This might very well be my favorite dessert yet. Seriously. Remember the days of Nutella (okay yes I recognize for many those days are still here and, let’s face it, for good reason), but this cake (in my humble opinion) takes Nutella to a whole new glorious, vegan level. Combining the match-made-in-heaven flavor combo of chocolate + hazelnut with a coconut cream filling, reminiscent to ice cream cake, and then topping it all off with a chocolate fudge-like gooeyness has this dessert taking the cake, literally. I brought this to my gracious + beautiful friend, Lara’s, house on Saturday for a women’s gathering as I absolutely LOVE sharing deliciously sweet, yet wholesome, treats with people so they can taste it is possible to indulge, yet still feel good in the process! I hope you’ll give this a try – with simply a blender, food processor and some good ingredients you’ll find yourself in dessert heaven in no time. Enjoy!!!
Chocolate Pecan Hazelnut Crust:
1 cup raw pecans
1 cup hazelnut flour
7-11 dates (to taste and dependent on size of dates)
3 Tbsp maple syrup
½ cup cacao powder
pinch sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
Coconut Crème filling:
1 2/3 cup raw cashew, pieces or whole
½ cup + 2 Tbsp. coconut cream*
1/2 cup coconut oil, liquid
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla
Water, as needed.
Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
½ cup agave nectar, maple syrup or honey
½ cup cacao powder
2-3 Tbsp. coconut oil
Pinch of celtic sea salt
Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Spread by JEM
Crushed pecans, for topping
Cover bottom and sides of a spring cake pan with coconut oil; set aside.
To Prepare Crust: Place all crust ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well-combined. You should be able to stick mixture together in a ball with your fingers when it is done; if it falls apart then add a few more dates or tablespoons of maple syrup. Press crust mixture into bottom of oiled pan with your fingers (you can push up sides if you have enough mix, but I like to keep the crust on the bottom only so you can see all the layers of the cake from the side.)
Place pan with crust in freezer while you make your filling.
To Make the Filling: Soak cashews for about 4-6 hours (optional). Drain and rinse the cashews and place into high-blender with coconut cream*, maple syrup, vanilla, and coconut oil. Blend until creamy. If filling is too thick for the blender add a tiny bit of water, 1 tablespoon at a time. You may have to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times, but just keep blending until filling is smooth and creamy.
Note: to test if a raw pie filling will set; place a small amount of the mixture on saucer or plate (only about 1 cm high) and place in freezer. If it is thick enough, it will be hard within 15 minutes. If it is not, then you may need to add more cashews or possibly soy/sunflower lecithin to thicken; however, I found this combo of ingredients to yield a perfect consistency!
Once filling is complete, you can pour the mixture over the crust in the prepared pan and freeze for 30 mins-1 hour or, if using the JEM Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, do one of the following:
To Make the Frosting: Mix the liquid sweetener, coconut oil and salt until well-combined. Then stir in cacao. Remove cake from freezer and pour ganache over the top. Place cake in freezer for 2-4 hours before serving. Cake will last covered in freezer for two weeks (if it lasts that long I’d be shocked!). Be sure to thaw for 30 mins at room temp. prior to serving.
*To make coconut cream simply chill one can of full fat coconut milk overnight. The coconut inside will harden with the meaty portion on top and the liquid underneath. Simply scoop off the top ‘meaty’ layer and use that for your coconut cream! Or if you want this dish to be truly raw, hack open a young thai coconut and puree the fresh coconut meat with 1-2 T. coconut water as needed to blend to smooth consistency – both delicious!