacao butter if you can find it. I get mine from The Healthy Planet here in Toronto.

☞ Clean carrots well. If they are organic you won't need to peel them first but if they are conventionally grown, you should peel them. Using your food processor's shredding attachment, shred all the carrots. Or use a cheese grater to shred by hand. Set carrots aside.

☞ I like to use fresh spices whenever possible, so I threw a cinnamon stick, fresh cardamom seeds, cloves and black peppercorns into my spice grinder, but you could also use the powdered versions of all these spices. Then I used a microplane to grate fresh ginger (about a 2" piece) and fresh nutmeg.

☞  Using the S blade on your food processor, add half of the shredded carrots and all of the filling ingredients (except the raisins) to the processor bowl. If you have a small food processor, you may need to do this step in two parts. Make sure your dates are very fresh. These are what hold the cake together. If yours are felling very dry, you may want to soak them in some warm water for an hour or so.

☞ Transfer the filling batter to a large bowl and hand mix in the rest of the shredded carrots and the raisins. By hand mixing these ingredients in, it gives the cake a bit more texture.

☞ To make the frosting, add the water to the blender first, then the soaked cashews, vanilla bean, maple syrup, and salt and blend well. Once it's very well blended, slowly add the melted cacao butter (or coconut oil) though the top of the blender lid while you continue to blend. If you're using coconut butter and the frosting seems too liquidy, just put it in the fridge for a little bit to firm it up. If it's too thick, add some warm water - a tablespoon at a time and blend until it's the right consistency.

☞ Grease the pan with some olive oil and press half of the cake batter into the bottom of the pan. Next, add half of the frosting over the base of the cake. Put cake in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to set up.

☞  Press the second half of the cake batter into the pan and cover with the remaining frosting. Feel free to decorate the top of the cake with whole walnuts, or dried cranberries, or shredded coconut or anything else you're inspired to top it with?!

☞ Let the cake set up in the fridge for a least 3 hours or 1 hour in the freezer.

☞  Slice and enjoy!


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