Yes! You can have your raw food cake and eat it too!

Holiday Cookies

Posted in Cookies | 6 Comments »

Holiday Cookies

I do very much enjoy the holidays, but not for all the reasons you might think.  The traffic, the snow, the family time, bah-humbug!  But the cookies… oh those holiday cookies!

Need I say anymore?  Well, I will say that one of the ways to save some time every holiday season is to find that one great holiday cookie recipe that is easy to prepare and that gives you many different options.  Behold!  I present you to The Raw Dessert’s very own Holiday Cookies!


For the base dough
3 cups Almonds, soaked overnight
2 1/2 cups Cashews
2 cups Agave
1/2 tsp high quality salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the variations displayed
1c Cherries
2 Tbsp Raw Cacao
1/4 c Agave

Equipment needs
Food processor
Dehydrator
Optional cookie press, cookie cutters

The How-To-Do-It
This one is easy.  Dump the almonds into the processor and process until they are a fine meal.  Add in the cashews and process until they are finely ground as well.  Next, add the rest of the ingredients, and continue to process until a ball is formed and everything is mixed well.

Now comes the fun part!  I wanted to play with the dough a little bit and try to make some traditional style cookies.  I dug through the junk in the pantry and found my cookie press!  After a few tests, I found that only a few of the plates let enough of the dough through to make a solid cookie.  Play with it and see which shapes work best for you.

Raw Holiday Cookies

I took half of the dough and put it back into the processor with the cherries.  My goal was to make the dough turn red, but as you can see in the photos, the end result was more of a grayish pink.  The flavor, however, was worth it.  I made a simple chocolate sauce with the cacao and agave and the combination of cherries and chocolate, always a winner!

Place your creations onto your dehydrator trays and bake them at 105-110 degrees.  The thickness of the cookies will determine how long they need to be in there.  Mine were in for a full 24 hours, though they are enjoyable while soft.

You will notice in the photos that I also tried some thumbprint style cookies.  I took a small bit of dough and processed it with some raw cacao.  I then rolled the dough into balls and squished them onto the dehydrated cookies.  These were a big hit!

Please post in the comments what variations you made!  Or send me your photos and I will post them up here on the blog too.

Have a great Holiday season!

Yield
About 3 dozen cookies, depending on size, thickness.

Chocolate Cheesecake with Mint Ganache

Posted in Chocolate | 14 Comments »

This year, one of my foodie friends sent me a list of fun recipies to try that she found on the Food Network’s website.  One of them, Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars, caught my eye, but I knew right away that this was the type of dessert that needed to be made raw!  After some tinkering in the kitchen, this amazing dessert was born.  I am so excited to share it with you, as I think it is one of the best treats to come from my kitchen yet!  The texture and flavor would fool any non-raw foodie into thinking they are eating the real thing.

For the crustraw chocolate cheesecake with mint ganache
2 cups Pecans
4 Dates, fresh or soaked
2 Tbsp Cacao
Pinch of quality salt

For the cheesecake
4 cups Cashews, soaked
1 cup Agave
1 cup  raw Cocoa Butter (or coconut oil)
1 cup  Water
1 tsp Vanilla

For the ganache
1/2 cup Cacao
1/2 cup raw Cocoa Butter (or coconut oil)
1/4 cup agave
1/4 tsp mint extract

Equipment needs
Food processor
Spring form pan or pie plate
Optional: high speed blender

The How-To-Do-It
Starting with the crust, dump your pecans into your food processor and let them process into a fine meal.  Add in the cacao and salt and give it a quick pulse.  Add in your dates and continue to process until it forms a ball and everything is combined.  If you are using a pie plate, you might want to take a moment to grease the plate by rubbing some coconut oil or cocoa butter on it.  Remove the ‘dough’ from the processor and spread out evenly in your pan or plate.   Place your crust into the freezer to set while you make the cheesecake filling.

For the chocolate cheesecake goodness, it is important that your cocoa butter (or coconut oil) is in liquid form.  I place mine into a shallow dish and stick it into the dehydrator for a few minutes (at about 110 degrees.) When ready, pour the agave, cocoa butter (or coconut oil), 1/2 cup of water and the cashews into your processor (or high speed blender).  Process and slowly add more water as needed, not to exceed 1 cup.  This is a very thick mixture! Be careful not to overheat in your processor or blender.  If needed, remove half of the mixture and process in smaller amounts and then combine thoroughly in a bowl when finished.  Pour the mixture into your pan and give it a few taps to remove any air bubbles and to make sure it is evenly spread out.  Place it back into the freezer to set.   I let mine set for about an hour before I added the ganache.

