We have always loved mint and chocolate – a magical fusion – and our childhood chocolate bar of choice was invariably the Aero Mint. Our penchant for sweet treats has long since evolved – thank goodness for that – but this pairing of tastes is engrained in our taste buds’ memory.
Free-from desserts have become, for us, the holy grail of feasting pleasures – utterly delicious with a wealth of health giving properties. While these desserts are ideally suited to the ingredient sensitive – free from refined sugars, gluten and animal products of any sort it – they are exquisite regardless, and are one of our favourite ways to round off a meal (although their off-the-chart nutrient profiles now have us indulging at any hour of the day – as a midmorning snack and/or late afternoon nibble).
This peppermint slice is the latest (and dare we say it, most delicious), of our experiments with raw-vegan sweets. Ruddy raw cacao, buckwheat, and raw blossom honey form the base (raw cacao is simply cocoa which has been processed without temperatures exceeding 45°C – nutrients intact!).
The combination of fresh mint – picked from our just-planted herb bed – and mint extract brings a much brighter infusion than extract alone. Take a filling made from the creamy fat of cacao butter and cashews, top with a coconut oil ganache, and you have a three-tiered structure reaching to ambrosial heights.
for the base:
1 cup pecans
½ cup buckwheat
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
6 medjool dates, pitted
¼ cup raw honey
2 cups cashews, soaked for 30 minutes
½ cup cacao butter, melted (*see recipe note below)
½ cup raw honey
½ cup water
1 teaspoon peppermint essence
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint
¾ cup cashews, soaked for 1 hour
¾ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ cup raw honey
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
To make the base, chop the pecans into small pieces (a food processer or blender works best). Add the buckwheat, cacao powder and vanilla and pulse through. Add the dates and honey and process just until the mixture is well combined.
Press the base ingredients into a 30 x 10cm loaf tin lined with parchment paper and refrigerate.
For the filling, drain the cashews and process together with the cacao butter, honey and water (you may need to let the blender run – the nuts should be completely smooth). Fold through the peppermint essence and chopped mint and pour over the base. Freeze for 2 – 3 hours to set.
To make the ganache, grind the cashews to a fine powder. Add the coconut oil and honey and process until smooth. Add the cacao and vanilla and give one final pulse. Spread the ganache over the now firm filling and set again in the freezer. Remember to take the cake out 30 minutes before serving.
*to melt the cacao butter, add it to at heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk while it melts to prevent burning (120g solid will yield 120ml).
Sparked by Taline Gabrielian