Quality me time...that is what I call making a cake. After all, it is quite enjoyable singing along to Lady Gaga while making and tasting the components of a delicious dessert! I have to admit, while I am scraping the bowl clean with my spatula and enjoying the goodness of the extra filling, I am in my happy place.
I have to make sure every component tastes good, I am creating a new recipe and everything needs attention and love paid to it. After all, cakes made with love taste better and one of the perks of being baker is the tasting (although technically I do not bake since I am raw). Today it was a raw strawberry cake and it was bringing a bit of Spring into my kitchen which is needed since it still seems to be winter outdoors at the moment.
I was not quite sure how I wanted to make it when I started...cake at the bottom or just crust? I decided on crust for more luscious filling, and made it from pine nuts and coconut, a heavenly combination with the berries. Would it be layers or swirls of filling? I wanted 3 different fillings, and although layers are nice, I am a swirl girl, so swirls it was, including one with strawberry jam for a pop of flavor in between the layers of vanilla cream and strawberry.
The finished product was simply heavenly! Sweet and creamy, packed with strawberry flavor that melted in my mouth! I am dreaming of a warm Spring day, but until I get it, I am happy indulging in delicious strawberry cake! For all of you that have asked how to do the swirl, I took photos which are included in the recipe below, hope they make it easier.
Raw Strawberries and Cream Dream Cake
Makes one 6 inch cake
1/2 cup raw pine nuts
1/2 cup sprouted buckwheat, dried in the dehydrator (or additional coconut or pistachios)
1/2 cup dried finely shredded coconut
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
10-12 soft medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 1/2 cups raw cashews (preferably soaked overnight and drained)
2 cups young coconut meat (or additional soaked cashews if unavailable)
1/2 cup coconut water
1/2 cup raw coconut nectar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp raw coconut oil (warmed to liquid)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract and seeds from half a vanilla bean
1 1/2 cups fresh organic strawberries (divided)
1 inch piece red beet
1/1 cup fresh organic strawberries
1 soft medjool date, pitted
Lightly coat a 6 inch spring form removable bottom pans with coconut oil. To prepare the crust, process pine nuts, buckwheat and sea salt in a food processor until the nuts are fine crumbs, then add the dates and process until the mixture holds together when squeezed between your fingers (if not holding together, add more dates). Firmly press crust into the bottom of the prepared pan, and set aside.
To make the filling, drain the cashews and combine them with coconut, coconut water, coconut nectar, sea salt and vanilla in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. With the processor running, add the coconut oil, and process for a minute until blended. Remove the filling from the food processor and divide into 3 bowls. Place one back into the food processor and add 1/2 cup strawberries. Process until smooth and uniform in color and place back in the bowl. Add the second bowl to the food processor and 1 cup berries and the beet piece (to make the color darker than the last batch). Process until smooth and place back in the bowl. To make the swirl, puree 1/2 cup berries in the food processor with 2 dates until smooth.
To assemble cheesecake, drop the different colors of filling over the crust by the Tbspful and the swirl by the teaspoonful and when they are all used up tap the bottom of the pan on the counter to level. Swirl with a knife starting at the outside of the circle and working your way in in a spiral fashion. Place the cheesecake in the freezer to firm up for about 4 hours until set before un-molding. Store leftover cake in the fridge.