Speaking of ganache, it is important that you melt the cocoa butter (or coconut oil) for this as well.  I also recommend heating up your mixing bowl with hot water, making sure to thoroughly dry it off.  In your warmed bowl, whisk all of the ingredents together.  Once ready, pour onto your set cheesecake.  Be forewarned that the ganache will set up almost immediatley, as the cold cheesecake will harden the butter/oil.  Be sure to evenly spread the ganache around as you are pouring it.

This cheesecake will hold its shape and form even when thawed.  After the ganache was set, I cut my cheesecake into slices and then stored it in the fridge to soften before serving.

Enjoy!

Yield
1 cheesecake, about eight slices.

Brownie Bites with Buttery Vanilla Frosting

Posted in Chocolate, Cookies | 14 Comments »

Yummy brownie bites, with frosting!Sometimes you just want some comfort food.  This weekend was one of those times.  I woke up on Saturday morning, wondering what I was going to bring to the raw pot-luck that day.  My mind was filled with thoughts of easy to make, savory stand-by’s, but nothing jumped out at me.  As I looked at the what I had in the cabinets, it dawned on me that it might just be a comfort food kinda day.

I couldn’t be more pleased with how these turned out.  Folks at the pot-luck gave them a big thumbs up and of course, the plate was empty when the pot-luck was over.   Soft, sweet, chocolaty, just like how a brownie should be, but with the frosting on top, these will take you right into comfort food bliss!

For the brownie bites
3 cups Pecans
2 Tbsp Almond Butter
1/4 cups Agave
1/4 cups Cacao
Pinch of quality salt

For the frosting
2 cups Cashews
2 tsp Vanilla
1/4 cups Agave
1/2 cups Water

Equipment needs
Food processor
Pastry bag, cone, press, etc.
Optional: high speed blender

The How-To-Do-It
Let’s start with the frosting as it needs a few minutes in the fridge to set.  Dump your cashews into the food processor/blender and process into a fine flour.  Add in the vanilla, agave and half of the water into your processor/blender.  Because this frosting is going to be thick, it can be hard to get it all mixed up by the blades.  Add in more and more water (no more than the 1/2 cup) to thin it out and pause every few seconds to mix things up by hand.  Be careful of the temperature of the frosting, it will heat up fast.  Once you have the frosting mixed up, fill up your pastry bag, cone, press, etc. and set it in the fridge to firm up.

Now for the brownie goodness.  Dump the pecans into your food processor and process them down to a fine flour, then until it stops moving — some of the pecans will break down and release their oil and they will start to clump and turn into pecan butter (yum!).  Give it a good stir by hand and then toss in the rest of the ingredients.  Continue to process until the mixture forms a solid ball.  Transfer to a bowl and give the dough a good stir by hand to make sure it is mixed well.

Grab a small amount of the dough and roll into a ball with your hands.  Press the ball down with your thumb to flatten it out and make an impression in the middle.  Place the flattened brownie bite onto a plate.  Prepare the rest of the dough in this fashion.   Next, take your frosting out of the fridge and have at it!  Fill up the indentation of each brownie bite with ‘a healthy amount’ of the frosting.

These can be eaten right away, though the brownie dough is soft at room temperature.  Put into the fridge for thirty minutes to firm up, or if you will not be serving them right away.

Take it further
Well, you could use this brownie dough to make a pan of brownies, but then I wouldn’t be able to post a brownie recipe for you in the near future!  So, don’t do it!

Yield
About 24 brownie bites

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Posted in Cookies | 3 Comments »

Raw Oatmeal Raisin Cookies My house mate brought home some vegan oatmeal raisin cookies the other day and they looked so yummy I just had to whip up a raw version.

When I thought about what to use as a base, quinoa came to mind, mainly because we have been eating a lot of it lately, but also for its soft, subtle flavor. Did you know that quinoa is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids, especially high in lysine which is great for working out (tissue growth and repair). Quinoa is also very high in manganese and is a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous — amazing!

“Where is the oatmeal?” you might ask.  Well, really raw oatmeal is not easy to find — in most cases it has to be ordered on the internet.  Even though these cookies don’t have and oats, the flavor and texture are really what make them a comfort food winner.  Enjoy and let me know what you think!

For the cookies
1 cups quinoa, rinsed well and soaked over night
1c pecans
1/2c agave
1c raisins
2tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt

Equipment needs
Food processor
Dehydrator

The How-To-Do-It
In the food processor, process the pecans down to a fine meal. Add the salt and cinnamon. Next, add your damp quinoa into the processor and continue to process for about thirty seconds. Now pour in the agave and continue to process for about a minute, , allowing some of the grain to break down and blend into the dough.

