I’m not a big fan of raw cakes. Not only are they more laborious and much more expensive than the regular ones, but I doubt their healthy side as well. I love fresh fruit (or vegetables), and I often indulge in all kinds of seeds and whole nuts, but why mash, squeeze and grind these delicious foods, smother them in chocolate, caramel or dates, only to produce something that bears little resemblance to the soft, airy cakes I grew up on?
My first attempt at a raw cake a few months ago ended up in a dense, dry dessert, which was too sweet and too heavy for my liking. I wouldn’t normally eat as much sugar and fat in a piece of cake, as most of these raw recipes suggest. I abandoned the idea of raw desserts until a few days ago, when I decided to replace some of the ingredients in the original recipe with traditional Slovak ones, as well as change their amounts. It was an extremely hot summer day (the mercury soared to 37ºC), so having a ‘cake’ without baking seemed like a good idea.
This Raw Poppyseed Avocado Cake is not vegan, as most other raw cakes are, but it’s gluten-free and low in sugar. To make it, you will need poppy seeds (one of the richest natural sources of calcium), as well as a springform pan of 22 cm/9-inch diameter.Raw Poppyseed Avocado Cake
For the base:
- 100 g ground poppy seeds
- 100 g shredded dessicated coconut
- 5 tablespoons home-made jam or marmalade
- 150 g creamy yoghurt
- 5 tablespoons oil
For the filling:
- flesh from 4 ripe avocados
- 5 limes
- 250 g sour cream (14% fat content in Slovakia)
- 5 tablespoons runny honey
- 1 sachet gelatine powder (20 g in Slovakia)
- Line the bottom and the sides of the pan with baking parchment. It will help loosen the cake from the sides before serving, as well as cut it without scratching the bottom of the pan.
- Grind the poppy seeds if you haven’t bought ground ones.
- To make the base, place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine well until you achieve a paste-like consistency. Transfer into the springform pan. Spread around evenly and level the surface with the back of a large spoon. Set aside.
- Finely grate the zest of 2 limes into a large mixing bowl. Squeeze the juice from all the limes.
- Cut the avocado in halves lengthways around the tip. Twist the halves to separate them – the pit will remain in one of the halves. Gently run a cutlery knife around the pit to remove it. Place the halves on a plate and scrape the flesh off the skins with a tablespoon. Transfer to the mixing bowl and repeat with the other avocados.
- To make the filling, mash the avocado pieces with a fork. Pour in the cream and the honey. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
- Prepare the gelatine according to the instructions on the packet. Add it to the avocado mixture and blend again. Pour over the cake base and level the surface with the back of a spoon.
- Put the cake in the fridge and leave to set overnight.
- Remove the sides of the pan before serving, gently take away the baking parchment, and cut the cake into pieces. Decorate with fresh fruit of your choice.
Although I was quite sceptical at the beginning, this Raw Poppyseed Avocado Cake turned out to be a success. I was really surprised by its moist, velvety texture and, above all, it had a refreshing zest, which was exactly what I needed on this schorching summer afternoon.