Raw Cheesecake

Raw Cheesecake

Confession: I’ve never made cheesecake that actually has any cheese in it. Does this mean I have to call it “cheezecake?”

Raw Cheesecake

My fear of water baths is about as intense as my fear of pie crust, so I’m glad that this raw vegan cheesecake is one of the simplest desserts I’ve ever made. No rolling, no baking, no water baths. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I’ve been obsessed with raw pies an cheesecakes ever since my trip to Portland last summer, where I had the best pies and cheesecakes ever. They were raw, vegan, gluten free, and didn’t leave me feeling like I had lead in my stomach the rest of the day. I’ve spent many many hours trying to recreate them.

Raw Cheesecake

I’m not going to call it healthy, since nuts and coconut oil are full of fat. Let’s just say it’s easier to digest than regular cheesecake and fairly allergy friendly. I shared this dessert with a friend who is allergic to pretty much everything except tree nuts. The cashews in this are necessary though, since they give it the cheese-cakey texture, so substitutions won’t work. Even so, I feel like it’s a good option to bring to a dinner party where you have to navigate a lot of dietary restrictions. So turn off your oven, grab your blender, and let’s make some chees(z)ecake!

Raw Cheesecake

Ingredients

    For the Crust:
  • 4 ounces (about 4 large) medjool dates
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • pinch of salt
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 1/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in boiling water for 1-4 hours and drained
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup refined coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled

Instructions

    For the Crust:
  1. Line a 6 inch springform or cheesecake pan with parchment paper.
  2. Place the ingredients in a food processor and blend until the mixture comes together.
  3. Press the crust evenly into the lined pan and set aside while you make the filling.
  4. For the Filling:
  5. Place the cashews, non-dairy milk, lemon juice, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth. (This took about 5 minutes in my blender).
  6. Add the coconut oil and blend for another 10-15 seconds until combined. If you blend it too long, it will start to separate.
  7. Pour the filling into the pan and put the cheesecake in the freezer for 3-4 hours until set.
  8. Thaw the cheesecake in the refrigerator before serving (this will take at least 2 hours) and top with fresh berries.
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Recipe inspired by Divine Pie

Chocolate Raspberry Crunch Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Behold, I made a cake! It’s been a while folks, and I’ve missed it. I took a break. A much needed break from all things blog and internet and social media. I stopped checking my instagram likes every five minutes. I did waaay less dishes. I cooked more savory food. I baked stuff that I actually wanted to eat! And most importantly, I stopped comparing myself to other bloggers and their beautiful photos and perfect lives. Comparing yourself is never a good thing in any aspect of your your life. It can make you feel really discouraged and kill your motivation, which is exactly what happened. But, I missed baking and I missed blogging and I’m going to try really hard to keep doing it without it taking over my life and my mental health.

So let’s talk about cake. This tiny tall cake that re-inspired me to blog after a long hiatus, and was based entirely on my own cravings. It’s chocolaty and crunchy and full of raspberries, and it’s made in 5-inch cake pans. I know what you’re thinking, who has 5-inch cake pans and why don’t you just post recipes for normal sized cakes? Here’s my logic- there are a gazillion recipes on the internet for normal sized cakes. There must be some weirdos out there who love their 5-inch cake pans as much as I do, and are looking for ways to use them. But just in case I’m the lone weirdo, I’ve listed some options for alternate pan sizes below.

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

This cake is a recipe that I’ve been dying to try from the Baked Elements cookbook. It’s made with mayo rather than butter or oil, and I can’t say that I’ve ever had a bad experience with chocolate mayo cake. The frosting is made with milk chocolate, because I’ve recently discovered that I really love the stuff. I think milk chocolate gets a bad rap because a lot of people associate it with some of the lower quality stuff that you find in the impulse section of the grocery store, but high end milk chocolate is not something to turn your nose up at. My favorite brand of milk chocolate is Scharffen Berger, but it’s on the pricy side and somewhat hard to find. For frostings, I usually use Guittard milk chocolate chips. It’s still a big step up from most and melts really well.

Chocolate Raspberry Cake

You can bake this cake in two 6-inch cake pans, and it also makes 12 cupcakes. The baking times for these will vary.

Chocolate Raspberry Crunch Cake

Yield: One 3 layer 5-inch Cake

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 1 ounce (28 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch process)
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (195 ml) boiling water
  • 1 1/3 cup (167 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams) dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Frosting:
  • 8 ounces (226 grams) unsalted butter, softened but still cool
  • 1 cup (115 grams) powdered sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 ounces (112 grams) milk chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 2 ounces (56 grams) bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
  • Toppings and fillings:
  • About 6 ounces fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs

Instructions

    For the Cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit and grease and line 3 5-inch cake pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, combine the chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, and boiling water and whisk until smooth.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. With an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, brown sugar, and mayonnaise on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until blended.
  5. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  6. With the mixer on low, add the flour in 3 additions, alternating with the chocolate mixture in 2 additions and beat until just combined.
  7. Divide the batter between the cake pans and bake for 23-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cake in the pans on wire racks for 15 minutes, and turn the cakes out onto the racks to cool completely.
  9. For the Frosting:
  10. With an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until pale and creamy.
  11. Add the powdered sugar and salt and beat on low to combine.
  12. Turn up the mixer to medium high and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  13. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add both of the melted chocolates, and beat on medium low until combined.
  14. If the frosting is too loose, you can put it in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. You can also add more powdered sugar, but it will make the frosting sweeter.
  15. To Assemble the Cake:
  16. Place one layer of the cake on a cake board that is 5 inches or larger.
  17. With an offset spatula, spread 1/4 cup of the frosting on top of the first layer.
  18. Top with raspberries, chocolate chips, and cacao nibs.
  19. Repeat this process with the second layer, spreading another 1/4 cup of the frosting on top and topping with more raspberries, chocolate chips, and cacao nibs.
  20. Place the 3rd layer on top.
  21. Place the cake on a turntable, and apply a thin layer of the frosting on the sides and the top of the cake to lock in the crumbs.
  22. Let the frosting set up in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  23. Apply the remainder of the frosting to the sides and top of the cake.
  24. Top with additional raspberries, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, and powdered sugar.
  25. Keep the cake refrigerated.
  26. Serve at room temperature.
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Cake recipe adapted from Baked Elements: The Importance of Being Baked in 10 Favorite Ingredients

