|For the cake base|
|3 cups||Almonds (15 oz)|
|9 ½ oz||Walnuts, shelled|
|2||Apples, raw, with skin (11 oz)|
|⅛||Vanilla bean pod (0.01 oz)|
|1 cup||Dates, deglet nour (4.7 oz)|
|120 ml||Tap water (mineral water, drinking) (4.2 oz)|
|1 cup||Cocoa powder (cocoa, not cocao) raw? (3.0 oz)|
|3 ½ oz||Coconut palm sugar|
|¾ cup||Cocoa butter (5.7 oz)|
|¼ tsp||Lemon peel, raw (organic?) (0.02 oz)|
|For the filling|
|4||Apples, raw, with skin (21 oz)|
|1 tbsp||Fresh thyme (0.08 oz)|
|For the chocolate frosting|
|½ cup||Cocoa butter (3.8 oz)|
|50 ml||Coconut oil (Coconut butter) (1.6 oz)|
|¾ cup||Cocoa powder (cocoa, not cocao) raw? (2.3 oz)|
|90 ml||Agave syrup (2.9 oz)|
|50 ml||Tap water (mineral water, drinking) (1.8 oz)|
For the cake mixture
Finely grind the nuts. Then wash, core, and peel the apples.
The original recipe uses the Anglo-American unit of measure “cups” in the list of ingredients. As this occurs for several ingredients, we have not made any changes, but for reference have added the equivalent grams in parentheses behind each.
Cut the vanilla bean pod in half and use a knife to scrape out the amount called for, or more if desired. Combine the dates and walnuts and purée to make a “date paste.” Then in a bowl combine with the remaining ingredients and knead to form a dough.
For health reasons, we have cut the amount of cocoa butter in half. You can therefore decide whether to use this amount or use twice as much (the amount called for in the original recipe).
The original recipe calls for 1 cup of date paste (consisting of equal parts of pitted dates and water). Instead, we have listed the ingredients dates and water separately. If the cake mixture is too firm, you can add a little more water.
Place the cake ring on a cutting board lined with parchment paper and press the mixture out evenly (You can also use a baking pan (diameter: 21 cm).
Place the cake base in the refrigerator to cool while you prepare the filling.
For the filling
Wash, core, and peel the apples and then combine with the thyme. Layer this mixture on top of the cake base and place the cake back in the refrigerator so that it can cool while you prepare the frosting.
The original recipe doesn’t call for a specific amount of fresh thyme. We have chosen to set the amount at 1 tablespoon. You can vary this according to taste.
For the chocolate frosting
Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend for about 6 seconds on low speed. Be careful! Don’t blend too quickly or for too long because doing so will cause the frosting to curdle. If that does happen, add a little cold water and blend again.
We have reduced the amount of chocolate frosting by half. If you like a more intensive chocolate flavor, you can simply make more frosting. The original recipe called for 1 cup cocoa butter, 1½ cups cocao powder, ½ cup coconut oil, ¾ cup agave syrup, and ¼ cup tap water.
Finishing the cake
Spread the frosting on the cake and then place the cake in the refrigerator to firm up. As soon as it reaches the desired consistency, you can cut pieces to serve.
The author recommends that the cake be refrigerated for 1 hour.
This apple and thyme chocolate cake has a delicious nutty flavor and isn’t too sweet. Apple and thyme give it a fresh taste and cocoa butter only adds to this.
Servings: This recipe yields one cake (18 x 21 cm).
This dessert is not raw: We have intentionally listed this recipe in the category “Vegan, cooked” because it contains a substantial amount of coconut blossom sugar. Coconut blossom sugar, a type of palm sugar, is used just as raw cane sugar to sweeten a wide variety of dishes and drinks. Since the production of coconut blossom sugar is free of animal products, it is a good option to use as a vegan sweetener. It is obtained by extracting the sap of cut flower buds of the coconut palm. However, coconut blossom sugar is not a raw product because the sap collected is boiled down to a syrup. It has a slightly malty flavor, and the consistency is a bit like caramel.
Cocao powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder is available either raw (cacao powder) or roasted (cocoa powder). It has a high fat content but also contains many valuable substances such as enzymes and antioxidants. The secret to raw cocao powder lies in the gentle production and natural fermentation process it goes through. These processes allow the cocao beans to dry and ferment naturally, without any roasting. In this way, the nutritional value of the cocoa beans can be better retained.
Cocoa butter: Cocoa butter is a by-product of cocao powder production. The cocoa beans go through a multistep process that ends in grinding. Then the liquid cocao mixture is processed into cocao powder, leaving cocoa butter as a by-product. The high amounts of saturated fatty acids, primarily palmitic (16: 0) and steric (18: 0), compared to the small amounts of unsaturated fatty acids that it contains allow it to have a long shelf life, provided that it is kept in a cool, dark place. Thanks to these and other properties, cocoa butter is often an ingredient in chocolate and desserts and is also used in other areas such as the cosmetic industry. It was previously used in the pharmaceutical industry as suppositories and a base for ointments. However, these uses have decreased over the last few years because of cocoa butter’s tendency to solidify and inability to absorb water.
Reducing the oil: We have intentionally cut the amount of coconut oil in half. If this amount is too little for your taste preferences, you can increase it slightly. Compelling reasons that clearly speak for doing without larger amounts of oil in your diet can be found in our extensive review of the book Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss.
Recommended size for springform pan: A springform pan with a diameter of about 21 cm works best for this cake.
Peeling the apples: If you would like the mixture to be smoother, you can peel the apples before grating. However, many of the important vitamins and minerals that are found under the skin will be lost.