Raw Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake with Dark Cherries

Raw Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake with Dark Cherries

Raw Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake

 

At the end of last year I held a raw desserts workshop for a charity event. One of my all time favourite recipes to demonstrate at workshops is my raw chocolate avocado mousse (here). Everyone’s always so surprised how easy the recipe is and even more so at how amazing it tastes, despite being made from avocados!

I don’t make this mousse very often because, frankly, it tastes too good and I eat it WAY too fast.

I’m still working on a sugar free/low fructose version, but I did create this sweet potato chocolate mousse (here) last year which I think tastes pretty damn amazing considering it’s completely sugar free!

So the idea of a tart or cake made with my chocolate mousse seemed pretty epic, and after a brain flash to pair it with a raw chocolate brownie base this chocolate mousse cake was born.

Even though this cake has two layers, they’re both made entirely in a blender, and if you want to save further on washing up you could just wipe out the food processor bowl between layers as they’re essentially all the same ingredients.

The base is held together and sweetened by Medjool dates and I’ve given four options for the sweetener in the raw chocolate mousse topping. Coconut nectar or rice syrup are the lowest fructose options, followed by pure maple syrup and lastly raw honey. All work equally well, but will give slightly different flavours. If you’re not worried about the type of sugar then I’d suggest using pure maple syrup for the best flavour.

I topped this chocolate mousse cake with fresh cherries because they’re in full season at the moment, but you could easily top it with any fresh berries you like. If fresh fruit isn’t available to you, you could try drizzling it with a berry coulis or simply serve it naked  in it’s full chocolate glory!

 

Raw Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake

 

Most raw desserts are so nutrient dense you often only need a small slice to satisfy, and this one is definitely no exception.

Avocados are the main component in both the mousse and brownie base and are a brilliant plant based source of omega-6 fatty acids which are vital for the nervous system and brain. They’re amazing for your skin, reducing dryness and thereby providing anti-aging qualities. And not so well known are their anti-inflammatory properties which are amazing for soothing the gut.

Brazil nuts provide the texture for the brownie base and are one of the best sources of selenium which is essential for thyroid hormone synthesis. They’re also a great source of magnesium which is required by all the muscles in the body including the heart.

Dates glue the base together, and while they do contain a fair amount of fructose (the least desirable form of sugar), they also contain a high amount of fibre which slows down it’s absorption. They’re also a great source of potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins A and B6.

Raw cacao powder provides the intense chocolate flavour in this cake and is extremely high in antioxidants – even more so than your standard blueberry! Anti-oxidants are essential for reducing the harmful effects of free radicals which cause cell and tissue damage. Raw cacao is also one of the richest plant based sources of magnesium, a great source of calcium, and is full of mood enhancing neurotransmitters.

Last but not least, the fresh cherries that decorate the top are an amazing liver tonic, cleanser and rejuvenator, and a great source of iron and zinc. When choosing cherries look for ones with the darkest colour as these are the most potent.

As you can see this cake is full of amazing nutrients, but let’s not forget the taste! Smooth rich chocolate mousse atop a moist dense brownie base, finished off perfectly by the tart cherries. This cake is pretty damn amazing. Enjoy.

 

Raw Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake
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Raw Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake

Makes: 1 x 15cm cake (serves 8-10 people)
Prep time: 30 minutes

Brownie Base

1 cup brazil nuts
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 ripe avocado
7 medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
pinch sea salt
1 Tbsp coconut oil, gently melted

Chocolate Avocado Mousse

1 large ripe avocado
5 Tbsp raw cacao powder
5 Tbsp pure maple syrup, rice syrup, coconut nectar or raw honey
2 Tbsp almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1 tsp vanilla powder
2 pinches of himalayan pink salt
3 Tbsp raw cacao butter (or cold pressed extra virgin coconut oil)
1 punnet fresh cherries (raspberries or strawberries)

Line a small 15cm cake tin with baking paper.

To make the brownie layer, place the brazil nuts in a food processor and blend until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Combine with the desiccated coconut, place into a bowl and set aside.

Gently melt the coconut oil by placing in a small heat proof bowl set over a pan of steaming water with the heat turned off. Combine the chopped dates, avocado, cacao powder, vanilla and salt in the food processor and blend to a smooth chocolately paste (this tastes amazing!). Add the melted coconut oil and blend to combine. Lastly add the brazil nuts and coconut oil and pulse until just combined.

