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Wednesday
Jul082009

In The Raw: Decadent Raw Chocolate Fudge Brownies at Chaco Canyon

Raw Brownie from Chaco Canyon Cafe, Seattle
Usually when one thinks of raw foods the images conjured up are very crunchy-granola health foodie sorts of foods, but clearly most people have not been properly introduced to the raw chocolate brownie at Chaco Canyon Cafe.

This is a serious brownie in several ways. Starting with the price--weighing in at $4.95 plus tax, it's a lot of investment for a relatively small amount of brownie. It's noticeably more expensive than their vegan (baked) brownie at $2.25. (Ten points if you can shed some light on that.)

Luckily, you've got Cake Gumshoes who will taste-test for you in the name of research; and so recently the $5.20 or so was forked over in order to sample this uncooked treat.

Now, not to get overly dramatic about it, but this brownie is worth every penny. I'd go so far as to say this may be one of the more perfect desserts I've tried in recent memory. Honestly. And I'm not alone: turns out CakeSpy buddy Tea (who is like, a famous food writer) is also a fan.
Delicious

The name "brownie" is a misnomer, really. It's really more of a bar cookie, comprised of three distinct layers: a hazelnut-date crust topped with raw cacao and coconut and topped with a generous smattering of hazelnuts. And oh, what joy lies within those three layers. The raw cacao and coconut oil layer is one of the most decadent, melt-in-your mouth fillings I have ever tasted--so creamy, so rich and chocolatey--and yet, somehow, not too sweet. It finds the perfect complement in the tightly packed, nutty crust, which has a perfect amount of salt added (and this can never be underestimated), which really rounds out the sweetness in a most tantalizing way. The added crunch of hazelnuts on top is a nice touch and gives a really pleasing texture contrast to all that creaminess in the middle layer.

This brownie is an absolute delight. It absolutely defies any preconceived notions about vaguely healthy-tasting and ultimately unsatisfying raw desserts: it's one of those truly decadent sweets that makes you want to take a nap afterward. And if you do, you'll pretty much be guaranteed sweet dreams.

Raw Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chaco Canyon Cafe, 4757 12th Avenue NE, Seattle; online at chacocanyoncafe.com.

CakeSpy Note: Looking for a recipe? In looking around online, I found this one which uses walnuts but otherwise seems comparable.

Reader Comments (15)

Isn't it good? Dreamy good.
I'm guessing the price difference is the fact that flour is a heck of a lot cheaper than cacao and whatever else they put into the raw brownie. It's magical chocolate!

July 8 | Unregistered CommenterTea

How I wish I could have one of these.

Now, who would ever say, "I'd like mine cooked, please?" It's too hot to bake anyway.

oh, I would pay good money to have this right about now. too bad Seattle is so far away!
I would have to assume to the price difference is in all those ingredients and labor...dates, hazelnuts, raw cacoa... and then two layers.
sounds worth it.

They look incredible. Yeah, vegan baking is definately cheaper than raw "un"baking. I do a lot of both. For the vegan stuff, you don't even need eggs or butter- just flour, regular cocoa, sometimes applesauce, or ground flaxseeds, and oil. With the raw stuff, the killers are the cacao, the extra virgin coconut oil, agave nectar, and the raw nuts. And if you're making them really well, using truly raw ingredients, like vanilla bean seeds, etc., it's hard to give them any sort of comparable (to vegan) price, and still make money.

But more often than not, the stuff is worth. every. penny.

July 8 | Unregistered CommenterChristaface

I have yet to find such smooth, tempting raw fudge- It's usually really coarse, and you can definitely tell it's made of dates and nuts, not chocolate. I would give this one a chance, though!

July 8 | Unregistered CommenterHannah

I wish each and every one of you (except for Tea, who has already tried it!) could try one. They are the definition of decadence--and Hannah, like you, I feel as if so many of them have a grainy or coarse texture, but these are smooth as silk. Oh, they're good. Might need to return to the scene of the crime for (yet) another in a few days!

July 8 | Unregistered CommenterCakespy

Hey, to shed a little light on why raw items such as that lovely brownie are so expensive, it's that the raw cacao is so expensive. Raw nuts are often more expensive too, as well as the syrups used to bind the crust, etc. Most brownies are largely made of flour and eggs, but this essentially just uses the best ingredients.

Another thing to note, is that raw foods pack a lot of nutritional punch. The cacao powder used in the brownie is raw, therefore being considered one of the great superfoods of the world! There are a lot of good things about that brownie, and it's something one should not feel guilty about eating.

Tres delicieux!

July 9 | Unregistered CommenterAlice

I tried a few vegan brownie recipes, including a http://jennybakes.blogspot.com/2009/06/great-vegan-brownie-experiment.html" rel="nofollow">raw version with avocado in the icing. People either loved or hated it, but I like the looks of the texture of the one you're showing here.

My issue with raw dessert is that they are often higher in fat than a baked vegan version would be, since so many ingredients that are used for texture are full of fat. Yes, it is natural fat, but fat just the same - coconut oil, avocado, nut creams and butters - I'm not sure that it is worth it to me, but it is still fun to experiment.

July 9 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

Wow!! This looks really decadent!! Delish!

July 9 | Unregistered CommenterTalita

This looks sooooo good!!!

July 9 | Unregistered Commenternutmegnanny

Oh, my. I'd pay $4.95 just for the privilege of gazing at that delightful creature!

Yum! Please ship directly to my house. Do not pass go.

Raw desserts are FAR more expensive to make, coconut oil & nuts add up quick! This looks SO good!

i hope you don't mind i used a picture of this on my blog.

February 15 | Unregistered Commenterbitt
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