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Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand - Mother Teresa

VEGAN CHOCOLATE, PEANUT BUTTER & RASPBERRY LAYER CAKE

The quest started after last spring’s workshop at Kimbri Farm in the Blue Mountains. It began when @gillianbellcake asked if vegans baked. I answered yes, I did. What I didn’t explain was I was still experimenting, searching for the perfectly moist vegan cake, which was refined sugar free and dairy free with a gluten free option. I’d posted a cake on my blog, which I sometimes baked, yet I was unsatisfied with the result. I desired to bake a cake that anyone wouldn’t guess was vegan, as it tasted so good. That I hadn’t achieved. Although our everyday diet consists of vegetables and fruit, with a few grains, nuts and seeds, my family love to celebrate birthdays with a cake, and mine were as yet unsuccessful. Many cake experiments were slightly soggy or a bit dry which my family grinned and smiled about while I felt downright disappointed. The perfect cake eluded me and I was frustrated until I happened to bake two separate experimental cakes, both at different times. The first was a vegan plum torte, and the second a chocolate, peanut butter and raspberry layer cake. Since my first post, I've been including chickpea water in my cakes which has created a vegan cake unlike others as it's texture is light and aerated. Family and friends couldn’t believe it was a vegan cake, and I’ll leave you to decide whether they are good enough.

This double layer cake uses a peanut butter icing which I’ve borrowed from @deliciouslyella. I’ve yet to create a better peanut butter icing; hers is simply delicious.

Health benefits:

·       Raw cacao can improve your memory, increase your bliss, reduce heart disease, shed fat, boost immunity, and create loads of energy.

·       It’s surprising that raw cacao contains nearly four times the antioxidant content of regular processed dark chocolate, 20 times more than blueberries, and 119 times more than bananas.

·       Two tablespoons of peanut butter are packed with 7 grams of protein, is an excellent source of potassium and is a source of healthy fats.

CHOCOLATE, PEANUT BUTTER & RASPBERRY LAYER CAKE

V, DF, RSF, GF option

Makes one 22 cm (8½ inches) cake layer

 

2 cups (300 g) spelt flour

OR 1 cup (200 g/7 oz.) light buckwheat flour + 1 cup (200 g/7 oz.) brown rice flour

½ cup cacao powder

½ cup coconut sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1 cup (240 ml) rice malt syrup

1½ cups (300 ml) almond milk

2 tablespoons (30 g/1 oz.) chia seeds milled in blender

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ cup unsalted chickpea water

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 180’C (350’F). Line the bottom of the springform pan with baking paper, and lightly oil and flour the sides with coconut oil. If making 2 cakes, double the mixture. Place all the ingredients except apple cider vinegar in a food processor. Process until the ingredients are combined. Mix in the apple cider vinegar with a few pulses. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 55-60 minutes, until the skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. When the cake is cooked, leave it to cool a few minutes, then turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

 

For the peanut butter icing:

2/3 cup (100 g) cashews, soaked for 2 hours

3 tablespoons rice malt syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla powder

½ tablespoon coconut oil

½ tablespoon coconut sugar

3 tablespoons peanut butter

4 tablespoons (60 ml) water

 

For the raspberry layer:

2 cups (250 g) frozen raspberries, partially thawed

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 cup (125 g) fresh raspberries

While the cakes bake, make the icing by blending all the ingredients in a blender. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and set in the fridge. Make the raspberry layer by mashing the partially thawed raspberries with a fork on a plate, and stir in coconut sugar.

To assemble the layered cake, spoon half the icing on one of the cakes and spread evenly, then spread half the raspberry mixture over it. Gently sandwich both cakes and repeat. Arrange fresh raspberries over the top.

Enjoy!