Raw Chocolate Cheesecake & Mini Raw Carrot Cakes

I really enjoyed Bakefest in Galway again this year, all in aid of the brilliant charity ACT for Meningitis. I also caught up with the lovely Nessa Robins but didn’t get to taste her amazing scones and blueberry compote as the stage was flooded with people once she invited everyone to taste! Nessa will be hosting a 5 week cookery course in her local town, Moate, soon and if you live anywhere near I suggest you sign up as they’ll be great fun as well as learning loads of gorgeous family recipes.  The brilliant Ali Honour from Bakestone in Cork did two demos, including a really fun ‘make your own pizza’ demo for kiddies on Sunday. There were also lots more demoes including Edward Hayden, Stuart O’Keefe and lots of cake decorating and sugar craft workshops. It was the second ever Bakefest and has firmly established itself as Ireland’s leading baking festival.

This year I made raw cakes. A risky choice considering it was a baking festival! There was great interest in the cakes though, there seems to be a huge demand for sugar, wheat and dairy free treats. I made a beautiful chocolate cheesecake and delicious little carrot cakes.

There wasn’t a crumb left once the crowd dispersed. Always a good sign!

Lilly x

raw chocolate cheesecake

Velvety Chocolate and Hazelnut Cheesecake
Raw, Vegan, Sugar and Wheat free
Serves 10-12

For the base:
150g hazelnuts
200g dates

For the filling:
350g cashew nuts, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
150g dates
60g coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder

220ml water
Pinch of sea salt

To decorate:
A few hazelnuts
2 tbsp cacao nibs

First make the base. Blitz the hazelnuts and dates together until the mixture becomes a sticky dough. Press into a 8” tin, flatten down the entire base. Place in the fridge.
For the filling, drain the cashew nits and discard the water. Place into the bowl of a food processor along with all of the remaining ingredients. Blitz till smooth and creamy. It should have the consistency of a thick smoothie. Pour into the tin on top of the base. Smooth down and scatter the top with a few chopped hazelnuts and cacao nibs. Place in the fridge overnight or the freezer to set.

Mini raw carrot cakes

Little Carrot Cakes
Raw, Vegan, Sugar and Wheat free
Makes 12-14

200g coconut oil
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp maple syrup

2 large carrots (250g) , peeled & chopped into bitesize pieces
75g oats
125g buckwheat flour (or just use more oats, finely blitzed)
200g dates
1 tsp cinnamon
150g sultanas
50g walnuts (and extra to decorate)

First make your icing. Blitz the coconut oil, lime juice and maple syrup until whipped into a nice smooth icing. Taste and add more lime or syrup according to taste. Place in the fridge.

Next make the cake. Place the carrot pieces, oats, buckwheat flour, dates and cinnamon into the bowl of a food processor. Blitz in a few bursts intil it starts to come together. Add the walnuts and sultanas. Blitz briefly. You want there to be crunchy nut pieces and bits of sultana visible. Press a large tbsp of the mixture into circular cookie cutters or press firmly into silicone cupcake moulds.
Top with a tsp of the icing and a piece of walnut. These are best kept in the fridge.

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