raw birthday cake

March 19, 2010

Imagining candles slowly being extinguished as they sink into the pan of uncooked cake batter?  Fearing the chance of salmonella from raw eggs?  Worry not, ye doubting folk.

Ani Phyo’s Raspberry Ganache Fudge Cake was a stellar performer at my friend Ivanka’s birthday dinner the other night.  Not only did everyone love it, but she and I had a great time putting the whole thing together just an hour before!

Taking advantage of my food processor again, (or “The best sixty bucks you’ve ever spent, Kyle,” as my brother observed,) we followed the simple recipe from Ani’s Raw Food Desserts: 85 Easy, Delectable Sweets and Treats. [You'll remember in my pineapple love crumble post I mentioned that her book was on my shopping list for the next time I was at the bookstore.  In case you can't follow the logical progression of events, the book is now in my possession and I encourage you to purchase it as well- but if you want to give this a shot first and see how right I am (as if there really is any question...) click here for the recipe, and enjoy.  Then go buy the book!]

I’ll give you the basics- the cake is comprised of walnuts, agave nectar, Medjool dates, cacao powder and salt… all processed together and shaped into two layers by hand.

The icing is even more simple- more dates, more agave nectar, avocado (YES!  Avocado!  It makes it creamy!) and more cacao powder.

Even though we walked through Wegmans with the recipe book in hand, I neglected to purchase enough walnuts; we threw in some pecans I had at home to compensate.  (I don’t actually eat these nuts… I’ve got them on hand only for these types of recipes.  Yet more proof that these recipes are more than just the sum of their parts!)

A note for pitting dates- we thought we did a great job, but more than one person eating the cake mentioned how close they came to breaking a tooth… that’s an oops… so I suggest being very careful when working on that part.

We pressed each layer into a heart shape, and it was on to the icing.  In the heat of the moment I got a little too excited and made the mistake of throwing everything but the cacao into the food processor at once- and ended up with large lumps.  (It took a lot of processing to get a more smooth consistency.)  (Notice a theme?  I got ahead of myself making the pineapple dessert as well.)  Follow the directions and do not include the avocado right off the bat… go dates and agave… then avocado… then cacao.  Then take a moment to taste what you’ve just created.  And then taste it again.  (This is where you will add the book to your Barnes and Noble shopping list.)

In between layers we put a lot of icing and raspberries… and we ate some raspberries with icing… and then continued to assemble the cake.  It seemed like a great idea to smush raspberries all over the top and sides of the cake too… why not take some creative liberties when the mood strikes?

Some time in the fridge helps firm it up, and cutting with a knife that has been warmed using hot water is the best idea- keep in mind the cake was pressed together by hand, and will happily go back to mush without much effort.  

You’re not going to get sick from eating this raw and it can be enjoyed by everyone- it’s gluten free, lactose free, raw and vegan!  (**If you have allergies to any of the listed ingredients then please don’t be the idiot and blame me if you eat it and end up ill.**)  The best part is that even people who were not overly interested in the whole raw food idea gave this a taste and loved it.  (They said they did, and I believed them.  Let them suddenly be struck mute if they were fibbing just to make us feel good.)

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisa

    LOVE IT! This cake is one of my favorites….and I’ve made it into mini cakes too—the frosting is so good….and last time I made raspberry sauce and cashew creme to put in between the layers. Yum!

  • http://www.thatgirlkyle.com Kyle

    Mini cakes are a great idea! I honestly could just make a batch of the icing and sit and eat it with fresh fruit (especially fresh raspberries!!) This was so easy and quick, it’s definitely a repeater. Thanks for introducing me to this great cookbook, Lisa!

  • Joy

    A note on pitting dates: slice long way and then push/peel back date flesh with blade of the knife. Not necessarily easy, but it works. Also, some dates can be purchased already pitted.

  • http://jpeek345.blogspot.com Jay

    Um is this link:

    Ani’s Raw Food Desserts: 85 Easy, Delectable Sweets and Treats.

    ..referring to Ani Defranco? I got no clickety- click from it on this day March 20…

  • http://www.thatgirlkyle.com Kyle

    Hi Jay,

    I apologize- that wasn’t actually a link, it was just an underlined book title. I’ve fixed it now so it’s a clickable link to purchase the book from amazon.com. It’s by Ani Phyo, and a link to her page is in the paragraph just above where I discuss the book (where you’ll see her full name).

    (So no, not Ani DiFranco. Sorry, but thanks for… reading?)


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