I'm not the Master Cake Decorator that my Mom is. More skillful hands could have made this cake prettier. But I made my own happiness with this cake, and it would have taken a good deal to improve on that.
I discovered this Chocolate Raspberry Fudge Ganache Cake in Ani's Raw Food Desserts book by Ani Phyo. The cake is made of a short list of simple ingredients, and is raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and has no refined sugar (just dates and agave). But most important, it is amazingly rich and delicious. After I made one, I eagerly waited 6 months till my birthday to make another.
In a (wal)nut shell, here's what I made mine with: cake: walnuts, Medjool dates, good-quality cocoa, kosher salt; frosting: dates, agave nectar, avocado, cocoa filling: frozen thawed raspberries (though I would have preferred fresh, these worked fine). Process, mash and mold, frost, and you're done. Cool (literally)!
The cake is small by birthday-cake standards, but this one packs a wallop (a good wallop). It reminds us of cakey delights found in tiny cafés around Manhattan for anywhere from $4 to $7 a slice. In fact, it is so rich I had to bring half of it to work so it would be eaten while still fresh—it's for savoring not gobbling. Reactions varied at the office; from the not-so-adventurous who couldn't get the idea of the avocado in frosting out of their mind, to "not bad", to those who, like myself, really enjoyed it (and kept coming back for more). So I can't say it's for everyone (and what is, really?), but for me it was tops!