I'm in a sweets mood lately. But I'm ALWAYS in a chocolate mood!
When I made the Banana Ice Cream Cake with Lemon Cheesecake Icing and Carrot Cake Crust the other day, I knew that it wouldn't be a crowd pleaser for everyone in the house, no matter how delicious it is (and it really, really is!). We have some die-hard chocolate lovers around here, and there was no way that the ice cream cake was going to satisfy our chocolate monsters.
So I looked around for a recipe that would give me something rich and creamy and amazingly chocolate- and wooooo, did I ever find it!
Bonus: It's got veggies in it!
But they'll NEVER know.
This recipe uses cashews like the banana ice cream cake did, only I didn't have to soak them. They simply get put in your food processor and processed to a fine dust.
Which I totally didn't do.
I mean I came close…but I don't trust the food processor enough to do exactly what I want it to do. I always second guess it! I'm pretty sure, had I not been so impatient and untrusting, that the dust consistency would have been reached. I stopped short of that, when my cashews were ground into what I would call a fine meal (as in texture, not as in a dinner).
With fingers crossed, I added everything else, and sampled a lot (because, hello, CHOCOLATE). And pretty much wanted to stick my face in the bowl and eat my way out.
I managed to show a modicum of restraint, however. If someone could put a star on my chart for it, that would be super!
I decided the end result was a little TOO chocolatey for my guys. It's totally intense, which I love, but they need a little more sweetness to balance it out, so I added a little bit of honey.
With a couple more taste tests…and maybe a bonus one or two just to be totally sure, I knew we had a winner.
*sigh* Taste testing… it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
I opted not to make the crust that the original recipe calls for. I'd like to say it was a purposeful and thoughtful decision that came about through lots of consideration, but it was mostly because my springform pan was already in use, and I didn't feel like digging out another one from downstairs. In additional laziness, I decided I'd washed an awful damn lot of dishes by that point and didn't want to dirty up the food processor a fiftieth time that day. Besides, I knew the crust wasn't going to be the selling point of the dessert. I'm sure it would have been delicious, and if I make this to take somewhere or as a dessert for company, I'll totally go for the full monty. I just used a glass pie pan, and it worked out fine!
Having not processed the cashews to spec, the texture was just slightly on the grainy side- until I froze it. The end result was a rich and creamy dessert that had us all but licking the plate clean!
Chocolate deliciousness is ours!
Fills one 8-inch pan
For the crust:
2 cup raw pecans
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
For the filling:
2 cups raw cashews (no need to soak)
1 cup peeled & diced zucchini
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
Prepare the crust by placing the pecans in a food processor fitted with an S-blade, and grind them into fine meal.
Add in the rest of the crust ingredients, and process again until well combined.
Line the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan with plastic wrap or parchment paper, then press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer to set, while you prepare the filling.
In a high-powered blender or food processor, process the raw cashews until they are a fine powder.
Add in the zucchini, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and sea salt, and blend again until a smooth and creamy batter is formed. Add in the melted coconut oil, and blend again to fully incorporate the ingredients into a uniform filling.
Pour the filling into the frozen pie crust, and allow to set for 8 hours, preferably overnight. Serve directly from the freezer, for best texture (it softens quickly!).