Friday, January 3, 2014

Cranberry Chocolate Ganoche Cake

For the past couple of years, I've been slowly perfecting my raw cake making skills.  This year was a magical day in the kitchen when the all new 5 Layer Cranberry Chocolate Ganoche Cake was first created!  My goal was to create something sweet enough to handle the tart kick of raw cranberries.  Then it came to me! Why not add an entire layer of raw chocolate at the base of the cake so that every bite has a rich creamy chocolate chunk to accent the tart cranberry coulis layers?  It was perfect. Take a look at this:
We've got a raw graham cracker crust, a layer of rich chocolate, cranberry coulis, chocolate cake, cranberry coulis, chocolate cake, topped with chocolate frosting, shredded coconut and fresh cranberries.  It was heavenly! I've learned that the trick to making a great raw cake with layers is to allow each layer to firm up in the freezer before adding the next.  If you don't wait, the layers will sort of mush together and the lines will look curvy and sloppy.  With that in mind, the cake takes a few hours to make.  If you're running low on time.  Cut out a few layers and just do chocolate, coulis, then cake.

Here's what you're going to need:
Basic Pie Crust:
  • 1 3/4 cup raw walnuts or almonds
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dates, pitted, chopped
Chocolate Cake Ingredients:
  • 1 cup cashews, soaked 8 hours, rinsed
  • meat of 1 coconut
  • 6 dates
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup raw cacao powder
Cranberry Coulis: You need to make 2 batches of this. One batch for each layer.
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • good pinch of cinnamon
Chocolate Fudge Layer:
  • 6 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 3 Tbsp. raw cacao
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
Pie Crust Method:
Add nuts to a food processor fitted with the "S type" blade.  Process until the nuts are in very small pieces but not so fine that it's powder. Add in the chopped dates, cacao powder, salt, and vanilla.  Process until everything is mixed together.  Since the dough is sticky, you might get a big dough ball in the processor.  This is a good sign since we want the sticky dates to be the glue that holds the crust together.  To test, pinch a piece of dough between two fingers.  If it holds together well, you are good to go.  If not, add an additional chopped date or two.
Take a pie pan and line with plastic wrap.  This will allow for easy removal of the finished cake.  Press the crust into the pan until you have a full crust.  Cover and place in freezer.
Chocolate Fudge Layer Method:
To melt the coconut oil, place 6 Tbsp. of oil into a small glass jar.  Place jar in a sauce pan with about 2 inches of water in it.  Place on stovetop over medium-high heat until oil is liquid.  Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix until smooth.  Pour onto the base of the pie crust.  Cover and place back in freezer.
Chocolate Cake Method:
Add nuts to a food processor and process until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients and process until really creamy and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Take 1/4 cup of cake mix and reserve for use as frosting the cake. Take half of the batter and place in a bowl for later.  Take the other half and pour into your pie crust over the chocolate layer (once the chocolate layer has firmed up).  Cover and place back in freezer.
Coulis method:
Using either a high powered blender or a food processor, add all ingredients and process until a smooth syrup is achieved.  A few small pieces of cranberry are okay.  Add a layer of coulis on top of the first layer of chocolate cake (once the cake layer has hardened up).  Cover and place back in freezer.
Repeat for additional cake and coulis layers.
Use a piping bag and your 1/4 cup reserved cake mix to decorate the cake.  Add sliced cranberries and shredded coconut for topping if desired.  Remove from freezer and place on counter 30 - 40 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!

Happy Holidays everyone! May everyone have a joyous and yummy vegan-food-filled New Year!

Venturing Vegan

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