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Almost Raw Hazelnut Chocolate Dream Cake

Today is my twin sister and I’s birthday (!!). I checked the calendar once again to make sure there was no mistake… and it looks like we’ve made it to 34 years on this little planet. Is this when we finally call ourselves adults?

One more year under my belt, of experiencing this crazy adventure that we call life. One more year of ups, downs, and everything in between. Surprisingly, the more I grow old, the more I’m in peace with the fact of growing older. I might not be smarter, I might not be exactly where I want to be, but I’m moving forward. I’m learning. Every second and every day. Sometimes slowly, sometimes poorly, but learning and growing nonetheless. Isn’t it what it’s all about anyways?

This past year has brought me back home, where my heart and my loved ones are. After nearly five years in Toronto, I moved back to Montreal. And today, things are great. Things are awesome, I should say. It feels good to be here, in this very moment, and in this very city I love so much. I could barely be any happier, and it’s truly the best feeling in the world.

Almost Raw Vegan Hazlenut Chocoate Dream Cake - The Green Life

Almost Raw Vegan Hazlenut Chocoate Dream Cake - The Green Life

Almost Raw Vegan Hazlenut Chocoate Dream Cake - The Green Life

Almost Raw Vegan Hazlenut Chocoate Dream Cake - The Green Life

I celebrated my last birthday with this classic chocolate cake, but this year I wanted something a little different. Something more refreshing that would remind me of the Dairy Queen cakes my mom would get us every year for our birthday.

Chocolate + hazelnut being one of my all-time favourite combinations of flavours (more here and here), I knew this year’s birthday cake would be all about this bomb duo. A few real, wholesome ingredients blended up and I almost magically got this rich, decadent, completely dreamy cake.

I say almost raw because there’s no cooking involved, but just a quick step of roasting the hazelnuts to bring out their lovely flavour. It really does wonders. This cake is vegan, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free too. And it tastes like heaven. Nothing else a girl can ask for on her birthday. 🙂

Almost Raw Vegan Hazlenut Chocoate Dream Cake - The Green LifeAlmost Raw Vegan Hazlenut Chocoate Dream Cake - The Green Life

Notes: This cake can be served almost frozen – similar to an ice-cream cake – or thawed for a softer, almost mousse-like version. Whichever way you prefer it, it’s absolutely divine.

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Almost Raw Hazelnut Chocolate Dream Cake (Vegan + GF)

For one 7" cake (about 8 portions)

Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 3 cups unsalted hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup packed soft pitted dates (approx 100 g.)
  • 2 tbsp + 1/4 cup raw cacao powder, divided
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk I used full-fat
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolat use vegan if needed

Instructions

  1. Line the bottom of a 7” springform pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Toast the hazelnuts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes until their middle is slightly golden and they start to smell delicious. Let cool and remove the skins by rubbing the hazelnuts with your hands.

Make the crust:

  1. Place 3/4 cup of the toasted hazelnuts in your food processor and add the dates, 2 tablespoons of cacao powder and a pinch of sea salt. Pulse until it forms a thick paste. It should be sticky and should hold together. If it's too dry, add one of two more dates.

    Press the dough into the prepared pan - keep a bit of the dough to shape balls for topping if you'd like (optional). Set aside in the fridge while you are preparing the filling.

Make the hazelnut filling:

  1. Place 2 cups of toasted hazelnuts in the same food processor (keep the remaining for topping). Blend on high for a couple minutes, until it forms a creamy butter. Then add the coconut milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract and sea salt. Blend again until everything is combined and you get a smooth consistency.

    Pour about half of this mixture on top of the crust. Chop the remaining hazelnuts and sprinkle about 1/4 cup on the filling. Place in the freezer to set, at least 20 minutes (to have two distinct layers, keep in the freezer for at least an hour or until very firm, otherwise the two layers will blend together slightly, creating more of a marble effect like in these photos).

    Add 1/4 cup of cacao powder to the remaining filling, and blend until smooth. Once the cake has set, pour the chocolate layer on top. Place back in the freezer to set until firm, about 2-3 hours.

Decorate and serve:

  1. Remove the cake from freezer and allow it to thaw at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before removing the outer ring of the pan. Transfer gently to a serving plate or cake stand and allow it to thaw for 20-30 more minutes before serving. (For a softer cake, let sit at room temperature a little longer.)

    In a double boiler (or a stainless steel bowl placed over a pot of simmering water), melt dark chocolate, stirring with a whisk until smooth.

    Drizzle the cake with melted chocolate and let set for a few minutes. Form balls with the remaining chocolate dough. Top the cake with the balls and remaining chopped hazelnuts.

    To serve, cut cake into slices with a sharp knife. Store leftovers in the freezer.

Almost Raw Vegan Hazlenut Chocoate Dream Cake - The Green Life

Leave a Comment

  • Happy birthday dear Sophie!!! I’ve been dreaming about raw cakes for the last little while (as one does) and this one looks perfect! Also, I hope you don’t become an adult at 34 as I’m nearly there too. Lest’s say it’s 36 😉 I hope you have a gorgeous day with your sister and loved ones and that you get everything your hear desires.

    • Thank you Sophie!!! You are so sweet. I’ve been craving raw cakes for a while too and I really think we’ve got a winner with this one. 🙂 And YES, 36 is much better! Phew. 😉 Thank you for the lovely wishes! Big hugs. xx

  • This looks absolutely amazing! To keep this more whole-food friendly, would coconut butter work to replace the small amount of oil in this recipe?

  • Happy birthday, dear Sophie! Wishing you good health and much, much love!
    I wish that you enjoyed this special day. <3

    I think there is an error in the recipe, the filling part doesn't mention hazelnuts, Sophie! please delete this once read 🙂

    • Thank you for your lovely wishes Natalia! It’s been a wonderful day so far. 🙂
      The hazelnuts were actually in the crust ingredients, but I just reorganized the ingredient list so that it’s easier to understand. Thanks for pointing it out! 🙂 xx

  • Happy Birthday Lovely! I’m glad you arrived. I’m sure you are exactly where you need to be, doing what you are meant to be doing- I mean seriously this cake looks crazy good. Thank you!

  • Sweet sweet friend!! Wishing you and your sis the happiest birthday! Miss you so much in TO but seeing you on cloud 9 the other day, I couldn’t be happier for you and so excited to watch your journey continue to unfold 🙂 Sending super big bday hugs!! xoxo (and OMG this cake!! gorgeous pics!)

  • Happy Birthday Sophie!!! Glad to hear you and see you are doing so well and in such a wonderful place in your life! Continue glowing!!!

    • Aw thank you Nancy-Jane!! It’s so great to hear from you! You are the sweetest. I hope all is well with you and your family. Sending the biggest hug! xo

  • HAPPY Birthday to you and your sister?I would love to make this beautiful cake. Where we live hazelnuts are difficult to find. Would almonds work? Do you have a suggestion for a nut substitution?

  • Wow ce gâteau a l’air incroyablement délicieux! J’ai très hâte de l’essayer. Bonne fête à toi belle et talentueuse Sophie!

    • Hi Anita, I’m so sorry about this! Some recipes went missing with the transition to new site. We’re fixing the issue and putting it back up as soon as possible!