Actually, it started out when my oven went kaput a few months ago. I had missed baking so much, and had been craving to make some desserts for quite some time–but buying a new oven had not been a part of my priority list, yet. That day was a few days after another week I spent in Ubud, Bali, where I had started to become familiar with raw food. Raw desserts, in particular, captivated me in an instant. So that day, I browsed for some raw desserts recipes online and started learning the basics of making raw desserts. Soon, I tried out several recipes and with my newly-found confidence in working with nuts, dates, fruits, and coconut oil–created my own alternate recipes.
So, what is this raw dessert thing exactly?
Raw dessert is dessert made out of natural raw ingredients. You don’t bake it. Instead, you refrigerate it. To replace flour, you can use various kinds of nuts (cashews, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts–you name it), and to replace sugar, we use maple syrups, stevia, or agave nectar. Dates and raisins replace sugar, egg, and butter. They are adding sweetness and thickness to the raw desserts dough. For some recipes, extra virgin coconut oil is also used to replace butter. And we’re using loads of fresh fruits, too. It’s a relatively healthier way to enjoy delicious desserts and it is also friendly for vegans, health-conscious individuals, those who are on a diet, or those who are allergic to flour, gluten, or egg.
Today, I made a new recipe for my Dad’s birthday: Raw Chocolate Pie with Chocolate Drizzle and Red Dragon Fruit Quenelle. For the best results, I would ask you to do your pie crust, chocolate filling, and red dragon fruit ice cream a day before–because you need to leave them in your freezer overnight to make them really solid. A day before that, soak the nuts you’re going to use in water. This is an important step to make those nuts more digestible. Nuts contain enzyme inhibitors that is difficult to digest. Soaking nuts help in releasing these enzymes.
- 1 cup walnuts (soaked overnight)
- 1 cup dates/raisins
- a pinch of vanilla
- a pinch of cocoa powder
- a pinch of cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- 2 cups cashews (soaked overnight)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 3 tbsp maple syrup (or you can add more if you’d like it to be sweeter)
- a pinch of vanilla
- a pinch of salt
- 8 tbsp of water (depending upon the thickness of the filling you’d like to have; you can add more water if it’s too thick)
- 10 tbsp of Natura Lova‘s extra virgin coconut oil, in room temperature (at first I was about to buy Natura Lova’s extra virgin coconut oil; so I placed an order but then they decided to send the product to me for free, as a gift!)
- 4 tsp maple syrup (depending on whether you like it sweeter or less sweet)
- 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
Red Dragon Fruit Ice Cream
- 1 red dragon fruit
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp thick coconut milk
Step 1: Pie Crust
- Pulse all the ingredients for the pie crust in a food processor. You want it to be sticky and grainy instead of smooth, so be okay with some chunks of nuts, raisins, or dates.
- Place the pie crust’s sticky and grainy dough on your pie dish (I am using a 12-cm Pyrex pie dish, and make sure that you cover your pie dish in coconut oil beforehand, so that your pie will be easier to remove from the pie dish later on). Press the pie crust dough well until it sticks nicely to the bottom and the side of the pie dish.
- Put it into the freezer to harden while you’re working on your chocolate filling.
Step 2: Chocolate Filling
- Pulse all the ingredients for the chocolate filling in a food processor until they come out smooth. Taste it first, so you can decide whether you want to add more cocoa/maple syrup based on your liking.
- If all goes well, then get your pie dish from the freezer and pour the chocolate filling on top of your pie crust.
- Smoothen up the surface, and then put it back into the freezer. Leave it there overnight.
Step 3: Red Dragon Fruit Ice Cream
- Blend all the ingredients for the red dragon fruit ice cream.
- Leave it in the freezer for around 12 hours.
- Take it out and blend it again.
- Then leave it in the freezer overnight.
Step 4: Chocolate drizzle
- Blend all the ingredients for your chocolate drizzle.
- Set it aside (keep it in room temperature, do not put it in the refrigerator).
Step 5: Servings
- Get your chocolate pie out from the fridge, take it out from the pie dish, then slice it (I cut it into 8 slices).
- Pour the chocolate drizzle on top of it.
- Add a small scoop of your red dragon fruit ice cream next to it (or you can make it into a quenelle like I did).
Enjoy your raw dessert treat!