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February 14, 2020
Another year, another Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re Charlie Browning it up at the empty mailbox or ordering in pizza with the person who worships your morning breath, this holiday either matters or it doesn’t to you. But... chocolate cake? ALWAYS MATTERS. This flourless chocolate cake has an ooey-gooey texture, somewhere between pudding and cake, between heaven and platinum heaven (you know that’s got to exist).
How it works: In place of flour, which gives a cake structure, we’ve got rice cakes with amaranth + walnuts + melted chocolate. Bananas give structure too, and the more bananas you add, the more wet and fudgy the cake. We found two bananas to be the sweet spot. And then we use melted bittersweet chocolate instead of cocoa powder for a velvety texture—not the grainy one you get with some less-than flourless chocolate cake specimens.
THE CRUST IS STUPID SIMPLE
Rice crackers. Bananas. Walnuts. Vegan chocolate. Those are the only ingredients that go into the crust. And there’s no rolling pin, pie weights or special equipment necessary. Sure, the recipe instructs you to use a food processor—and you should if you have one!—but I didn’t and using the bottom of a cup to crush the graham crackers and peanuts worked just fine. Once the butter and salt are involved, you mix and then press it all into the pie dish. Bake for 15 minutes and you’ve got your crust. The result is a sweet and salty (those peanuts!) crunch that takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish.
WAIT, THE FILLING IS THAT EASY?
We read (and re-read) the ingredients list, scanning for one ingredient typical to vegan cakes we’ve never met before. Silken tofu, peanut butter, vegan chocolate, maple syrup, almond milk. Wait, no obscure stabilizers? Just that regular old pantry stuff? Yes. THAT’S FREAKIN IT.
JUST LOOK AT THE HEIGHT!!!
When we made this recipe for the first time, our neighbor dubbed it a “sky high cake.” Which, yes, sounds fun and epic. But also a bit daunting. Would I be able to pull off this architectural masterpiece? Turns out, yes. Because all you need to do is scrape your filling into the cooled crust (I had a little extra filling which I quickly found a home for) and smooth it all over. Let all that chill for a few hours. Then—ready for the whole sky high part?—you pile on chocolate cream. Like really go all in with it. You’re trying to trick people into thinking you spent all day on this thing, you know? Once you’ve created a mountain of cream, make it rain chopped walnuts all over. And that’s your V-cake.
We’ve had many slices of chocolate cake in our lives. And most of them have just two notes: flour and chocolate. This pie goes beyond that. The smart addition of walnuts to the crust makes it so the sweetness is balanced with a salty and crunchy kick. Peanut butter makes the filling extra creamy. And the extra nuts on top are a nice change of pace from the usual decor of fruits or chopped chocolate.
Serve this cake to your friends. Listen as they gasp from excitement. And tell them it was the easiest cake you’ve ever made. Or say you spent hours laboring over it. Either way, we won’t tell.
FILLING + ASSEMBLY
1. Using your hands, crush rice cakes into a food processor; pulse until finely ground. Add bananas and walnuts and pulse a few times until incorporated but with some flecks of walnuts remaining. Pour in chocolate and pulse just until mixture holds together when squeezed in your palm.
2. Press mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a standard 9" pie dish (you can also use pie tin) using the bottom of a flat measuring cup or glass. Put in the fridge to chill, 15–20 minutes.
DO AHEAD: Crust can be made 1 day ahead. Store tightly wrapped in fridge.
1. To make the chocolate cream, put silken tofu and peanut butter into a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour in chocolate and maple syrup and blend one more time. If the cream is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of your fave almond or oat milk. 2. Spoon chocolate cream over filling, smoothing it as desired. Let chill in fridge overnight. Top with crushed walnuts before serving.
Did you make this recipe? We get crazy excited when you make our recipes and we always love to see how they turn out. 😍😍😍Tag @smartbitesnacks on Instagram and hashtag it #SmartbiteSnacks
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