Jennifer's latest book on raw desserts.
Jennifer Cornbleet at Sonoma Country's Raw Health Expo
Once again, Jennifer Cornbleet whips up a dish in minutes in front of an adoring crowd at the recent Raw Health Expo in Sebastopol. Jennifer has always been one of my favorite raw chefs and has been the inspiration for many of my healthful raw recipes. What sets her apart is her ability to make delicious dishes in minutes, not hours, and without the use of fancy or expensive equipment.
At this raw food demonstration, she made a beautiful upside-down cake with a mixture of seasonal fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. She did this at the very end of the discussion of her latest book, "Raw For Dessert", in which this recipe can be found. As the time keeper started flashing cards saying, "15 minutes left", then "10 minutes left", I kept wondering when she was going to make this cake? Finally, with only 5 minutes to go she began whipping up the raw crust and scooping berries into a pan. Minutes later, after pressing two layers of berries and 2 layers of crust into a parchment lined cake pan, she quickly ran a knife around the edges, turned the pan upside down and voilà, a beautiful dessert! I will definitely be serving this at my next dinner party!
But How Healthful is this Cake?
Although raw desserts tend to be high in fat and calories, the ingredients of dates, nuts and coconut are natural, unprocessed and free of cholesterol. Jennifer points out that in raw recipes these ingredients take the place of processed sugar, high cholesterol butter and white flour found in traditional cake recipes. I did an analysis of the nutritional content of her recipe and found the recipe to be under 250 calories per slice (pretty good for a rich cake). Though high in fat (16.2 g of fat, 6.9 g of which is saturated), the fats come from omega 3 rich walnuts and tropical oils. In fact each slice has a whopping 1.3 grams of omega 3 essential fatty acid. In addition, each slice provides over 5 grams of fiber, far greater than what you would find in a traditionally made cake. I wouldn't call this cake a "health food" that you should consume everyday, but for a special dessert, this fresh and delicious dessert is a keeper.
With Jennifer's permission, I will share this wonderful recipe with you. Here it is!
Jennifer Cornbleet's Jumble Berry Upside-Down Cake
From her book, "Raw For Dessert"
[One 6 inch cake makes 8 servings]
1 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup fresh raspberries
3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 tablespoon light agave syrup (optional)
The Shortbread Crust
1 cup unsweetened shredded dry coconut
1 cup raw English walnuts (unsoaked)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 pitted Medjool dates
Place the berries and agave syrup in a mixing bowl, toss to combine and let sit for 5 minutes. She left out the agave syrup during the demonstration and I don't think it's necessary either. But the agave will make it sweeter and juicier.
To make the shortbread crust, place the coconut, walnuts and salt in a food processor fitted with the S blade. Process until finely ground. Add the dates and process until the mixture begins to stick together. Don't over-process. Set crust aside.
Line a 6 inch cake pan with parchment paper. Place half of the berries on the paper and top with half of the crust, distributing it evenly. Press down with your hand to compact. Repeat with the remaining berries, and then cover with the remaining crust. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours before serving.
To serve, run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake. Place a serving plate upside down on the cake pan. Invert, then lift the pan off. Remove the parchment.
Covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator, Jumble Berry Upside-Down Cake will keep for 2 days.
Per serving (with agave syrup): 247.4 calories, 16.2 g fat, 6.9 g saturated fat from tropical oils, 0 mg cholesterol, 3.2 g protein, 25.4 g carbohydrates and 5.4 g of fiber.
Per serving (without agave syrup): Reduced to 239.9 calories, 23.4 g carbohydrates and the rest of the nutrient values are the same as above.