Raw Cake Kitchen Tech!
The world of kitchen tech can be a confusing one to a lot of people. The huge range of time saving devices and kitchen tech available is awesome. They each have their amazing skills and designed uses. Which one to use can be confusing.
So, here is a brief overview…
If you don’t have a particular piece of kitchen tech available to use, an ingenious solutions can always be found to any technical problems encountered. Most of our Raw Cake can be made without the use of the specific kitchen tech with a little ingenuity.
Food Processor or Grinder
We would typically use one of these to make raw cake bases and energy balls… they’re also good for nut butters and in the case of the Food Processor, for chopping veg too.
In the UK and America, the standard kitchen tech would be the Food Processor… it usually has a selection of blade sets including one blades that sit low in the bowl and is best for cakes and nut butters… and one that sits high in the bowl that is good for chopping vegetables.
In India and much of Asia, the standard kitchen tech used would be a Grinder Set… Most Grinder Sets come with three jugs… a Big Grinder Jug with blades that sit flatter in the base of the jug… a Big Blender Jug with a flower of upward facing blades… and usually a small jug which is usually just a Small Grinder Jug (although sometimes it looks more like a Small Blender Jug).
The Grinder with its low, flat lying blades is good for chopping nuts/seeds and making pastes. It’s good for cake bases, energy balls, nut butters etc… and if I’m making a creamy peanut smoothie, the Grinder will easily grind and paste the peanuts into butter and then with coconut milk and bananas added, it will make a creamy smoothie.
The great thing about most Grinder Jugs, is that they are made of metal… so as you grind the ingredients they will warm up… which in turn helps many nuts and seeds to release more oils… creating a smoother nut butter. With a Food Processor, you may need to mix for longer to get the same effect.
The Blender Jug with its upward facing, flower-like, central blades is best for blending more liquid/soft/smooth ingredients… sometimes it is referred to as a ‘Juicer’ because it is the jug you would make fruit smoothies in… HOWEVER, a Juicer is actually a completely different piece of kitchen tech.
This Smaller Jug is usually used to grind spices like turmeric, star anise, clove… seeds like flax… and you might grind coffee in it. It can also better to use this when you have small amounts of ingredients. I usually make my Raw Icings and Coconut Butters in my Small Blender Jug.
Substitutions for a Food Processor or Grinder
If you don’t have either a Food Processor or a Grinder available to you… it is going to be more difficult to make cake bases and energy balls. More difficult… but NOT impossible!
First off, if you have a nutribullet or similar high power blender… it should stand in as both a Base Maker and Smoothie Blender. It would need to be powerful and you may need to stop and mix up the ingredients regularly with your spatula if the mixture sticks out of reach of the blades. The blades tend to be upward facing and so they cannot gather all the nut buttery goodness that sticks to the edges.
Alternatively, you could finely chop the nuts/seeds and dried fruit by hand with a knife… you will need to chop them very finely and even then you may need to add a little coconut oil to help bind and stick the mixture together. It will be more rustic and ‘crunchy’ but sometimes that is REALLY nice.
And finally… you could ‘Cheat’ or be super ingenious with your solution… and buy the ingredients ready prepared using ready ground nuts and dried fruit pastes, like date paste, chopped raisins etc.
Or you could use a sweetener like maple or date syrup but be aware that these are highly processed (so not as healthy), often have additional hidden ingredients (so read the label carefully), and… they are a much wetter and much sweeter ingredient so use a lot, lot less than you would use of the whole dried fruit.
This is the bit of kitchen tech that you will use to make your smoothie cream cake centers, soaked cashew creams and gooey chocolate icings.
Blenders usually have more blade sets, with upward facing central ones… a bit like a flower… a very sharp flower! They are designed to cut up and blend soft fruits and wet ingredients, or ingredients in a liquid mix (like coconut cream). In UK and America, this is the most common Kitchen Tech families have… it’s the device you make your smoothies in.
In India and much of Asia, this is typically one of the large jugs of your home Grinder Set. Typically it’s the jug with the upward facing blades like a lotus flower… but, if you only have flat, low lying blades… ie, you only have Grinder Jugs… choose the Grinder Jug with the most blades and sharpest blades… this will still blend well although you may need to blend for longer than those with an actual blender.
Substitutions for a Blender
First up, obviously as mentioned above… you can just use a grinder and it will work just fine. Sometimes we make our morning smoothies in the grinder, especially if we’re grinding seeds to make a nut buttery base first, then adding the fruit and liquid to turn it into a smoothie.
In theory, a Food Processor will also work… however you will probably find it does not make as smooth a mixture as a Blender would. Food Processors tend to have wider bases and are bigger bowls compared to blender jugs.
And of course, you could do it by hand… this will work better for mixtures with soft fruits you can mash with a fork (like banana) and coconut cream. It is not going to be as smooth but totally doable. We often make avocado chocolate cake this way when the power is out… and they are DELICIOUS, which is the main point! It’s best if you start with the more solid fruit and mash it… then add a little of the liquid/soft ingredients at a time… making a paste that you gradually make thinner and thinner.
Or… you can buy ingredients ready prepared… or buy pre-blended smoothies. I often buy my custard apple ready smoothied from our local juice bar… then I just add coconut cream… and freeze for a quick nice-cream.
If you decide to use a fruit syrup like maple or date… instead of WHOLE DRIED FRUITS then be aware that these are heavily processed and often come with hidden ingredients so read the label carefully. Sometimes they just ‘contain’ maple syrup rather than actually ‘being’ maple syrup! And use less than you would use of the whole dried fruit.