Raw desserts are my favorite and the ones I happily eat for breakfast lunch and dinner with no guilt or regret, so I knew that’s what I wanted to put together for Valentine’s Day. In truth, Jared and I don’t really celebrate the day hugely, my birthday is a few days after Valentine’s and his birthday is a few days after our anniversary so we tend to just do big birthday fun days and enjoy all the days in one but we had some friends over last night so we made it a valentine’s dessert night. The rendezvous was actually to drink some saved and much anticipated Black Friday from The Bruery, but with all wives present either nursing or pregnant, we needed a baby safe treat so this was it!
After a sunny afternoon walk yesterday I didn’t want to go to the shops so I was working just with what we had in the house, (I wanted cashews for the centre heart and didn’t have any) but it turned out well. It’s a forgiving mix and you could make lots of substitutions, or not pay too much attention to quantities, and you’ll still end up just fine!
Here you go:
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 cups almond meal
1/2 cup shredded coconut and another 1/2 cup
1/2 cup raspberries and another 1/4 cup
1/4 cup honey (or maple for a vegan version)
Start by making this centre heart piece. I blended up the oil, almond meal, and half the coconut until it was a rough nut butter mix but not completely butter like. Then I added in 1/2 cup raspberries, the honey and blended it all again. Then I poured (scraped) it into a bowl and added in the remaining coconut and raspberries to add some texture. Then when it was all combined I flattened it onto a piece of parchment paper about 1/2 inch thick and placed it in the freezer. Let it set for at least 30 minutes, or until it is firm enough to cut. Now the crust.
1 cups large flake coconut
1 cups almonds
3 tbsp cup cocoa
Pinch good salt
About 5 dates (and more as needed, it will depend on size) pre soaked is they aren’t ‘squidgy’.
Put everything bar the dates into the food processor and give it 10-15 short pulses until the almonds and coconut are broken down roughly. Then add in a few dates at a time until the mixture just comes together. You’re not looking for a ball, more like breadcrumb texture that will just stay together if you press it with your fingers.
Line a loaf tin with parchment paper and press this mixture into the base with your fingers. You want it about a 1/3 inch deep but you can make it thicker or thinner. You may have leftovers depending on the size of your loaf pan (mine is a 1lb loaf pan of 4.5″x8.5″) but it’s a pretty yummy snack too so just press it onto a plate and slice after chilling!
1 cup date puree (about 1/5 cups soaked dates, blended)
1/2 cup soft coconut oil
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup raspberries
(Before making this part, cut out the hearts – see the Assembly section below!)
Blend the avocado with the coconut oil until it becomes a smooth paste. Add in the cocoa until combined and then the date puree. When it is uniform and smooth, finally add in the raspberries and pulse the mixture a few times to break up and distribute them.
I used a 1″ heart cutter to cut out about 20 hearts (or as many as you can). The number you’ll need will depend on how thick they are and the length of your pan. Once they are cut, sit them back on the parchment touching side by side to form the heart ‘tube’ for the centre. Make it roughly the length of your pan and then leave some single hearts for patching at the ends, and for the top of the cake. Set it all back in the freezer for about 10 minutes to firm up again ready to assemble.
Take the base and pour half of the chocolate mixture into it, smoothing it into all the corners. Now take the heart centre tube and gently press it down into the chocolate. Add in any extra hearts at the end that you need so that it fully runs the length of the pan. Now carefully add in more chocolate around the side of the heart pressing it right up to the tube and over the top. When you’ve used all the chocolate mixture, roughly smooth the top and set it back in the freezer.
Let it set up for at least 4 hours, or overnight. If you leave it overnight, give it 30 minutes to an hour out of the fridge before serving to soften up. We left it for 4 hours last night and it was perfect. Right before serving I drizzled over a quick chocolate sauce of 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil with 1 tablespoon of honey and a 1/4 cup of cocoa!