Press the brownie mixture evenly into your lined tin and place in the fridge to chill while making the chocolate mousse layer.

To make the mousse gently melt the cacao butter by placing in a heatproof bowl set over a small pan of steaming water with the heat turned off. This ensures the temperature of the cacao butter doesn’t go above 46ºC and all it’s antioxidants are preserved.

Place the avocado (peeled and stone removed) in a food processor along with the cacao powder, pure maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla and salt and blend until smooth. Slowly add the melted cacao butter with the motor running until it is all incorporated. Spread the mousse over the brownie layer and return to the fridge to chill.

Prepare the cherries by washing well and allowing all the water to drain off, then giving them a light dry with a tea towel. This ensures when you place them on the cake they don’t drip creating water marks down the cake. Remove the cake from it’s tin, place on a serving plate and top with cherries (or fruit of choice).

This raw chocolate mousse brownie cake will keep chilled for up to 5 days or 1 month in the freeze when sealed well.

 

Raw Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake

Banana Cake Nut Butter Brownies

Banana Cake Nut Butter Brownies

Banana Cake Nut Butter Brownies

 

These banana cake nut butter brownies will blow your mind! They taste like a cross between a moist banana cake and an intense chocolate brownie, yet they have a very low sugar content (which is all unrefined/whole food sugars) and are made without any flour, butter or oil. Instead these ingredients are replaced by nut butter!

Despite the total lack of flour these brownies are amazingly light to the point I considered calling them ‘devils food cake’ which is typically a moist, airy, rich chocolate cake. But as they do have a sticky brownie quality to them (and are probably way too healthy to be called devils food cake), brownies seemed like the better fit. 

Inspiration for using nut butter instead of flour came from a recent post by Sarah B on her amazing My New Roots blog. Essentially, by using a combination of eggs and a little baking soda, you can do away with any flour, butter or oil, and replace it with nut butter which provides the same qualities but with a lot more beneficial nutrients and protein.

I’ve been playing around with this recipe idea for a couple of weeks and every time I go to make it I end up with a completely new version: double chocolate brownies, chocolate chip cookies, blueberry and vanilla cookies (which tasted like blueberry muffins!). The list will no doubt continue to grow, but the best by far has been these banana cake nut butter brownies.

The chocolate chunks in the recipe are optional. If you want to keep the brownies entirely refined sugar free, leave this part out and you could substitute it for chopped nuts of your choosing.

I picked up the wrong chocolate in the supermarket, instead of plain 70% I ended up with roasted almond chocolate which I didn’t discover until I was cutting it up for the recipe. As it turned out, almond chocolate was pretty damn amazing too. So if you can get it, that would be my recommendation!

When choosing your chocolate for these brownies, if you want to keep the recipe dairy free make sure you choose a dark chocolate with no milk products in it, and the darker the better as this coincides with a higher antioxidant level and generally lower sugar levels.

These Banana Cake Brownies are amazing straight out of the oven when the chocolate is all warm melted, and they will keep for about 5 days in a sealed container.

Enjoy!

 

 

Banana Cake Nut Butter Brownies

 

Banana Cake Nut Butter Brownies

Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes

1 ripe banana, mashed
3 eggs
1/2 cup nut butter of your choice (eg cashew, almond etc)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup dutch process cocoa or raw cacao powder
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of himalayan pink salt
125g dark chocolate (70% or higher) and/or nuts of your choice, cut into chunks

Preheat your oven to 160ºC fan bake.
Line a 20cm x 20cm square tin or 16cm x 30cm rectangular tin with baking paper.
Combine the mashed banana, eggs, coconut sugar, cocoa and salt. Stir in the nut butter ensuring the mixture is well combined (use an electric beater for this if you prefer). Stir in the baking soda ensuring there are no lumps and everything is well combined.
Pour the mixture into the lined tin and spread the mix out evenly. Sprinkle with chocolate or nuts if using, and place the brownie into the centre of your pre-heated oven for approximately 20-30 minutes.
The banana cake brownie is ready when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Note: if using chocolate for the top, avoid skewering a piece of chocolate otherwise you will get a false skewer result!
Remove the brownie from the oven and allow to cool in the tin until ready to cut. Store in an airtight container in your pantry for up to a week.

 

Banana Cake Nut Butter Brownies

 

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