In the midst of a heavy work-week, it may be that all we care about is getting in and out of the kitchen as quickly as possible, living on leftovers and quick fixes. But every now and then, the occasion calls us to create something truly special. Maybe we get tired of preparing the same old dishes everyday, or we read a new blog post that re-kindles our passion for food.
The Raw Ombre Cake featured in this post is a fantastic pick for those times. Looking over the instruction set and list of ingredients may feel intimidating at first, but with the right tools, a little know-how, and a desire to eat a bunch of delicious cake…anything is possible.
We recently had a chat with Shanna Jade of Kiss My Bowl, and she graciously granted us permission to share her seriously-epic, raw-vegan cheesecake recipe. Although Shanna has recently moved on to other business opportunities, her special talent for creating decadent desserts is evident here.
Here are her thoughts on the matter:
“Of all the things that can be made vegan, or even vegetarian for that matter – my favorite to play with is cake. Something about the prettiness of a cake, the elegance. Sure you can make a pretty mean looking burger, get mouths watering and imaginations wandering about exactly how flavorful it’ll be, what the crunch factor might be on the pickle or the spice in the oozing drippy sauce. A cake however, is so much more artsy than a burger. Maybe because cakes are delicate, the time and precision that goes into crafting a cake is somehow more impressive to me. The bottom line is, for me, cakes are an absolute pleasure to make.”
Shanna’s cake is gluten-free, cashew-based, and free from refined sugar. This recipe is a very clear example of plant-based awesomeness that can help to keep us all excited about healthy and compassionate eating. Give it a try and let us know what you think!
I really hope you enjoy our Raw Ombre Cake, excerpted from Kiss My Bowl and perfect for anyone who wants to demonstrate to themselves that they can create artistic, decadent dishes on the fly.
Makes: 1 large cheesecake
This is a great recipe to show-off to your non-vegan friends and family members. It’s also an awesome choice for communal gatherings and events. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to a potluck where the raw-vegan cheesecake totally stole the show.
Note that preparation time is likely to be somewhere around 2 hours from beginning to end.
For a touch of visual flare, add reserves from the preparation to a piping bag and place in the fridge to harden. Once firm, pipe the designs of your choice onto the cake before setting overnight.
For the best results, it’s best to use a high speed blender to pulverize the nuts. This is important to create a smooth, creamy final product.
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unrefined coconut oil
1¼ teaspoons sea salt, plus more to taste
Fresh-cracked black pepper
Pinch of fresh-ground nutmeg
3 large leaves kale, chopped into small pieces
One 9-ounce (255 g) package gluten-free lasagna noodles
2½ cups (340 g) cashews, soaked 4 to 6 hours, drained, and rinsed
1½ cups (360 ml) water
½ cup (65 g) pine nuts, toasted
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
5 to 6 sage leaves
1½ pounds (680 g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 large shallots, sliced or diced (about 1 cup/80 g)
1 tablespoon Sucanat or coconut palm sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)
1 batch Maudie’s Tomato Sauce, or two 24-ounce (680 g) jars pasta sauce
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). In a food processor, pulse together the almonds, pecans, 1 teaspoon of the oil, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the nutmeg until dusty. Add the kale and pulse 3 times.
Prepare the noodles according to the box instructions—layer them in rows on sheets of parchment to keep the noodles from sticking to each other.
Make a cashew cream sauce by blending the cashews, water, pine nuts, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of the oil, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and the sage until smooth; set aside.
Place the remaining 2 teaspoons oil, the mushrooms, shallots, Sucanat, and a pinch of salt in a skillet heated to medium. Stir occasionally for 7 to 10 minutes, until they caramelize and brown. Add the wine (if using), stir for 2 more minutes or until it cooks off, and remove from the heat.
Add 3 spoonfuls of tomato sauce into a lasagna pan; spread it around and top with noodles side by side. Spread a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce and cashew cream sauce over the noodles. Sprinkle with the mushrooms, season the layer with a pinch of salt and fresh pepper, then top with another layer of noodles. Repeat these steps, seasoning each layer with a pinch of salt and pepper, until all the noodles, sauces, and mushrooms are used. Sprinkle with the almond-pecan-kale topping, cover with parchment, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the parchment and bake 20 more minutes until bubbling.
Matt Jager is a wellness activist, yogi and co-founder of True Wellth. His life mission is to transform the healthcare and food system in this country, so that every single person has access to the tools and support they need to look and feel their best, control their health, own their happiness and revolutionize their well-being.
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