Raw Hazelnut and Vanilla Cake

 Lately I’ve been absolutely obsessed with hazelnuts; or hazelnut butter to be more precise. I add it to, and on, my smoothies, spread it on toast with a bit of honey, stuff it into medjool dates as a snack or use it in baking. Yesterday I brought this hazelnut “cheesecake” to my students that we shared after class, and it was very well received. I think it’s beautiful served on its own, but pairing it with blueberries or some sliced oranges also really brings out the flavour and is a nice and fresh contrast to the more heavy and dense feeling of the cake. 

This recipe is a little smaller than my usual cakes, and should be made in a small cake tin if you want it nice and tall. Serves about 6-8 people. 

Ingredients

Crust:

1 cup hazelnuts (raw or roasted)

1 cup soft, pitted dates

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/4 tsp vanilla powder

a pinch of sea salt

Hazelnut cream:

1 cup cashews, soaked for 2-4 hours

1/3-1/2 cup liquid sweetener (I prefer light maple syrup or agave for this recipe)

4 tbsp coconut oil, melted 

1.5 cup full fat coconut cream

2 tbsp hazelnut butter 

1/2 tsp vanilla powder

a sqeeze of lemon juice

1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

1. Place all ingredients for the crust in a food processor. Pulse until everything is broken down and sticks together. Press the dough out into a small lined cake tin and set aside. 

2. To make the cheesecake layer, simply blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth. 

3. Spread the batter over the crust and place in the freezer for at least 2-3 hours.

4. Remove the cake from the tin while it’s still frozen. Let it defrost for at least 20 minutes in room temperate before serving, or in the refrigerator for a few hours until completely soft.

Decorate with fresh berries, fruits, chopped nuts, flowers etc. The cake should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, and will last 3-4 days in the refrigerator, or up to a month in the freezer.

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