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

CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY 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 RASPBERRY CAKE

Makes 2 x 23cm (11½ inches) layer cakes

V, DF, RSF, GF

 

¾ cup almond meal

1½ cup buckwheat flour OR spelt flour

½ cup cacao powder

1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda

pinch of Himalayan salt

2 tablespoons peanut butter

1¾ cup (440ml) maple syrup

½ cups (100 ml) almond milk

water from 400 gram tin of unsalted chickpeas

Preheat the oven to 200’C. Line the bottom of two springform pans with baking paper, and lightly oil and flour the sides with coconut oil. In a large bowl, mix the almond meal, buckwheat flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt, and stir to remove any lumps. Add the peanut butter, maple syrup, almond milk and chickpea water and mix until a smooth batter is formed. Pour equal amounts of batter into the two prepared cake tins and bake for 20 minutes, until the cakes rise and the skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle. When the cake is cooked, leave it to cool in their tins for around 30 minutes.

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:

raspberry jam

To decorate:

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.

To assemble the layered cake, spread the jam over one and sandwich it with the other. Spoon the icing over the top of the cake and smooth evenly. Arrange fresh raspberries over the top.

Enjoy!