“I love you more than rainbows.” – Ryan Bingham (best original song, Crazy Heart) When I heard that, I went “AWWW”. How cute was that speech at the Oscar’s?! [I'm a total sap!] I’m watching it as I type, can you tell?
This (raw) fudge cake might just be more lovable than those colorful arches.
The oh-so-decadent-looking ganache–would you believe me when I say it’s made of dates, agave syrup, avocado, and cacao powder? Grins. No, it’s not April Fool’s Day yet. This total eye candy is good for you!
In the beginning I wasn’t sure it would be as good as Elle said it would. It’s not that I don’t trust her, or Ani Phyo (the cookbook author). It’s just that the ingredient combination was a bit foreign to me. Really? Avocado?! I grew up eating avocados as dessert topped with powdered milk and sugar, so the sweet part I got. But…with chocolate? You’re kidding!
My apprehension disappeared as soon as I prepared and tasted it. Oh…my…god!
This chocolate frosting is UNreal in flavor. Wow. You wouldn’t think it has avocado in it. It is as good-no even better-than it looks.
Each cake layer is made of ground walnuts, cacao powder, medjool dates and salt. The major challenge for me when I made this was shaping the cake into 2 stackable layers. My smallest springform pan was 8 inches, and that produced a layer too thin to hold its shape. I ended up using a smaller-diameter fondue pot that I lined with aluminum foil tso I can easily pop out the layer once it’s compressed into a compact disc.
I was eager to devour it after putting on the first layer of ganache, especially after tasting it with some leftover cake crumbs. I love eating tasting everything while making stuff.
The original recipe called for fresh raspberries. I had strawberries at the time, so I sliced and macerated them in agave syrup for extra softness and moisture.
After much fussing around with the frosting to make it look decent (I’m not good with icing at all), I had to wait 2 hours for the cake to firm up before cutting it.
It was love at first bite. I know I say that about a lot of desserts, but wow, this was on its own level of chocolate goodness. If I was to make a list of 100 Things To Eat Before You Die, this will definitely make the cut. Ultra smooth and creamy ganache on two layers of nutty cakes and a soft layer of macerated strawberries in the middle – what could be better? It’s raw and it’s healthy for you, that’s what! This is pure indulgence without the guilt.
Don’t even entertain second thoughts, just make this now. This is pure indulgence without the guilt.
STRAWBERRY GANACHE FUDGE CAKE (RAW)
Adapted from “Ani’s Raw Food Desserts: 85 Easy, Delectable Sweets and Treats”
by Ani Phyo (2009, Da Capo Press).
Ingredients – makes about 6 servings
For the fudge cake:
• 3 cups dry walnuts
• 2/3 cup unsweetened cacao powder or carob powder
• 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• 1 cup pitted Medjool dates
For the frosting:
• 1/3 cup semi-soft pitted Medjool dates
• 1/4 cup agave syrup
• 1/2 cup ripe avocado flesh (from about 1 medium avocado)
• 1/3 cup cacao powder
For the filling:
• 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
• 1/2 tablespoon agave syrup
1. For the filling: Mix the strawberries and agave syrup in a small bowl, cover with plastic, and refrigerate for an hour. Strain the juices out before putting on the cake (Step #5).
2. For the fudge cake: Coarsely chop walnuts, cacao powder, and salt together in a food processor. Add the dates and pulse until thoroughly mixed. You may have to scoop it from the sides of the bowl with a small spatula if the bigger chunks stick.
3. Shape the cake into two (2) solid, stackable discs using a 6- or 7-inch springform pan. You can use other flat-bottom containers, but line them with aluminum foil for easy removal of the cakes. Note that the thinner you make the cake layers, the more fragile they will be. Placing the cake discs in the freezer while you make the frosting will help set them.
4. For the frosting: Pulse the following in the food processor until smooth, in this order: the dates and agave syrup; avocado flesh; and lastly, cacao powder.
5. To assemble the cake: Place one cake layer on a plate or cake stand and frost the top with about one third of the ganache. Carefully place strawberry filling on the center and spread until about half an inch from the edge.
6. Position the second cake layer on top and frost the top and sides of the cake. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to let it firm up.
Storage: According to the original recipe, the cake layers will keep in the fridge for many weeks. The frosting can be kept separately in the fridge for a week. The assembled cake with fruit will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
– The trickiest part of this recipe is shaping the cake layers so that each disc stays in one piece. You might have to redo the first layer you make just to get the hang of it.
– Slicing the cake can get crumbly and messy due to the nutty cake layers. I would highly recommend making this in individual serving-sized portions, if you have small springform pans or even ramekins.
– You won’t have any problems with storage. This cake is small and is so good it will disappear from the table before you can even think of your second helping.