7 Jan 2015

CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT and PEANUT BUTTER CREAM CAKE (aka THE ORGASM CAKE)


Oh yeah, I went there. Again. I made this cake for my mum's party, so fingers crossed that her friends like it. I'm also saving a piece as my secret santa gift for a party tomorrow night. Double fingers crossed. Or... fingers crossed on both hands; that's more comfortable. I am still on my Mariah Carey binge so please make this cake then eat it while listening to this (just wait for the chorus). 



I want to talk about a new habit I've been trying to form lately. I will start by letting you know I am a very cynical, sarcastic person. I get this largely from my family, the von Euws have a dry sense of humour. In itself this isn't necessarily a bad thing; but I let it turn into judging others very quickly. Not in a serious way, but just in off-handed thoughts in my head or casual comments in conversation. I never mean anything important by them, but they are thought or said nonetheless. An example: Jack and I were in his car when he was bringing me to the airport several weeks ago and the car in front of us had a mini disco ball hanging from the rear view mirror. Jack said, "Look at that." And I responded with a scoff and, "That's obnoxious..." Another example: I was on the bus a few days ago and the driver pulled up about a metre past where he should have, to pick a few people up at a stop. I sarcastically thought, "Good job, buddy." Maybe these instances don't sound like a big deal, and in most ways, my responses were harmless. All my life I've taken this sort of judging, sarcastic attitude for granted, never analyzing it or questioning if it was good or bad. But as I spend more time with Jack - who is very calm and non-judgemental - and researching meditation techniques, I realize that it is kind of a bad habit to allow myself to have these automatic cynical judgements, no matter how casual they are. 

This is because they are not positive and usually not fair. Instead of making fun of the people with the disco ball, why can't I simply say, "Hmm. Interesting! I wouldn't hang a disco ball from my rear view mirror but good for them." Or instead of negatively judging the bus driver's skills, think, "Oh, he pulled up a bit past the stop. I suppose he didn't see the people waiting." Jack has really helped me to realize how immediately judging I can seem, with the nonchalant comments I make; and this in turn helps me register when I simply have an automatically judgemental thought about something or someone. I also watched this TED Talk recently and it was inspiring for me, in terms of how we should allow thoughts to enter and leave our minds without getting caught up in them. Finally, I am also reading The Secret which essentially promotes trying to feel and think happy thoughts no matter what your situation is (there's more to it, but that's the message I am choosing to take away from it). The book talks about how positive, happy thoughts bring more positivity and happiness into your life, and negative thoughts foster negativity. So with all these things considered, in the past week or so I have been focusing a lot of mental energy into not allowing myself to manifest those negative thoughts or say those judgemental comments. When I have a negative or judgemental thought, I recognize it as such and then rethink it into something non-judging and positive. I saw an older, rather dirty man with a very... bright, unique outfit a couple days and ago and my automatic reaction was to think, "Oh God, what are you doing with your life?" Now since I am working on getting rid of this negative habit and replacing it with a positive one, I realized how judgy this was to think and so corrected my thought to, "Woah! Cool outfit, you must be a very original, independent person." 

I'm trying to use this technique with familiar people and situations as well, not merely strangers in passing. When a friend or family member frustrates me (or vice versa) I try to remember to take a deep breathe and put myself in their shoes. I tell myself there's no reason I need to feel irritated, and the person(s) has an understandable reason for acting the way they are. None of us are right, wrong, good or bad. We are all simply organisms, thrown into this life by surprise, trying to find a comfortable mental, emotional and physical space in this world. There is no need to judge others cruelly or harbour negative thoughts or feelings within you. 

I wanted to share all this with you because I imagine a lot of us probably do this; that is, have automatic judgements to people and things we see around us (or it could be that I am just a total jerk and the only one who does/did this). I think it is useful for us all to recognize, analyze and then correct our cognitive patterns when they are negative. For the good of your mental health, life outlook and - if you believe in thoughts having effective, external energy - those around us. All it takes is a little practice. Just a week in, I am already thinking fewer and fewer negative thoughts and thinking before I judge. Everyday I strive to improve myself, not because I don't currently love myself. I do, very deeply. But because I want to be even better, do even more, than the day before. Whether this be by being more helpful to others, developing my awareness of my own spirituality and personality, or simply finding deeper avenues of joy while experiencing this crazy thing called life. Get happy! Eat raw vegan cake! 


CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT and PEANUT BUTTER CREAM CAKE with WHIPPED COCONUT CREAM

Crust:
1/2 cup oat flour
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

Chocolate hazelnut swirl:
1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup dates
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Peanut butter swirl:
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup 

Whipped coco cream:
Follow this recipe. 

1/4 hemp seeds (optional)

To make the crust: mix the ingredients together until they aren't crumbly. If the mixture stays crumbly, add some more coconut oil or water, then press into the bottom of a 6 inch springform pan and put in the fridge.

To make the chocolate hazelnut swirl: blend all the ingredients together until smooth and similar to thick yogurt in consistency. Pour into a separate bowl and set aside.

To make the peanut butter swirl: stir together the ingredients until smooth.

