Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Blackberry Nice Cream Cake

As a kid, birthday parties always included ice cream and cake, or better yet, the magical combination of an ice cream cake. Flash forward a decade or two and I'm not so quick to gobble down food just because it tastes good.  Artificial food coloring, high fructose corn syrup, loads of sugar, milk, fat and cholesterol go into making those cakes! Now that I know better, I say "no way!" to putting crap in this 31 year old body.  However, part of the fun of being plant based is creating delicious recipes that rival all of that not so healthy stuff I used to eat.  Banana "nice" cream has become one of my favorite foods and there are many mornings, noons, and nights that nice cream gets made in this house.  So easy and so delicious, I knew a fully raw nice cream cake had to happen for my birthday! Plus, it had to be pink because I love pink and well, it's very pretty.  What better way to celebrate life than with a healthful Blackberry Nice Cream Cake?!

This nice cream is smooth and creamy thanks to the addition of coconut cream.  Using bananas that are fully ripe, yes we love those little brown spots, means that the carbohydrates have broken down into simple sugars creating a perfectly sweet and low glycemic ingredient for nice cream!  I really encourage you guys to play around with flavor.  This cake uses shades of pink so my ingredients had to match. However, the flavor combinations are endless and using what you love will make this cake method even more special to you.  Future flavor combos will probably be along the lines of mint chip, chocolate and peanut butter, and maybe even an almond joy cake! 

For this cake, we will be using blackberries, beet juice powder, acai powder, raw cacao powder, maca powder and coconut cream to blend into the nana nice cream.  Maca is optional.  It's a wonderful superfood with many health benefits and it delivers a good punch of energy.  However, it can be pricy so choosing to omit will not change the flavor at all.  The measurements are for an 8" springform pan, so use these ingredients as a guideline if playing with a flavor creation of your own.

*This recipe calls for 6 cups of chopped, frozen bananas. To freeze bananas, take really ripe bananas, peel, break into pieces, and freeze overnight in a freezer safe plastic bag or for at least 6 hours.  If they aren't frozen, the nice cream will not be creamy.

Here's what you're going to need:
Crust Ingredients:
1 cup medjool dates, chopped, pitted, soaked 1 hour then drained
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup almond flour (option to just add more almonds but the flour makes for a more pastry like crust)
Crust Method:
To a food processor fitted with the "S-type" blade, add all ingredients and process until a dough ball forms.  If the dough is too chunky for your liking, use a spatula to spread it apart and then process again.  The dough should start to ball up and become nice and sticky.  If this is not happening then you might need to add an extra date or two.
Once you have your dough, press the crust evenly onto the bottom of your pan.  Okay, the crust is done!
* This was my first time using a springform pan and my crust stuck a little.  Perhaps placing a round cutting of parchment paper down before pressing on the crust would help.  Otherwise, just make sure to run a knife along the bottom to loosen the crust.
Blackberry Nice Cream Layer
1 cup frozen blackberries
2 cups frozen banana
1 tsp. raw cacao powder
2 Tbsp. coconut cream
Beet Acai Layer
2 cups frozen banana
2 tsp. beet juice powder
1/2 tsp. acai powder
1 tsp. maca powder
2 Tbsp. coconut cream
Coconut Layer
2 cup frozen bananas
4 Tbsp. coconut cream
1 tsp. maca powder
Blackberry Coulis Topping
1/4 cup frozen blackberries
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
squirt of lemon juice
pinch cinnamon
Add all ingredients of blackberry layer to your food processor and process until smooth and creamy. You might need to stop the processor one or two times, smooth down the nice cream with a spatula or spoon and then process again.  Make sure all banana and blackberry pieces are smooth and creamy.  Pour this layer directly on top of the crust.  Smooth out the nice cream to an even layer.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the freezer while making the next layer.  It is very important to allow each layer to firm up in the freezer so that the layers will not bleed into each other. Frozen layers make for very clean lines.  Trust me on this, I learned the hard way.
Repeat the same steps for the beet layer.
While the beet layer is firming up in the freezer, add all coulis ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a small bowl and set aside.
Go ahead and process your coconut layer and add this layer on top of the beet layer.  Then use a spoon to draw a spiral on top of the cake with the blackberry coulis.  Doesn't have to be tidy, it can even be a little messy because we are going to marble it.  Then take a chop stick and gently drag it through the coulis in a swirl pattern. Follow your spiral and trace a ribbon down the path to create a marble effect.  If there are any places that seem a little too white still, just drop a bit of coulis and swirl away.  Reserve any extra coulis to dress the plate when serving. 

Optional garnish: decorate the edges of the cake with more blackberries but reserve any green garnish (such as the mint I've used) until just before serving as it will wilt in the freezer.
Pop the cake in the freezer for 4 hours or overnight. When it's ready to eat, remove from the freezer and let sit at room temperature for ten minutes before removing the ring.  Then slice and serve!

To plate, garnish with a little extra coulis and some fresh mint and enjoy! This cake is sure to please everyone at your table and children especially love nice cream!  Dairy free, cruelty free, guilt free indulgence with every bite!  I had two pieces!
Thank you for sharing this vegan voyage with me! Blogging has taught me so much about cooking, ingredients, recipe creation and the power of sharing your passions with anyone and everyone!  I hope you guys enjoy this cake as much as my family did! To celebrate we went to my favorite Chinese restaurant for tofu that is delicious and a tad deep fried!  Good thing dessert was healthy!

I must say happy birthday to my kitty as well!! She was a birthday gift when I turned 10 years old and we have been celebrating together for 21 years now!! We took a birthday selfie together, she spent most the day sleeping.

 Thank you for stopping by my blog and happy holidays to everyone!!  Your readership has kept me motived through the years and I'm so grateful!  As always, please feel free to share any and all recipes with friends and families!

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