Sweet, minty, and refreshing, this creamy cake strikes the perfect balance of flavor. The filling is made with fresh mint leaves, raw cashews, green seedless grapes, lime juice, and almond milk. The base is a mix of almonds, oats, cacao, Medjool dates, and maple syrup. Garnish with fresh mint leaves, lime, matcha, and flowers for presentation.
COOL MINT CAKE [VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE]
FOR THE BASE:
6 Medjool dates, pitted, plus 3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder (no sugar added)
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled natural oats, small size (not ground)
FOR THE FILLING:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water or in boiled water for 4 hours
Juice of 1 lime
3/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 cup seedless green grapes
1/2 cup almond milk
1 1/2 teaspoons agar agar powder
1 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar
Matcha green tea powder, to sprinkle on top (optional)
TO MAKE THE BASE:
In a medium-sized, narrow, microwaveable bowl, put the pitted dates and water (press the dates into the water) and microwave on high for 30 seconds to soften the dates. When done, add the maple syrup and process (in same bowl) with handheld blender to obtain a caramel.
Add the cacao powder and mix with a fork until blended. Add the almond meal and oats. Mix well to combine.
Press evenly into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan lined with parchment. Bake in oven at 350°F for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
TO MAKE THE FILLING:
In a small bowl, soak mint leaves in the lime juice; turning the leaves a few times in the juice. Put in refrigerator to cool. Put the 1 cup of green grapes in refrigerator to cool.
Strain the cashews and rinse them under cold running water. Transfer them into a high-speed blender or food processor.
On stove top, heat up the almond milk and add the agar agar. Simmer and stir for one minute. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (20 minutes or more). It will form a soft gel, but don’t let it gel too long. Don’t add to the mixture in the blender if it is hot or warm to touch otherwise the mint leaves will oxidize and turn to a green-yellow dull color.
When the almond milk has cooled, put the grapes in the blender with the cashews and blend on low.
Add the mint leaves and lime juice and blend again. Add the gelled almond milk and blend. Add the confectioner’s sugar and blend. Keep blending on low, gradually increasing to high.
Blend on high for 2-3 minutes or until silky smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. Blend until the mint leaves are almost invisible or miniature specks. You should obtain a thick green creamy filling.
Immediately pour and spread filling on top of cooled crust. It will continue to gel.
Store covered with foil in freezer for minimum 2 hours or overnight. Unmold partially frozen cake and place on platter. If very frozen, allow cake to slightly thaw before unmolding.
Dust the top with matcha green tea powder. Serve.
You don’t need to freeze this cake again. Store in a covered container in refrigerator and it will continue to hold beautifully thanks to the agar agar.