Raw Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream Cake

Raw Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream Cake

Raw Strawberries & Ice Cream Cake

 

Even though Strawberry season is supposed to run until the end of February in New Zealand, there don’t seem to be many strawberries in the stores now so I thought I’d better hurry up and post this raw strawberries & cream ice cream cake recipe! That said, you could easily use frozen strawberries for this recipe or if you’re not a strawberry fan, raspberries would work really well too.

This recipe started out as a raw cheesecake, but as it’s been so hot over the past few weeks we kept eating it while still frozen, and I realised it was actually a pretty amazing strawberry ice cream cake! Of course, minus all the dairy, eggs and refined sugar. So it’s entirely up to you how you eat this raw dessert cake and what you choose to call it.

It has a base of cashew nuts which need to be soaked for a minimum of 2 hours beforehand (see notes at the bottom for more about soaking nuts), but that’s about the hardest part to this recipe. You’ll need a food processor to blend the ingredients for the “biscuit” base, which is made largely from almonds, coconut and dates. Ideally you’ll also need a high speed blender for the strawberries & cream filling, however, if you have a really good food processor I think you would get a good result with that too. The main thing is ensuring the filling ingredients are blended finely enough so that you don’t have chunks of cashews and strawberries throughout.

 

Raw Strawberries & Ice Cream Cake

 

To decorate this strawberry ice cream cake I made a raw strawberry sauce by simply blending fresh raw strawberries with a little pure maple syrup (see the note at bottom on how to choose a good maple syrup). If you have lovely sweet strawberries by all means leave out the maple syrup! Be generous as you pour this raw strawberry sauce over the cake and let it drizzle down the sides, then top with more freshly sliced strawberries. If it isn’t strawberry season when you’re making this then you could easily decorate it with freeze dried strawberries and edible flowers instead.

If you decide to eat this as a frozen dessert, keep in mind once you decorate it you can’t easily freeze it again as the fresh strawberries on top will turn very icy and the freeze dried ones will go soggy. That said, you’re probably not going to need to re-freeze it as it’s likely to be eaten well before then!

I hope you give this saucy little ice cream cake a try, and if you post any of your creations to Instagram or Facebook I would love to see them, tag me @swoon.food #swoonfood. Enjoy!

 

Any questions or comments about this raw strawberries & cream cheesecake?

Ask me in the comments below, I love to hear from you!

 

Raw Strawberries & Ice Cream Cake

 

Raw Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream Cake

Makes:  1 x 8″ cake (or 12 mini cheesecakes)
Prep time: 40 minutes  Soaking time: 2-4 hours  Chill time: 1 hour

Base

1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup raw almonds
pinch pink himalayan salt
6 medjool dates, pitted
1 Tbsp coconut oil, gently melted (see note below)

Vanilla Cream Filling

1 cup cashews, soaked
1/2 cup nut milk or coconut milk
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 vanilla pod, scraped (or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder)
pinch himalayan pink salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, gently melted (see note below)

Strawberry Filling

1 cup cashews, soaked
2 Tbsp coconut milk
1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, washed & hulled
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
pinch himalayan pink salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (see note below)

Start by soaking the cashew nuts. Place 2 cups of raw cashew nuts in a bowl, cover with filtered water and leave to stand for 2-4 hours. Drain off the water and rinse the cashews well.

Line an 8 inch springform tin with either non-stick paper or cling film (or for mini’s a 12 hole standard muffin pan).

To make the base, first gently melt the coconut oil by placing it in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of steaming water with the heat turned off (see note below). You might like to melt all the quantities of coconut oil together at this point and measure them out as required.  Place the desiccated coconut, almonds and salt into a food processor and blend until the mixture resembles chunky crumbs. Add the medjool dates (ensuring you have removed the pitts!) and blend until they are well combined. Test the mixture by pressing between your fingers, if it doesn’t stick together add another date. Lastly add the melted coconut oil while the motor is running. Press the mixture into the lined 8″ tin (or if making mini’s, a spoonful of mixture into the bottom of each muffin hole). Place the tin in the fridge to chill.

