My major Easter food memory from my youth was eating marshmallow eggs with my father with the explicit goal to eat them until we got sick, while watching James Bond movies. This tradition stopped when I went vegetarian at 11 (marshmallows contain horse feet, my dudes), and I don’t think any other food took the traditional place that marshmallow eggs once held. Enter: Raw Chocolate Cake with Coconut Caramel Centre.
This is my new Easter food. It combines a dominant Easter flavour (chocolate), and a pretty common theme among Easter desserts (things with gooey centres). The fact that the raw, wholesome ingredients will prevent you from slipping into a sugar coma while watching Dr No is a major bonus, but really it’s all about the taste (chocolatey, nutty, not-too-sweet) and the texture (soft, cakey exterior with a light, creamy centre).
I’m calling the topping I’ve used here a ganache but to be honest, it’s Magic Shell, like the one from the squeeze bottle. It’s delicious and when it’s poured on the frozen cakes you can watch it firm up fast. I topped mine with cacoa nibs to triple-down on the chocolate flavour, but you could also use fresh or freeze-dried berries for a little colour.
This recipe makes enough for two mini bundt pans, I used these guys to give you an idea of size. We divided each cake in half for a total of four pretty satisfyingly-sized servings. You could use any round-ish pan (or even a small bowl or mug) to make these cakes, just make sure you both grease and powder the pan with cocoa powder generously before you pat in the cake dough. It will make your life much easier when you’re trying to remove the set cakes from the mold.
- 1/2 cup finely ground brazil nuts (or other nut of choice)
- 1 cup finely ground almonds
- 1/4 cup cacoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups dates, chopped and soaked for 1-2 hours
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch Himalayan pink salt
- 1/3 cup dates, chopped and soaked for 1-2 hours
- 1 cup coconut cream
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (or more dates, or other liquid sweetener)
- 1/4 tsp Himalayan pink salt (see note)
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp cacao
- 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- cacoa nibs, for garnishing
- Coconut oil & cacao powder, for pans
- Start by prepping your bundt pans. Rub the interior of the pans with coconut oil to grease well, then sprinkle the pan with cacoa powder and shake to distribute evenly. Set aside.
- In a food processor, pulse nuts with cacoa powder and salt a few times to mix. Add in dates and vanilla and process until combined, stopping as needed to scrape the sides of the bowl. The dough should hold together easily. Place the dough in a bowl and set aside.
- In the clean processor, blend all ingredients for the coconut caramel cream until fully incorporated (this step could also be accomplished using a blender).
- To assemble your cakes, reserve a 1/2 cup of dough (for the bases) and divide the rest between the two pans. Using wet fingers to prevent sticking, press the dough into all sides of the pan to make a little case of cake batter.
- Pour the filling into each of the hollow cake casings, leaving a small lip of dough around the edge, about 1 cm. Place the cakes in the freezer to firm up, an hour or two.
- Once the cream has firmed to the point where you can tip the pan without it moving, divide your reserved cake better into two equal pieces and pat each into a circle the size of your pan's base. Place onto the cream and pat around the edge to join the base and the main cake body. Place back in the freezer.
- The cakes are easiest to un-mold once they are fully frozen, to reduce the risk of puncturing the cake and having the centre leak out. To un-mold, run a knife around the outer edge of the pan then invert.
- To make the chocolate ganache, combine all ingredients and heat until just melted (using a double boiler or a microwave). Stir well. Pour over the frozen cakes and sprinkle with cacoa nibs, if desired. The chocolate ganache should firm up quickly.
- Cakes can be enjoyed either frozen or from the fridge, for a gooier centre.
- The saltiness does come through in the caramel, so if you'd rather not have a salted caramel, feel free to lessen the amount or omit.