Hello Sweet-Heart

It's the time of year again. Some call it Valentine's Day, others, Singles Awareness Day. Whether you're celebrating with your love, or going it alone, you can still enjoy a healthy treat. Chocolate is usually the theme so I decided to go with it :). Who doesn't love chocolate? Wait, for those of you who don't like it, just pretend I'm speaking to someone else and put your hands down please. lol. I personally LOVE the stuff. I think it was placed on this earth just for me. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

This recipe combines healthy fats with antioxidants and LOTS of a flavor. Coconut oil, cashews, chocolate, and coffee; how can you go wrong? The answer to that bit of rhetoric is, you can't...well, you can't if you follow this recipe :).

You see that bit of berries on the side? It's important to note that you won't want to leave them off the plate. The berries provide a nice balance to the robustly rich flavor or dark chocolate, AND they add more fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants; it's a win-win! This beauty also pairs well with a nice red wine; a cab or pinot works really well.

Remember, this is a very healthy dessert, but it is heavy on calories, so a little goes a long way. Enjoy responsibly :)

Raw Chocolate Mocha Cake

Makes a 9″ Springform Pan, 12- 16 servings

Chocolate Crust:

1 c almond or pecan meal, ground up almonds/pecans

6 medjool dates, pitted

1/2 c raw cacao powder

pinch sea salt

1 tsp vanilla Chocolate

Mocha Filling:

2 c raw cashews, cashew pieces (you can soak them for a lighter colored torte. I've tried it both ways and love them)

1/2 c maple syrup or agave

1/2 c espresso, or water (I used espresso)

2 tbsp pure vanilla extract vanilla

1/2 c coconut oil, liquid state

3/4 c raw cacao powder

Chocolate Ganache Topping:

1/2 c maple syrup

1/2 c coconut oil, liquid state

1 c raw cocoa powder

2 tsp vanilla

Toppings: Cacao sweet nibs and/or chopped espresso beans. Start by soaking your cashews 4 hours or overnight (if that's what you choose to do). Place nut meal (almonds/pecans), dates, cacao powder, salt, and vanilla into a food processor or high speed blender and pulse till combined. The mixture should stick together when you pinch it. Press mixture into the bottom of a cheesecake pan, if you want to make individual ones you can also use a silicon muffin tin. Place the pan in the freezer while you make the filling. Rinse the cashews and place with the agave or maple syrup, espresso and vanilla into your high speed blender, and blend until it starts to get creamy. Add in coconut oil and cacao powder and blend until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides as needed. Remove pan from the freezer and pour/scoop your filling into the pan on top of the crust. Place in the freezer for 1-2 hours, or until set. For the chocolate topping mix together agave, coconut oil, cocao, vanilla, and sea salt until smooth. Let sit for a minute or two if there are air bubbles so you get a smooth top. Remove cake from the freezer and spread chocolate over the top. Sprinkle with cacao sweet nibs and or chopped espresso beans if desired. Place in the freezer for at least 15-20 minutes for the top to set, , this can also be done ahead of time which is what I do. When ready to serve remove from the freezer and slice but let sit for about 15-20 minutes to thaw out (so it is nice and creamy!) before serving. Enjoy!


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