To make the vanilla cream layer first gently melt your coconut oil if you haven’t already. Place the 1 cup measure of soaked and drained cashews into a high speed blender (e.g. Vitamix/Blendtec) along with the nut or coconut milk, maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt. Blend until smooth, you may need to use your blender stirring stick to ensure it’s evenly blended. This should blend really easily but if you do find it taking a little longer make sure you don’t over heat (i.e.cook!) the mixture as the blender blades can create a lot of heat. If it starts to feel warm place the jug in the fridge for 10 minutes or so. When the mixture is smooth add the melted coconut oil gradually through the top while the blender is running. Pour the vanilla mixture into the 8″ tin (or divide between the muffin holes) and smooth the top. Place back in the fridge to chill while you make the strawberry layer.

To make the strawberry layer, gently melt your coconut oil if you haven’t already. Place the 1 cup measure of soaked and drained cashews into a high speed blender (e.g. Vitamix/Blendtec) along with the strawberries, milk, maple syrup and salt and blend until smooth. You may need to use your blender stirring stick to ensure it’s evenly blended. This should blend really easily but as above, if you do find it taking a little longer make sure you don’t over heat (i.e.cook!) the mixture as the blender blades can create a lot of heat. If it starts to feel warm place the jug in the fridge for 10 minutes or so. When the mixture is smooth add the melted coconut oil gradually through the top while the blender is running. Gently pour the strawberry mixture on top of the vanilla layer and use a spoon to swirl the two together. Cover the top with cling film and place the strawberry ice cream cake in the freezer to set, approximately 1 hour.

To make the fresh strawberry sauce, place the strawberries and pure maple syrup into the blender and blend until smooth.

To serve, remove the cheesecake from the tin and peel off the paper or cling film. Place on a serving plate, drizzle with strawberry sauce and decorate with freshly slice strawberries. This ice cream cake will keep 1 month in the freezer if well sealed, and once defrosted it will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in a sealed container.

 

Raw Strawberries & Ice Cream Cake

 

Note on activating nuts: activating is the process of soaking nuts (or seeds) in water to remove the natural inhibitor enzymes on their skins to make them more digestible. The cashews in the cheesecake filling of this recipe are therefore activated. If you also wanted to activate the cashews and almonds in the base for this recipe they would need to be soaked and then dried. Ideally this would be in a dehydrator at 41ºC for 1 1/2 – 2 days, or in an oven on the lowest fan bake setting with the door ajar for about a day. The aim is to keep the nuts below 41ºC so the nutrients remain unaffected by heat and the food still deemed raw.

Note on melting raw ingredients: to ensure ingredients remain in their raw form and their nutrients fully intact, they must not be heated above 41º. When melting raw coconut oil or raw cacao butter, do so by placing the bowl of ingredients over a pot of steaming water with the heat turned off. This should ensure the ingredients do not heat above 41ºC.

Note on choosing coconut oil: it is important which type of coconut oil you choose. A lot of the cheaper coconut oils are heat or chemical processed which destroys the inherent nutrients that have made coconut oil so popular recently. Look for ‘cold pressed, extra virgin, organic’ or ‘unrefined raw’ coconut oil. Even though it may cost a little more, it is WAY better for you. Coconut oil contains high quantities of lauric acid which has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. It boosts your immune system and metabolism, lowers blood pressure and helps with the absorption of minerals. Even though coconut oil is a saturated fat, it is considered a ‘heathier’ fat because lauric acid is a medium chain fatty acid. This means it’s easily digestible and processed by your body in the same way as carbohydrates, as a direct source of energy.

Note on choosing maple syrup: make sure you get the real deal! There are quite a few maple syrups out there that are just maple flavoured sugar syrup, full of additives and often high fructose corn syrup. Pure maple syrup lists only “pure maple syrup” under ingredients and is made by a natural process of extracting the sap from maple trees, evaporating off excess water and filtering to remove impurities. Pure maple syrup is an unrefined sugar and has a lower glycemic index than refined sugar. It contains minerals and antioxidants such as calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and zinc, unlike refined sugar which contains none. Maple syrup is still a form of sugar however, so while it is better choice than refined sugar it is still best used in moderation. Feel free to use less in this recipe if it suits your tastes and if you do decrease the amount of maple syrup, replace the quantity you leave out with an equal amount of coconut milk.

 

Raw Strawberries & Cream Ice Cream Cake

 

Raw White Chocolate with Almonds and Raspberries

Raw White Chocolate with Almonds and Raspberries

Raw White Chocolate with Almonds & Raspberries

 

Happy new year! I hope you had a fabulous Christmas holiday and are feeling refreshed and ready to take on 2016.

At the start of each new year I like to review the most popular recipes on Swoon Food to get an idea of what you guys are loving te most.

