Raw Chocolate & Coconut Cupcakes

As I’ve been trialing and testing different raw recipes, I noticed that A LOT of them are no-bake, frozen treats and because it’s winter here in Melbourne, I thought a dessert that won’t add to the coldness could be the way to go. So I decided on a cupcake because not only are they super pretty- they’re delicious too! But I thought, how am I going to make it taste good and be somewhat good for our bodies? Because a lot of raw, baked goods can be really dry or chewy and taste completely WRONG. So, I wanted something that will a) taste delicious, and b) contain real food. No processed or bleached ingredients. Also, the sweet-craving cycle happens to all of us…we feel like chocolate or something sweet, but we’re ‘trying to eat well’, so we make up different ways to avoid that food like having nuts and berries, because that’s sweet and healthy right? or you may have one piece of dark chocolate because at least it’s still chocolate right? (even though you really want proper, indulgent, milk choc) And then after trying to suppress this craving, you cave in and eat an entire block of chocolate, and then the guilt sets in. But not to worry, with these cakes, you will be able to satisfy that chocolate craving while eradicating the guilty feeling because you’ve consumed ingredients that are going to make you feel good. However, these chocolate cakes still contain chocolate. They’re chocolate cupcakes, so yes, I’m adding chocolate to them. Just because they’re “raw”, does not mean I’m removing all the things that make them delicious. Instead, I use a dark chocolate which provides antioxidants and minerals. Also, most regular baking recipes use dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate, so I’m not cheating you by using the “healthy kind”. I use whipped coconut cream for the icing which does contain saturated fat, however, it’s a natural source which means it’s full of vitamins and minerals. If you really don’t want that much energy in one cupcake, then you don’t have to add the icing. But let’s be real- the icing is always the best part. As an extra treat, I added a chewy caramel centre, because why not?

Ingredients:

  •  1 and 1/3 cups (185 g/6.5 oz) wholemeal flour
  •  1/2 cup (50 g/1.7 oz) cocoa or cacao powder
  •  3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/4 teaspoon salt
  •  1/2 cup Greek yoghurt
  •  1 cup (200 g/7 oz) rice bran syrup or organic maple syrup
  •  2 large eggs
  •  1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •  1/2 cup (120 ml) whole milk
  •  1/2 cup (120 ml) hot water
  • 3 cans coconut cream* see note
  • 100g dark chocolate (75% or more), melted
  • 7 dates
  • 1/4 cup organic maple syrup or rice bran syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/4 hot water

Method:

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. For the caramel centre, combine dates, maple syrup, vanilla and hot water in a food processor until smooth.
  3. Mix maple syrup and yoghurt until combined. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  4. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Then mix in milk, followed by the other half of the dry ingredients, mixing until combined. Add hot water and mix just until combined. Do not overmix—the less you mix, the lighter the cake will be. The batter should be liquid.
  5. Divide batter evenly between patty pans in a muffin pan, filling them about 1/2 full. Add a dollop of date caramel then fill another 1/4 with batter. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Allow cupcakes to sit for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
  6. Using an electric beater, beat together coconut cream* on medium speed until light and fluffy and then fold in chocolate. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
  7. Pipe onto cupcakes and decorate with whatever you like, I used cocoa powder, pistachios and raspberries.

*Note; for the coconut cream, freeze tins for about 20-30 mins. The coconut cream should settle at the top. Spoon it out into a bowl and until there is only coconut water left. Discard the water or keep in the fridge to drink or other uses.

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