Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cherry Vanilla Raw Vegan Cake Pops

Here is the first of two raw vegan cake pop recipes.

Raw Vegan Cherry-Vanilla Cake Pops
Makes approximately 8 cake pops

1 cup cashew flour
2 Tbsp light agave nectar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1/8 tsp himalayan salt
1/2 cup chopped, pitted fresh cherries
Lollipop sticks
Raw white chocolate coating

To make cashew flour, process 1 cup raw cashews in the VitaMix dry blade container.
If you don't have a VitaMix, I think you could put the whole raw cashews in the food processor in the next step (budget tip: buy raw cashew pieces since you are just going to blend them anyway. You can save about $2/lb buying cashew pieces rather than whole cashews)

Add cashew flour (or cashew pieces) to food processor fitted with the "S" blade.

Use a sharp knife to split a vanilla bean in half. Use the edge of the knife to scrape the seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean. Save the empty bean to make vanilla sugar (recipe for vanilla sugar in a future post). Add the scraped vanilla bean to the cashews in the food processor.
Add the agave nectar and salt to the food processor. Process until dough-like consistency.
Place dough in bowl, and fold in the fresh cherries. This is so you get bits of cherry in your cake pop, rather than blending the cherries into the dough if you mixed in the food processor.
Once cherries are incorporated, make small balls of dough with your hands. Place dough balls on a tray lined with parchment paper. Place a lollipop stick in each ball of dough. You will want to insert the stick before you freeze them, because they will be too hard after freezing.
This is where I ran into my first challenge: how do you freeze the balls on sticks without getting a flat spot on the bottom (which will be the top, when you turn them over to look like a lollipop)?

Later I noticed in this post that these gals froze the cake pops upright with the sticks stuck in styrofoam. This might work, depending on your dough. But as I'll share with you in a future post, my Key Lime pops were way too soft to stay on a stick that way before they were frozen. Hmmm.

I think adding a few pitted dates to the dough mixture would help make it a firmer/stickier dough that would hold its shape a little better.

It may also be possible to refrigerate the balls just long enough to make them more solid, then take them out, gently re-shape them into a ball, insert the sticks, then freeze. I think that's what I will try next time. This time, my cake pops had flat tops- but they still tasted great!

While the cake pops are in the freezer, mix the white chocolate coating. I'm going to put the white chocolate recipe in its own post, since this post is long enough!

Here's a blurry pic of Bailey the Birthday Beach Dog:)

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