Cashew Cream Frosting

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Ingredients:

2 cups cashews

⅓ cup maple syrup or honey

2 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon coconut oil

water (as required)

2 large carrots, peeled and diced

1 cup almond meal

1 cup hazelnut meal

1 cup dates

½ cup dried apricots

½ teaspoon cinnamon (or to taste)

¼ cup shredded coconut

¼ cup dried pineapple

¼ cup sultanas or raisins

½ teaspoon orange zest

dried fruits and nuts of your choice

Directions:

1. To make the Cashew Cream Frosting. Place cashews into your high power blender (or Thermomix). Blend on high speed until a paste-like cashew cream begins to form. You’ll need to scrape the sides of the blender a few times to get the mixture to form.

2. Add the maple syrup, lemon juice and coconut oil. Blend until the cashews become creamier. Add water gradually and as little as possible. You want the cream frosting to loosen and become smooth and silky but you don't wan to dilute the flavors with water. How much water you need will vary (and will also depend on whether you pre-soaked your cashews).

3. To make the Carrot Cake. Place the diced carrots, almond meal, hazelnut meal, dates, dried apricots, and cinnamon into your food processor. Blitz until very well combine and forms a soft paste.

4. Add coconut, dried pineapple, sultanas/raisins, and orange zest to the mixture in the food processor. Blitz very briefly until just combined. You want these ingredients to be less processed so that there’s some texture variance in the finished cake.

5. To Assemble. Use either two mini spring-form pans or a small spring-form pan. Press a layer of carrot cake mixture into the base of your pan. It should approx 2.5cm (1 inch) thick. Add a layer of cashew cream frosting.

6. Optional: Sprinkle dried fruits and nuts on the cashew cream frosting layer. Used a tropical fruit mix to add colour, texture and even more flavor. Shredded or flaked coconut would also work well. Add another layer of carrot cake mixture onto of the cashew cream frosting (same thickness as your base layer). Smooth top of cake so it’s even. For best results refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight). Place plastic wrap or a plate over the top of the cake to prevent it drying out in the fridge. If you’re not refrigerating, move straight onto 6.

7. Remove the cakes carefully from spring-form pans. The cakes will still be malleable so handle them gently.Top cakes with cashew cream frosting and decorate as you like. Slice with a sharp knife that’s been heated under hot running water. This makes cutting the cake easier.

Bon Appetit!

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