Raw Nutty Caramel Cake

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I am so incredibly excited to tell you about this weeks recipe – it is absolutely delicious and I am so, so happy to bring you such a heavenly, healthy dessert!
After so many attempts and recipe testing . . . HERE IT IS . . . my raw nutty caramel cake – refined sugar free, gluten free, dairy free and packed full of the good stuff like cacao, macadamias, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, coconut oil and for a little sweet kick, some medjool dates.
Made of four layers, each one adds different flavours and textures to create a ‘snickers-like’ cake, only yummier and so much better for you! The base layer is full of almonds, macadamias and hazelnuts with some cacao to make a light, chewy, chocolatey mix. The second layer is a smooth mix of cashews and organic peanut butter to add a subtle hint of peanut and saltiness. The third layer complements the peanut perfectly – a chewy, rich caramel which melts in your mouth – delicious. The final layer adds a wonderful ‘snap’ when you eat the cake, a thin but solid bitter chocolate to bring all the flavours together.
Normally I don’t use a lot of dried fruit (such as dates) in my cooking as they are higher in fructose than other sweeteners however to get that real caramel flavor I’ve allowed for a little indulgence – everything in moderation! On the plus side, dates are far better for you than your average sugar used to make caramel – they are full of fibre, potassium, iron and magnesium, and they have such a rich flavor that only a small amount is needed. On a side note, I ALWAYS buy organic when I use dried fruit as they are otherwise so heavily sprayed with chemicals and full of nasties!
This is one of my most favourite recipes to date – I am so delighted with the result. I hope you enjoy! xx

Base
2 cups nuts (I use macadamia, hazelnut & almond)
¼ cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
¼ cup cacao
Pinch of sea salt
Nougat Peanut Layer
2 cups / 300g cashews (soaked in water for 2-3 hours)
2 tbsp organic, all natural peanut butter (only containing ground peanuts)
¼ cup rice malt syrup
½ cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup coconut cream
Caramel Layer
1 cup dates, pips removed & soaked in water
50g cacao butter, melted
¼ cup melted coconut oil
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
Pinch of sea salt
¼ cup chopped peanuts
Chocolate Layer
30g cacao butter
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup cacao
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
Pinch of sea salt

So the process for this cake does take a couple of hours as there are four layers which each need to freeze before you can add the next. The great news is that the binder for each layer is coconut oil, which freezes surprisingly quickly so each layer really only needs about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of your tin and how full of other yummies your freezer is. For each layer, freeze until close to hard when you press a finger gently on the top.
Start by lining the base of a round or square cake tin with baking paper – I used a 20cm round cake tin. *Using a springform tin makes getting the cake out SO much easier.
 
Base layer:
Blend all ingredients in a food processor until the nuts are coarsely chopped and the mixture holds together when pressed. Press evenly into the base of your tin and freeze (approximately 20 minutes).
Nougat Peanut layer:
Soak your cashews in a bowl of water for 2-3 hours – this will soften the cashews and is the key to the smooth, velvety texture of this layer.
Drain the cashews and blend in a food processor until they form a smooth paste. Add the remaining ingredients and blend continuously until the mixture becomes a thick liquid consistency. Pour into your tin and let freeze (approximately 40 minutes).
Caramel layer:
Soak your dates in a cup of water for approximately 30 minutes, remove and reserve the soaking water. Blend dates in food processor with remaining ingredients, except for the peanuts. The key to this caramel is to be patient with the blender – initially it won’t look like it’s coming together however in a second it will turn and look like a beautiful, gooey caramel. You want a nice spreadable texture so add some of the reserved water if you need it a little smoother. Sprinkle your peanuts over the nougat layer and then spread the caramel over the top of the peanuts. Freeze for approximately 30 minutes until set.
Chocolate layer:
In a saucepan melt the cacao butter in the coconut oil over medium heat. When melted, remove from heat and add in rice syrup, cacao and salt, whisking to combine. Pour over the caramel layer and place in the freezer straight away to prevent the caramel from melting. Freeze for a further 10 – 20 minutes and then you’re ready to devour!
Once fully frozen, this cake can be kept in the fridge. I would advise hiding it amongst your veggies if you want it to last more than a day – it is just too scrumptious for housemates/family/loves to resist!
Serves 12.

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