March is approaching – and it’s one of my favorite times in Japan!
Not only because it means that the winter has almost come to an end, and the cherry blossom is closer than ever, but especially because it means that it will be Hina Matsuri soon!
Hina Matsuri, which is celebrated on the 3rd of March, is a beautiful time of the year. It’s also called “The Peach Festival” because it’s the time that peaches are in full bloom. The most prominent feature of this holiday are the amazing Hina dolls, which I told you all about in this post. These dolls are just pieces of art!
But today I want to talk about something else regarding Hina Matsuri, which is no less important: the food!
In the Hina Matsuri celebrations, it’s common to eat bite-sized colorful crackers, called hina-arare. It’s also common to decorate your house with a three-layer mochi (rice flour cake), called hishi-mochi, before eating them. The colors of the hishi-mochi are pink, white, and green. Pink represents the peach blossom, white is for purity and snow, and green is for the fresh grass that comes around this holiday.
This year I thought I would take some inspiration from the hishi-mochi colors and make something I absolutely love: a three-layer raw cake!
This recipe is based on my Matcha-cupcake recipe, so if you liked them, you’re going to love this!
Prep time: 3 hours (with 30-40 minute breaks in between)
Total time: 4 hours
Serving: 1 cake in a 15cm ring
Does it keep?: Around 4 days in the refrigerator. Up to 1 month in the freezer.
- 1 cup pitted dates
- ¾ cup raw almonds
- a pinch of salt
- 2 cups raw cashews (soaked in water for 4 hours)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp agave/maple syrup
- 3 tsp coconut oil (can do without – see note*)
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- 1 tsp matcha powder
- 200g fresh strawberries (around 10)
- 50g melted vegan chocolate
- Coconut shreds
- Cacao nibs
- Fresh strawberries
- Put the dates, almonds, and salt in a food processor. Process until the mixture has a sticky texture. You should be able to form a small ball with your hands.
- Transfer to the 15cm cake ring and press to make sure it’s flat and tight. Chill for 10 minutes.
- After thoroughly cleaning the food processor, add the cashews, vanilla extract, agave/maple, coconut oil (if you choose to add), and vegan milk. Process until a smooth cream is formed.
- Remove 2/3 of the cream to a bowl. Add the matcha powder to the 1/3 that’s left in the food processor and blend together.
- Place the matcha cream on the base and freeze for 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, put the remaining cream in the fridge.
- When the matcha layer is solid, add half of the white cream on top and freeze for another 30-40 minutes.
- Put the last of the cream in the food processor and add the strawberries (don’t forget to save some for decoration!). Process until smooth.
- When the white layer is solid, add the strawberry layer and freeze for 1 hour.
- When all three layers are solid you can safely decorate with melted chocolate, and add the coconut shreds, cacao nibs, and strawberries on top.
*Coconut oil will make the cake more solid, but you can do without it. I personally chose to avoid it in this cake because it has a very strong taste. If you don’t use it, make sure to put the cake in the fridge immediately after each serving.