Yesterday was a busy and great day! As usual, I did not get to as much as I wanted to, but I got to eat and make some amazing raw treats! I actually woke up fairly early and managed to squeeze in a workout before heading to Whole Foods for a 10 AM raw desserts class, the first of it’s kind this location was holding so I wanted to make sure I showed up and supported it so they’ll have more. :-) Thankfully the class was packed, there was over twenty people there. I’ve been to the instructors classes before, but this was her first at Whole Foods for desserts only. The class was about an hour long, she walked us through 3 dessert recipes and talked a lot about nutrition and raw basics. Many attendees were new to raw and it was interesting hearing their questions and concerns, a few asked how to get enough protein which brought the instructor into a long talk about most Americans getting too much protein, only needing 60-80 grams a day, but actually eating 200-300 grams a day with large meat servings and the low-carb craze. Also she mentioned it causing calcium loss quoting The China Study, another book added to my wishlist for future reading. Anyway, I had a great lunch sampling what was created in the class! :-)
My favorite was the small chocolate brownie, it was like a thick nut nugget with a layer of satisfying dark chocolate on top, plus it was simple to make. I’m definitely making this for our next family gathering. The other is a lime cheesecake with nut crust, also great. The third was an orange swirl cheesecake, her own recipe that was awesome, like a creamsicle … but good.
After, I loaded up for the week at Whole Foods which took longer than I expected because I’m on call this week for work and a server started melting down, so I spent a good 30 minutes sitting in the cafe area coordinating with other techs on multiple smartphones to get it running again, good times, just glad I didn’t have to break a laptop out. I got two new produce impulse buys I’ve never tried – purple carrots and pea sprouts, for pretty salads this week. I’m having fun trying as many exotic sprouts in my salads lately and Whole Foods usually has a good local selection. I also picked up the largest jicama I’ve ever seen, it’s about the size of a bowling ball (next to the purple kale) prompting the cashier to even comment on it and asking what I was planning to do with it, I’m thinking a raw jicama couscous recipe I have.
When I got home, I had little time to rest before I had to start assembling another dessert for a family dinner at my sisters – the Deep Forest Carob Cake with Fudge Icing from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen. I selected it because I’ve been dying to try my own raw chocolate cake, but all the recipes I’ve found call for walnuts which my sister is not a fan of. This one uses Brazil nuts, dates and shredded coconut for the cake part and dates and carob powder for the icing, super simple and no agave nectar (I try to limit raw desserts using generous amounts). What I like about most of Ani’s recipes using dates and nuts is she does not require them to be soaked ahead of time.
It was very easy to make, but did require a lot of pitted dates and carob powder for both the cake and icing, so not cheap, but perfect to impress guests with. It also made me glad I got the heavy duty 14-cup food processor to puree the large amount of unsoaked dates and blend beautifully with the nuts, but even it seemed to work hard at that. It also took a little finesse for the Vita-Mix to make smooth icing out of unsoaked dates, but it did and perfectly.
Aside from being a bit crumbly, it came out great! The cake part was very sweet and moist and a slight underlying salty taste balancing it out nicely and the icing tasted better than anything that ever came from a Betty Crocker tub. It was a big hit even among the non-raw guests, everyone’s plate looked like this quickly after serving.
Even the toddlers brought their little cleaned Ikea kid plates to us asking for a second serving, so cute! My sister’s very non-vegan husband is not a dessert guy at all, he usually skips desserts and sweets in general at family gatherings, but also cleaned his plate and raved that he could get used to raw desserts preferring them over traditional ones because they tasted like “real food” as he put. I created a bit of a monster with this though, my sister said I am officially in charge of all desserts at family gatherings from now on. That’s okay if I can find more recipes as easy as this one, I had it completed and the food processor and Vita-Mix washed in under 20 minutes. I’m actually thinking of getting Ani’s dessert book and the Cafe Gratitude one now to have an elaborate range of recipes for future events!