During June cherries are plenty and delicious. In the farmer’s markets as well as in the grocery shops, one can find many varieties of cherries, with different colors, textures and aromas. Generally, we prefer the red, crunchy varieties, which, even though are a little more expensive than others, are really worth-buying.
Although June is one of the busiest months for me and my free-time is limited, I was thinking that it is almost a sacrilege to let the month pass without creating a recipe using cherries. What came straight forward in my mind was the classical Black Forest cake, but I wanted a version without the sugar and the processed fats used in the traditional pastry.
Fortunately the answer was not difficult to find, as nature gives us a huge variety of incredible raw materials and all it takes is to let our imagination free to create!
So I chose to make a raw vegan Black Forest cake, in order to enjoy cherries in all their glory! Although you may have to spend a little more time for pitting cherries, this recipe is really worth-trying!
(for a cake of 22-23 cm diameter)
For the base
- 1 cup ( 100 g ) raw walnuts
- ½ cup (65 g ) ground flaxseed
- ¾ cup (60 g ) dry coconut shredded
- 1 ¼ cups (225 g) golden raisins
- 3-4 tbsp raw cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp filtered water
For the raw cherry jam
- 1 cup (200 g) cherries, pitted
- 110 g dried prunes or dried dates, pitted
1 cup (200 g) cherries, pitted
For the vanilla cream
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked for 4-6 hours and drained
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup agave nectar or other raw, liquid sweetener
- 1 vanilla bean
- ¾ cup (150 g) cherries , pitted
For the chocolate sauce
- 3 tbsp agave syrup or other raw, liquid sweetener
- 2 tbs coconut oil
- 2 tbs cocoa
extra cherries for garnish
- Wash and drain the cherries, remove the stems and seeds and put them aside.
- For the base: Wash the raisins and drain well. In the bowl of the food processor, add the walnuts and process until powdered. Add the remaining ingredients –apart from the water- and process at medium speed for about 5 minutes, until all the ingredients are well mixed. The mixture should form a small ball that comes off the walls of the food processor bowl. If the mixture still remains crumbly, add 2 tbsp water and continue processing for 30 more seconds. Well, now it must be ready!
- Divide the mixture into two parts -the one should be a little larger than the other.
- Sprinkle a greaseproof paper with cocoa powder, place the biggest part in the centre of the paper and cover with another greaseproof paper. Using a rolling pin roll out a disc of 0,5-1 cm thickness and 22-23 cm diameter. Repeat the process with the second (the smallest) part and put aside.
- For the jam: Wash the prunes or dates and remove the pits. They should be 110 grams or fill ¾ of a cup. Put them in a blender with 1 cup pitted cherries and blend for 1-2 minutes until a thick and smooth jam has been formed.
- For the vanilla cream: Put the soaked and drained cashews with the rest of the vanilla cream ingredients in the blender and blend at medium speed for 5 minutes or until a thick, smooth cream has been formed.
- Put together the cake: Place a baking sheet on the bottom of your pan and put over it the biggest disc, which is the base of the cake. Spread over the base 1 cup of pitted cherries and cover them with the cherry jam. Pour over the cherry-jam layer the 1/3 of the vanilla cream. Put the second disc above the cream. In a bowl mix the rest of the vanilla cream with ¾ cup cherries and pour over the second disc. With a spatula flatten the surface of the cake and put it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours to set.
- Decor: Mix all the ingredients of the chocolate syrup thoroughly until homogenized. With a spoon sprinkle the syrup over the cake. Decorate with some cherries and serve.
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