Tuesday, 13 August 2013

raw vegan desserts: chocolate chip pudding with orange cashew cream

Melbourne displayed a symphony of seasons today. There was horizontal hail in the morning and sun in the afternoon. And in between this amusing change of weather the power went out. Right now, the power has been out for hours and I am currently typing this blog post in the dark hoping that I will finish writing before my MacBook battery dies. 

Believe it or not, it’s been kinda nice being disconnected from the television, the internet and all the things that I rely on for power. And it has reminded me to reconnect to my life. I’ve been on a run outside during which I enjoyed both the warmth of the sun and the briskness of the cool air. I’ve had a meaningful conversation with my Mum because there were no demands on my time. And as dusk approached I was in the kitchen preparing my meals. I guess the benefit of eating a high raw vegan diet is that my produce will not go off and I don’t need any power to prepare it. Although - and this was a revelation for my Mum - if you have a gas stove it is still possible to cook your food without power! It’s just a little more dangerous in the dark!

Anyway, last week I decided to make my own version of a very yummy, decadent dessert. In my early days of transitioning to a vegan diet I used to make a raw chocolate pudding to have for dessert nearly every night! A month or so ago I was reminded of this delicious and easy-to-make dessert when this restaurant accommodated my diet and served me a raw chocolate pudding. My version includes chocolate chips and a cashew cream and contains no artificial or refined sweeteners, just whole foods. My Dad has been the taste-tester and his verdict is that this dessert is more yummy than the berry chia pudding I made for his sweet tooth a couple of weeks back. 

Disconnect from sugar and dairy and reconnect to plant-based whole foods with my raw vegan dessert!

chocolate chip pudding with orange cashew cream

2 avocados
1 banana
1/2 cup dates, pitted and soaked 2 to 4 hours
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 pinch sea salt 
1/4 cup cacao nibs

1 cup raw cashews, soaked 2 to 4 hours
1 small orange, peeled and de-seeded
2 Tbs coconut butter/oil, melted
1 Tbs date soak water
1/2 tsp pure orange essence (substitute: pure vanilla extract)

orange zest & dried shredded coconut
pure maple syrup
frozen berries
mint leaves

Blend all the cream ingredients in a high-powered blender or a food processor until smooth and creamy. Set the cream aside in a bowl at room temperature. Process the pudding ingredients, except for the cacao nibs, in a blender or a food processor until smooth. Add a spoonful of date soak water to blend, if necessary. Then, add the cacao nibs to the mixture and process until the nibs are broken up but not completely blended. Layer the pudding and cream in a dessert bowl or parfait glass and decorate with your desired toppings. Place the dessert in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to chill. Serves 4. 

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