Is alcohol raw? Probably not. But that’s the only not raw ingredient in this cake, sooo… that doesn’t count, right?
I see raw vegan desserts being promoted as ‘healthy’ all the time. Compared to all traditional desserts — laden with dairy, eggs, oil, sugar, white flour, preservatives and chemical food colourings — they arguably are. But dessert is still dessert, and for me, that means it needs to be indulgent, moreish, and 1000% hit the spot.
Cue the alcohol.
My favourite cocktail is an Amaretto Sour. According to Barnivore, Amaretto is vegan — HALLELUJAH! And a good thing too, because I would have hated to give it up. I love the sweet and sour combination, and that almond aroma that reminds me of amaretti with every sip.
This cake is not inspired by that blessed cocktail, but simply by the liqueur. The sweetness of the almond liqueur paired with the bitter cacao, mixed with cream cashews makes for a heavenly cake. You will not be able to stop at just one slice!
This recipe comes at a particularly happy time for me because tomorrow, I am graduating from the University of Stirling. I am proud to call myself an alumna of this amazing institution; I only spent a year there but it has been the best year of my life so far. I’ve made lifelong friends who share so many of my interests, it’s like I’ve known these girls for ever, I’ve learnt a ton of things, both in the classroom and outside of it, and though there have been lots of earth-shattering, terrifying episodes where I seriously questioned my ability to be an adult, I do feel more confident being me now. It takes me by surprise some days, but I’m proud of myself. I’ve come really far.
So tomorrow I am going to pose for hundreds of pictures, have lunch with my parents, catch up with my Dad (who I haven’t seen in over a year), and enjoy being on campus one more time. There are exciting times coming ahead, and this is one of the last times I will get to bask in the majesty of Stirlingshire — I don’t want to tell all just yet, just know that I will soon reveal the great news to you!
On my behalf, please do take a slice (or three) of cake. Have a truly magical, wonderful day :)
Raw Amaretto Chocolate Cream Cake
After soaking the dates and nuts, discard the soaking water.
I use regular dates, but Medjool are always preferable; they’re also much, much stickier, so you may not even need to soak them.
This cake freezes really well; simply slice it and keep it in an airtight tin for up to a month in the freezer. Leave to thaw for 10 minutes before eating, and it’s like an ice cream cake. You’re welcome.
For the crust:
125g (2/3 cup) dates*, pitted and soaked for 2 hours
100g (1 cup) raw almonds, soaked overnight
For the filling:
450g (3 cups) cashews, soaked for 2 hours
60g (1/2 cup) raw cacao powder, or cacao nibs ground into powder
125g (2/3 cup) dates, pitted and soaked for 2 hours
250ml (1 cup minus about 1 tbsp) warm water
3 tbsp Amaretto liqueur
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1. Blend the dates and raw almonds in a food processor until they turn into a sticky ‘dough’. Press this into the bottom of a 20cm (8 inch) springform cake tin. Refrigerate until needed.
2. For the filling, prepare a date paste first: blend the dates with 160ml (2/3 cup) of the water, the melted coconut oil and Amaretto into a smooth paste.
3. Now add the rest of the water, the cashews and the cacao powder. Blend until smooth.
4. Pour the filling into the cake tin, over the crust. Smooth over the top with a spatula, and refrigerate to set for at least 4 hours. Place in the freezer to speed up the process.
5. Release from the tin and top with extra cacao nibs or chopped dates. Enjoy!
What’s your favourite cocktail?