I was pretty surprised to see the most popular recipe to date is my Almond, Pistachio & Cranberry Chocolate Fudge, which was also the very first recipe I ever posted.

Following closely behind is Crunchy Maple Banana GranolaRaw Chocolate Avocado Mousse, and fourth place is one of my personal favourites Banana & Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes.

Once again breakfasts and sweet treats seem to be where it’s at, which is lucky because I just happened to be working on a raw chocolate “fudge” before Christmas, but somehow it got lost amongst all the Christmas Spice Cookies and Festive Granola.

 

Raw White Chocolate with Almonds & Raspberries

 

The best way to describe this raw white chocolate fudge is like the inside of a Lindt Lindor ball.

It’s smooth and creamy with a melt in your mouth quality that combines beautifully with the crunch of the almonds and tartness of the raspberries.

In truth, it’s really more of a chocolate than a fudge so I ended up adjusting the name to reflect that.

This recipe differs from the winning chocolate fudge above in that it’s completely raw (if you don’t toast the almonds) and contains no refined sugar. It’s also a little more tricky to make as it involves some beating and setting, but the effort is worth it I promise!

I hope you love this raw white chocolate and if you post any of your creations to social media I would love to see them, tag @swoon.food #swoonfood.

Enjoy x

 

Raw White Chocolate with Almonds and Raspberries

125g cacao butter
125g coconut oil
125g pure maple syrup
125g cashew butter
1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt
250g raw almonds
15g freeze dried raspberries

If you prefer your chocolate to be completely raw, simply chop the raw almonds into pieces. Alternatively, to toast the almonds preheat an oven to 160ºC fan bake and place the almonds on a baking tray in the centre of the oven. Toast until their centres turn a light brown colour, approximately 10 minutes. Allow to cool and then roughly chop into pieces.

Line a small slice tin e.g. 20cm x 20cm or 18 x 30cm with baking paper.

Place the cacao butter and coconut oil in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of steaming water with the heat turned off. This ensures the ingredients won’t go above 42ºC and will remain in their raw state.

When they are completely melted add the maple syrup and whisk to combine. Add the cashew butter and salt and whisk to combine. At this point the mixture will be a warm, caramel coloured, thin liquid. To speed up the setting process place the entire bowl in the freezer and check every 5 minutes. When it starts to set around the edges remove from the freezer and use an electric hand whisk to beat it. The mixture should start to thicken after a few minutes and turn a pale cream colour. If not, return to the freezer for another 5 minutes.

When the mixture has turned into a thick pale cream, fold in the chopped almonds. Pour the mixture into the lined tin and spread out evenly. Crush the freeze dried raspberries a little in your hand and sprinkle evenly over the top, pressing them in where needed. Place the chocolate in the fridge to continue to set.

When the chocolate is set, remove from the fridge, place on a chopping board and cut into slices. Store the chocolate in a sealed container in the fridge where it will last a couple of weeks.

 

Raw White Chocolate with Almonds & Raspberries

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

 

This crunchy maple banana granola has fast become a pantry staple in our house. Up until recently we mainly ate store bought granola or gluten free muesli, as I’d finally found two brands that had little or no added unrefined sugar, were super tasty, and of course very convenient.

Whilst browsing various health food blogs one day however, I came across quite a few recipes for granola sweetened predominantly with banana. The idea of a crunchy, lightly spiced, banana granola sounded super delicious, yet refreshingly healthy at the same time. Plus what also appealed was all the recipes were very quick and easy to make by simply combining all the ingredients and baking them in the oven.

 Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

 

After trying out a couple of these recipes I found they tasted amazing straight out of the oven, but went soft as soon as they cooled. I concluded this could either be due to the method of cooking or a combination of too much moisture from the banana and coconut. Perhaps these recipes intended to produce soft style granolas, but to me the definition of a good granola is that it should stay crunchy right until you spoon it into your mouth.

So never one to turn away a cooking challenge, I decided to come up with my own version that still had a lovely banana flavour but stayed crunchy for as long as it’s shelf life.

 

 

 Crunchy Maple Banana Granola 

 

The recipe below is my winning version and produces a granola that has a lovely mild banana flavour, a little bit of spice and a lot of crunch. It bakes at a lower temperature for about an hour as this allows the moisture from the banana to be released while still retaining the flavour. The maple syrup caramelises without burning and you are left with a nice crunchy texture.