Assembly: make the first layer by dropping alternating dollops of the chocolate and peanut butter mixtures onto your crust, then swirl them together gently with a chopstick. Continue doing this with each layer until you have used up your mixtures. Put in the fridge for 24-48 hours. Then coat the edges with hemp seeds if you like, and serve with the coco cream!

Alternative options: use cocoa or carob powder instead of cacao; use any other nut butter instead of peanut butter; use date paste instead of maple syrup; use cacao butter instead of coconut oil; use buckwheat flour or almond flour instead of oat flour. Substitutions are limitless!

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18 comments:

  1. I feel I am a very kind person although I do the same thing! And mean nothing by it. I feel my ego is more responsible for those thoughts than my true self because I don't feel negatively towards others. I think it's just a habit as were always judging situations and by extension, others. I'm going to be more mindful also and it's so easy to criticise.

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  2. This looks amazing Emily!! chocolate and peanut butter - what could go wrong?!

    ps. I really love your youtube channel by the way!

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  3. That cake looks fantastic!! Just in time for the coming holidays.. thank you for the recipe!!!!!!!

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  4. Good for you, Emily!!! I'm well along on my way out of the woods on this issue myself, and it is one of the best decisions I ever made. You will find it to be so too, as you begin experiencing joy instead of judgment. People around you are going to like you a whole lot better as well. It takes work to change a lifetime of a bad habit, but believe me it is worth the effort. I love your recipes, too!

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  5. I've heard that sometimes our judgements of others can be judgements, but sometimes they are awarenesses, and sometimes we are picking up their thoughts about themselves. e.g. if you see an obese person and think 'Whoa! He is fat' - is that your thought or their thoughts? We are all more psychic than we give ourselves credit for. It's worth asking 'Is this a my judgement, their judgement, or an awareness?' And if you feel one lighten up, that's a yes. Sounds pretty weird but try it out :-)

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  6. Thank you for giving me a New Year's resolution that I will actually try to follow! What a great idea.
    Also, yum. Can you ship me some of this cake!?

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  7. Oh, I do this *all the time*. Especially with young mothers-- which is absolutely ridiculous, as my mother was only seventeen when I was born. Thank you for making me feel not alone, and encourage me to rid of this habit...
    Luna

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  8. Yes! I love this. I am so guilty of the same thing. "ugh, this person blah blah blah," even if I know nothing about them. I feel that I have become less judgmental as I've gotten older, but I still make nasty comments about other drivers. I guess it's harder because I can't see their faces...does that make sense? Or maybe because I am actually concerned about my safety? Is it because I know they can't hear me? Not sure.

    When I'm at work, though, it's a lot easier just to be non-judgmental. I am guaranteed a good work day if I greet everybody warmly. I never know who I might connect with, even if they appear to be the utter opposite of someone I would like. I also try to remind myself that no matter who they are, they have feelings, and people they care about - just like I do.

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  9. This looks divine!! Your creations are so beautiful.

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  10. oh man, am I ever a quick judger, dry humor sort of person. I think it doesn't serve me well in relationships. Thank you for reminding me to re-focus on the good stuff.

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  11. Hello, this looks beautiful and I am on the same page with trying to avoid the naughty jump to judge. It ultimately comes from our very effective need to categorise in order to help us understand the world (if we had to consider what something was anew every time we looked at it, like babies, we would be permanently exhausted). With you on trying to nip the judging in the bud though.

    QUESTION: my lover is allergic to tree nuts (not peanuts). Anything that I could replace the hazlenuts with?

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  12. Hey Emily,

    I've made too much raw nutella and also it's tastes a bit woody (perhaps because i left the skins on?!) but I'm determined to use it up! How long do you think it would keep in the freezer please? Thank you so much ☺

    sarah xx

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  13. Wow what a wonderful blog! I was looking through amazon to find vegan recipe book and came across yours which then made me discover this gem of a blog. Thanks! I've also purchased your book and I cannot wait to get stuck in making some delicious raw vegan food. X x

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  14. @Anonymous - up to a year!

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  15. I ate half of the filling before it even went on there!Absolutely delishious! Its now in the fridge. Cant wait.
    Thanks

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  16. i liked reading your recent thoughts on judgments. something i try to think about, too, is that replacing a negative judgment with a positive judgment doesn't necessarily steer us away from the act of judging in the first place (which is essentially a gesture of closing a door and ending the line of observing). to me, the process of translating negative judgments into positive ones fosters acceptance and tolerance, which are very very good things, of course, but i think it stops short of something: openness, in our own minds and processes, in seeing and thinking and feeling and observing things-- and, like the message you took from that ted talk -- letting them wash over us. not ignoring them, instead; consciously grooming our brains to receive stimulus openly, without judgment at all. critical thought. not criticism.

    i'm new to your blog (i found it via laura wright) but i wanted to tell you i love seeing this kind of thoughtfulness on a food blog. food is life. this is life. it makes sense to me that we'd all be a lot more thoughtful and communicative in our interactions and exchanges, no matter if we're dealing with a recipe, a book review, a product recommendation, a painting, or whatever.

    thanks for the breath of fresh air! it's nice to meet you. cheers.

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  17. Will coconut or carbonzo flour work for this base too?

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  18. Yummy, this sounds delicious. going to make this today, thanks for sharing.

    Simon

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Feel free to comment below, I love hearing your thoughts! xo, Em