Place the dough into a large bowl and hand mix in the raisins.

Using two spoons, place small dollups of the dough onto your Dehydrator sheets — I used the Teflex sheets that came with my dehydrator, not the fine mesh (yet). You don’t have to space them out too much, as these raw food treats won’t be spreading out when they ‘bake.’ Flatten the cookies slightly, so that they are all the same height.

Dehydrate at 105 degrees for about 4 hours. The outside of the cookies should no longer be tacky. At this point, you can remove them from the sheets and place them onto the mesh so they can ‘bake’ faster. Continue in the dehydrator for about 5 more hours. Watch them carefully as every house and dehydrator is different.

Notes
It is very important to rinse your quinoa well before soaking, otherwise a starchy flavor will be left behind.

Yield
About 24 one inch cookies.

Chocolate Dream

Posted in Chocolate | 3 Comments »

Chocolate DreamDid I tell you I love chocolate? Did I tell you I love quick, easy and simple?

Enter the world of the Chocolate Dream. Rich, sweet, creamy — this drink will satisfy any of your chocolate cravings, no matter how much of a chocoholic you may be. And what could be better than that? Well, it only takes a few minutes to make.

For the drink
1 Young coconut
1 to 2 tbsp raw cacao powder, to taste
1 to 2 ice cubes

Equipment needs
High speed blender

The How-To-Do-It
Crack open that young coconut and pour all the water into your blender. You might want to strain the water if your cracking is sloppy — no one likes to drink splinters!

Next, scrape out the meat of the coconut and clean off any of the hard wood bits that might have come off with the scrapings. I like to rinse the coconut meat under water to be sure I have removed all the little wood bits.

Toss all of the cleaned meat into the blender, along with the raw cacao powder and ice cubes, and blend on high-speed until all of the meat is broken down into heavenly bliss. Pour into your favorite glass and enjoy!

Take it further
Instead of using chocolate and ice cubes, this drink is also super yummy with frozen berries — toss in three or four strawberries and watch in amazement at the magic that comes out of your blender!

Notes
The ice cubes really help to cool down the drink and enhance the smoothness; more importantly, they help to keep the temperature of the drink down while you blend it up! I find that I blend mine on high-speed for about 30 to 45 seconds. This really makes it creamy.

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Posted in Chocolate | 8 Comments »

Recently, a local raw friend told me about a woman who places bulk orders and asked if I wanted to order anything fancy; I purchased some goji berries, really raw cashews and 1lb of raw cocoa butter. What would you do with 1lb of raw cocoa butter? Make truffles of course!
Raw Chocolate Truffles
For the nougat
1/4 cup agave
1 cup pecans
1/2 cup cashews

For the dark chocolate
1 cup raw cocoa butter
1 cup raw cocoa powder
1/4 cup agave
1 tsp vanilla

Equipment needs
Dehydrator
Food processor
Chocolate truffle molds

The How-To-Do-It

Start by putting your raw cocoa butter into the dehydrator. It melts at 90 degrees, so setting to 100 degrees will get you there quicker.

Next, process the cashews and pecans together in the food processor until you have a fine meal. Continue to process while adding in the agave and next thing you know, you have a ball of heavenly nougat. Pinch off small pieces of nougat and form into tiny balls to become the center of your truffles. Put these into the freezer to firm up and chill out.

Now that your raw cocoa butter is melted, slowly stir all of the chocolate ingredients together by hand.

Next, fill your chocolate truffle molds about one-third. Place into the freezer to firmly set. Now place your frozen nougat balls into the center of each mold. Slowly pour the chocolate into the molds so that you surround the nougat and top off each mold. Be sure to tap your mold gently to release any air bubbles that might have formed. Place the molds back into the freezer to set.

After about 10 minutes, the truffles should have pulled away from the sides of the molds. If your molds are clear, the tops of the truffles will appear hazy. Turn the molds over and give them a shake and a twist to knock the chocolates out. I suggest doing this over a towel, so the truffles have a soft place to land.

Notes

The truffle molds can be found at any craft mega-store for about $1.99 each; they are plastic and have about 12 pieces per mold. Be careful! Raw chocolate is known to get you high and keep you up all night!

Yield
About 3 dozen truffles, depending on your molds.

Hello! Welcome to the site…

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

..this site is still being worked on, but enjoy what you find now!

Creative Commons LicenseUnless otherwise expressly stated, all original material of whatever nature created by Scott Everson and included in "The Raw Dessert" weblog and any related pages, including the weblog's archives, is licensed under a Creative Commons License. The information contained in this blog is for education only and is not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. It is valuable to seek the advice of an alternative health care professional before making any changes.