Feel free to play around with the amount of spice, and substitute whatever nuts and seeds you prefer. One thing to note is this granola is made with oats so it’s not gluten free, if you are looking for a gluten free granola check out this oat free maple and cinnamon buckwheat granola recipe instead. Hope you enjoy this granola recipe and even better if it becomes a party staple of yours too!

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

Makes: 1 large jar
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour

3 cups of oats
1 cup of coconut thread
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup of pecans
1/2 cup of almonds
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 very ripe banana
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

 

Preheat the oven to 140ºC fan bake and line two baking trays with baking paper or sheets.

Combine the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, pecans, almonds, ginger, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mash the banana well and combine with the maple syrup. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well, with either a spoon or your hands. Spread the mixture evenly over both trays and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are lightly toasted and the mixture is an even caramelised colour.

Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool on the trays. When cold store in airtight containers in the pantry. To serve, combine with your choice of milk or nut milk and whatever fresh fruit you have in season.

This is also a great breakfast on the run, just pop it into a jar, top with milk, fruit and yoghurt and you’re ready to go!

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola 

Purple Kale Chips (Dragon Wings)

Purple Kale Chips (Dragon Wings)

Purple Kale Chips by Swoon Food

 

Kale is one of those vegetables I used to see in the supermarket and never know what to do with so I simply didn’t buy it. That is until about a year ago, I was assisting on a photo shoot and was asked to cook some kale. Turns out it’s pretty simple, and after some further research I discovered there are a HEAP of different ways to use it! My two favourite are in green smoothies and the subject of this blog post, purple kale chips.

Kale is definitely having its moment in the spotlight. It’s now recognised as being a powerhouse of nutrients, particularly antioxidants, that support the immune system, reduce inflammation, stimulate natural detoxifying enzymes, help prevent cancers and heart disease, and protect your cells from damage and skin from ageing. Woop woop! What more could you ask for in a vegetable?!

I usually buy purple kale whenever I see it because it’s just so pretty and reminds me of something you might see on a coral reef under the sea. Turns out purple kale is even better than the green variety because it contains anthocyanins which are responsible for the purple colour (the same nutrient that blueberries and cranberries contain), which have even more powerful antioxidant properties. Yay for purple kale!

 

Purple Kale Chips (aka Dragon Wings!)

 

These kale chips are great to have on hand whenever you feel the need for something salty and crunchy. Obviously not quite as healthy as eating kale raw, say for example in a smoothie, but definitely way better than deep fried potatoes!

Unfortunately, as you can see in the next photo the purple kale loses its lovely purple colour after cooking, but it turns an interesting mix of green and orange which kind of reminds me of dragon wings ….(too much Game of Thrones?).

The secret to really great, crunchy, kale chips is to make sure you dry them really well after washing. The best device for this is a salad spinner (if you have one), followed by a clean dry tea towel. Enjoy!

 

Did you like this blog post? Any questions or comments about the Purple Kale Chip recipe? Leave me a message in the comments section below, I would love to hear from you!

 

Purple Kale Chips aka "Dragon Wings"

 

Purple Kale Chips aka Dragon Wings

Makes: 2 bakings trays worth
Prep time: 10 minutes Baking time: 15-20 minutes

1 bunch of organic kale
1 Tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp organic tamari soy sauce
1/2 tsp himalayan pink salt
Sprinkling of chilli flakes
Sprinkling of garlic powder

Preheat oven to 150°C fan bake and line at least two baking trays with either baking paper or silicone mats.

Carefully pull the purple kale leaves off the stems so that you have chip or bite sized pieces. Discard the stems.
Wash the purple kale leaves and then either use a salad spinner or a clean dry tea towel to dry the leaves thoroughly (this is the secret to crispy kale chips!).

Once dry, place the purple kale leaves in a large bowl and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Use your hands to massage the oil into the purple kale leaves ensuring they are thoroughly covered.

Next sprinkle over the tamari, salt, chilli flakes and garlic powder and once again massage in the seasoning to ensure all the chips are covered.

Spread the purple kale leaves onto the prepared baking trays, making sure they are in a single layer and not over crowded (another secret to crunchy chips!). Place the trays in the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. Judge the time by how the chips look, they should be crunchy but you don’t want them so withered and dry that they no longer resemble kale.
Remove the chips from the oven and leave to cool on the trays to ensure they crunch up nicely. Stored in a sealed container at room temperature, these purple kale chips should last a good couple of weeks.

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Purple Kale Chips (aka Dragon Wings!)

 

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