Strawberry Chocolate Torte – a Summer Treat!

It’s summer! – at least for us on the Southern half of this planet 🙂

That means an abundance of local, fresh, ripe fruit, especially berries! What better to do than to whip up a yummy chocolate torte with it?! Make sure you use organic or spray-free berries though, as the ‘conventionally’ grown ones can hold a lot of pesticides.

Raw Chocolate Strawberry Torte

Should you happen to not dwell on the strawberry side of the globe this torte is easily made with orange slices, bananas or even pears. For a more decadent crust feel free to replace the shredded coconut with macadamia nuts and make sure to sprinkle some bits over the top! B.T.W. the torte below was made in a spring form.

Orange Chocolate Torte

This recipe was introduced to me by my dear friend Matt Samuelson in 2004 and has been a staple in my dessert repertoire ever since.

And here we go!

Strawberry Chocolate Torte
Serves 8

For the crust:

  • 1.5c shredded coconut
  • 1.5c cashews
  • 4-6 Medjool dates, pitted
  • Pinch cayenne pepper

For the filling:

  • 3 avocados, peeled, pit removed
  • 1T vanilla extract
  • 5T organic cocoa powder, raw if you prefer
  • 1/2c Rapadura, raw cane sugar
  • a few drops lemon or lime juice
  • 1 punnet (500g) fresh strawberries, thinly sliced
  • To make the crust, in a food processor grind the shredded coconut into a fine powder. Add the cashews and cayenne pepper. Continue processing to a coarse meal.
  • Add the pitted dates and homogenize until the texture resembles a graham cracker crust. Mixture should be loose and crumbly, yet hold together when pressed tightly.
  • Press the crust into a 9 inch ungreased pie plate. Press firmly to get the crust to hold together. Place it in the freezer or refrigerator to set up while making the filling.
  • To make the filling: place the avocados, vanilla, cocoa and Rapadura in a food processor with the “S” blade and homogenize until completely smooth. Make sure to add a little splash of lemon or lime juice! It will nicely balance the flavours in your chocolate. (Just don’t tell anyone! ;-))
  • To assemble: Divide the filling into 3 equal parts. Spread a thin layer of filling on top of the crust. Next, place a layer of strawberries on the filling. Spread another layer of chocolate filling on top of the strawberries, and then layer more strawberries, another layer of filling and the remainder of the berries.
  • Refrigerate for at least one hour prior to serving.

Be sure to use a very sharp knife, yes VERY sharp!, when cutting this torte. The strawberries have a tendency to slide all over the place when cut with a dull knife.

Strawberry Chocolate Torte

Enjoy!

René
🙂

Raw Cheese Cake- the secrets revealed

Here is the recipe!

Acai Goji Cheesecake

‘Finally!’ I hear you say 😉

First of all let me express my gratitude to Matthew Kenney and his book ‘Everyday Raw’ for inspiring me to venture into the realm of vegan raw cheese cake ‘imitations’ (far yummier than most of the baked dairy-based ones – apart from yours, mum ;-))

This recipe is not for the faint-hearted chef – as the ones who have attended my Raw Cheesecake Master Classes can confirm. You will have to run your high power blender with an open lid and fold over the filling with a rubber spatula while blending.

Cheese cake making

In my element at the Wise Cicada – making raw cheese cakes.

But don’t worry. I can happily supply you with custom made cakes of this kind upon request. Just drop me a line on our ‘Contact‘ page. As long as you are in Auckland, NZ… 🙂

White Chai and Chocolate Raw Cheesecake

And you are still looking for the recipe, right?!
OK, I will give you the non-chocolate version as a basis for your experiments. For a cacao alternative just add 1 cup of cacao powder in the very end. Be aware, that you are adding a whole cup of dry powder to a mixture that is already quite thick. More spatula work!!! …and watch the temperature of your filling mix! Once it starts steaming, you’ve left the realm of raw foods 😉 – and so have the life enzymes.
Only remedy in that case: Lots of extra Love.

Swirly Chai Chocolate Raw Cheesecake

Basic Raw Lemon Cheesecake

Inspired by Matthew Kenney, yet adjusted to fill a big pie shell
Yields a large round tart pan with 16-20 pieces

Crust
4c shredded coconut

1.5 c cashew flour

1 T coconut oil

4 T date paste

Filling
4c cashews

3/4c lemon juice

1c coconut sugar

1c coconut oil, melted

1/2c filtered water, if required

1 t vanilla powder

¼ c lemon zest

Crust

  1. Mix all ingredients together well in a food processor, starting with the dry ingredients, then adding the ‘wet’ ones.
  2. Press into plastic-lined fluted French tart pan to desired thickness. Make sure the rim of your crust has an even height and thickness all around!
  3. Chill crust in freezer for at least 15min or until ready to fill.

Filling

  1. Blend all ingredients in a powerful high-speed blender until very smooth. Start with cashews, coconut sugar and the water-based liquids. When the cashews resemble a smooth thick cream add coconut oil. The flavours can be adjusted last. Adjust liquids as required for the blender to still turn the mixture over. You will have to use the plunger or a spatula to help mixing the filling. Give your blender motor a break from time to time and monitor the temperature of your filling closely. Too much water will make your final cake runny and too little liquids will make your filling too thick for your blender to turn it over without burning a fuse.
  2. To fill the crust properly the blender should contain about 1.2-1.5l of mixture.
  3. Fill the crust and chill in freezer overnight.
  4. Remove from tart pan and wrap with plastic film. Label with flavour and production date.
  5. Store in freezer.
  6. Remove 15-20min prior to cutting and serving

Other flavours can be achieved with red grape juice, acai berry powder, goji berries, chai extract, chai- or cherry concentrate, goji/apricot, cranberry, 2c of melted frozen blueberry/strawberry etc. Make sure to reduce the amount of water accordingly!!!

Good luck!

René

🙂

PS: Next trick: make two different fillings in one pie shell!

Goji Chocolate Cheesecake halves