Coffee and Donuts Cake

Coffee and Donuts Cake

Happy National Donut Day! Does this mean we can eat all the donuts we want and calories don’t count today? If so, you should make three of these cakes. Actually, I didn’t even know Donut Day was a thing until I saw donuts popping up all over Instagram yesterday. I made this cake a couple of months ago for a silent auction, but hadn’t gotten around to posting it out of sheer laziness, so the stars aligned and it’s coming to you on National Donut Day!

The cake itself is a super simple chocolate cake recipe that I got from here. I doubled the recipe to get a 3 layer 6-inch cake plus about 16 mini donuts (or really, donut shaped cakes). Although this cake recipe is vegan, I used cow’s milk since the frosting is not vegan. Speaking of frosting, coffee swiss meringue buttercream is quite possibly the most heavenly creation on earth. I used 2 shots of espresso from my favorite local coffee shop in the frosting, but you could also use 2 tablespoons of instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water, or 2 tablespoons of coffee extract (I like Nielsen Massey brand).

The frosting recipe makes a lot, so before you tell me that this recipe makes too much frosting, here’s why (also, please stop complaining about an overabundance of frosting). I wanted to crumb coat the cake and have enough frosting to get a really smooth finish since I knew that people would be bidding on this cake. The leftovers freeze really well (or taste good spooned directly into your mouth). Plus, it’s always nice to have some extra Swiss Buttercream in your freezer.

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, you know that I use pasteurized liquid egg whites 99 percent of the time when I make SMB. I’ve tried it with both fresh and liquid egg whites, and while the liquid egg whites whip up slightly fluffier, I don’t find that it makes a difference in the finished product. Plus, you don’t need to heat liquid egg whites past 120 degrees, which makes the whole process go faster. So unless I know I have to make a very large batch of pudding in the near future, liquid egg whites it is. And don’t forget to wipe down all your tools with vinegar before you start. Any traces of grease will prevent your meringue from whipping up properly.

As for the butter, the ideal temperature should but soft, but it should still retain it’s shape. If the butter starts to get greasy or mushy, you may have a harder time getting your SMB to come together. In case your butter is too soft (or your egg whites are too warm), just stick the whole bowl of frosting in the refrigerator and try beating it again.

Coffee and Donuts Cake

Coffee and Donuts Cake
Coffee and Donuts Cake
Coffee and Donuts Cake

For the cake, double the recipe here. This makes a 3 layer 6-inch cake plus about 16-20 mini donuts. You’ll need a mini donut pan like this one. Make the glaze in the recipe below. Dip one side of the donuts into the glaze, and then cover with sprinkles. Let the glaze dry while you frost the cake.

Coffee and Donuts Cake

Ingredients

    For the Coffee Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  • 6 ounces (170 grams and approximately 6 large) egg whites
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 pound (450 grams) unsalted butter, softened but still cool and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • 2 ounces espresso, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Chocolate Glaze:
  • 5 ounces (140 grams) bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 5 ounces (150 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • Lots of sprinkles for topping

Instructions

    For the Coffee Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
  1. Combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a bowl (I used the bowl of my stand mixer).
  2. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. The bowl should not touch the water, nor should the water be at a rolling boil. It's the steam that's going to heat the egg whites, since we don't want scrambled eggs.
  3. Heat the egg white mixture until it reaches 160 degrees fahrenheit (120 degrees is fine if you're using pasteurized egg whites), whisking frequently.
  4. Remove the bowl from the heat, and whip the egg whites on medium high using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer.
  5. Whip the egg whites until they become fluffy and double in volume. The bowl should be cool to the touch (this will take up to minutes).
  6. Turn the mixer down to medium low, and add the butter in one chunk at a time, until it has all been incorporated.
  7. Add the espresso and vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  8. To make the glaze:
  9. Place the chopped chocolate in a heat proof bowl.
  10. In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream until it starts to steam.
  11. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let stand for about 5 minutes.
  12. Add the corn syrup and whisk until smooth.
  13. Use this glaze for the mini donuts and also the top of the cake.
  14. To Assemble the Cake:
  15. Place one layer of the cake on a cake board that is 6 inches or larger.
  16. With an offset spatula, spread 1/2 cup of the coffee frosting on top of the first layer.
  17. Repeat this process with the second layer, spreading another 1/2 cup of the frosting on top.
  18. Place the 3rd layer on top.
  19. Place the cake on a turntable, and apply a thin layer of the frosting on the sides and the top of the cake to lock in the crumbs.
  20. Let the frosting set up in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  21. Apply the remainder of the frosting to the sides and top of the cake.
  22. Slowly pour the remainder of the glaze on top a little bit at a time until it runs down the sides (you probably won't use all of it) and use an offset spatula to smooth out the top. If the glaze has hardened, warm it up in the microwave at 50% power in 10 second intervals.
  23. Top with sprinkles.
  24. Place the donuts around the bottom part of the cake. If they don't stick to the frosting, use a little bit of glaze to stick them onto the cake.
  25. Serve at room temperature
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Recipe inspired by Sprinkle Bakes
Coffee Swiss Meringue Buttercream adapted from Bravetart