(Almost raw) Cinnamon Chocolate Slice
I almost didn't post this recipe ... not because it's not delicious but because I often play around in the kitchen with similarly yummy results but for whatever many and varied reasons never get around to blogging about it. However, with that 'New Year, New Me' mantra still swirling around my head I'm determined to change that pattern, and even though (again) I'm not entirely happy with the images, they're passable enough to warrant a post. I definitely deserve the 'over-thinkers achievement award', don't you agree?
Brasil nuts are a new fav of mine when it comes to raw (or almost raw) desserts, particularly (especially!) for the base. The texture is almost sponge-like when ground and their wonderfully mild flavour ensures the chocolate ganache remains the star of the show - sprinkled with a little cinnamon, it is sure to blow yer socks off. In fact, I've been making a conscious effort to buy less and less processed food (yes, even us vegans fall into the convenience trap) and this is where raw desserts really come into their own. For me, there's nothing more satisfying than a bliss ball or raw slice - it satiates that nagging sweet tooth and gnawing pre-dinner hunger in one fell swoop, with the added bonus that your blood sugar levels don't sky rocket meaning you're less likely to falter before your evening meal. Our usual routine usually involves a cup of tea with a slice of something at around 6pm because we don't eat until 9pm, which I know sounds crazy to some people but it's just normality to us - basically, we are night owls and we eek out every second of our evenings together.
I say this is 'almost raw' because I've added a heaped tablespoon of coconut milk/water (the canned variety) but if you want to skip that part and swap out the agave addition for something else then feel free - any kind of vegan syrup would also work but I do like the lift it gives the ganache in addition to the palm sugar. Just my preference but you may want to 'rawify' it a little further - totally up to you.
My urge to purge the last few 'processed' items currently in my cupboards and fridge has arisen again after taking a bit of hiatus. Like most people, this miserable Winter weather had me reaching for comfort foods like cookies and whatnot but with Spring (almost) in the air, my body is already telling me to ditch the oreos and replace them with something a little less toxic. Don't get me wrong, when Ben & Jerry's finally release their dairy ice-creams I'll be the first in line to sample the delights but until then I'll be dining out on slightly healthier desserts like this. I hope you'll join me too!
what you'll need
for the crust
1 cup brazil nuts
3 medjool dates
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
pinch of pink himalayan salt
for the topping
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 heaped tbsp coconut palm sugar
1 heaped tbsp raw cacao
1 tbsp coconut cream
1 tbsp coconut water
1 tbsp agave or other vegan sweetener
generous pinch of cinnamon salt (available from the Cornish Sea Salt Co.)
or a pinch of regular sea salt mixed with grated or ground cinnamon
what you'll do
place the brazil nuts in the blender and blitz to a fine meal. stone the dates and add to the processor along with the coconut oil and pink himalayan salt. blitz until it form a fine rubble before transferring to a lined tin. press firmly with the back of a spoon or spatula and refrigerate for at least an hour.
melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and add the palm sugar. allow it to slowly dissolve before adding the cacao. whisk vigorously until combined ... don't worry if it still looks a bit grainy at this stage. add the coconut cream, coconut water, agave and salt, and whisk again until smooth - you can do this over a very low heat to loosen the mixture.
pour over the brazil nut crust and spread out using a spatula. garnish with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon salt.
refrigerate for several hours (or ideally overnight) until set. slice and serve ... this dessert is quite rich so a small serving will suffice.