Traditionally, red velvet takes its colour and some of its sweetness from beet juice. This dessert uses a little whole, raw beet in that tradition. It will take some fine tuning to get the colour just right.
For the red velvet
2-3T cocoa (I use a fairly traded, Dutch-process brand)
1T cold water
1-2T raw beets, finely chopped (or beet juice if you
2 large frozen bananas (about 1 1/2 cups — extra on hand may be helpful)
Maple syrup, agave nectar, or dates to taste
Optional: 1t powdered maca
Note: The beets will sweeten the dish a bit, but if you us the whole beet, you’ll be able to taste it. If you use dates to sweeten further and/or if you use beet juice rather than the whole beet, you’ll get a darker colour. If you don’t like beets, you can always experiment with raspberries or raspberry juice (although it will change the flavour).
For the frosting
1/4 cup scant walnut pieces
1T warm water
1T maple syrup or agave nectar
1/2T – 1T lime juice (to taste)
1/2 – 1T sweet white miso (to taste)
Optional: Use 2T cashew butter for an easier to mix, off-white and more neutral tasting version. Add 1/2T coconut oil or plant-only margarine for a a richer texture.
Puree the walnuts, lime juice and cold water until
smooth. Add the sweetener and the miso and stir to combine. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water 1/2t at a time; if too thin, add more walnuts and blend. Note that it will thicken a bit further as it sits. Set aside and make the red velvet.
Mix the cocoa and the water until thoroughly combined. Add the beets and puree smooth. Set aside for a minute for the chocolate to darken. Add the chocolate mixture to the bananas (and the maca if you’ll be using it) and puree smooth. Let it stand a minute.
If the result is not red enough, add additional beet. If it’s not dark enough, add additional cocoa. It’s likely you’ll use the full amounts noted, but start sparingly. It’s more difficult to lighten the dish’s colour (although if you have extra frozen banana on hand, you can do so).
Once you have the colour, sweeten to taste, spoon out, and garnish with the frosting. Add 1T frosting to the red velvet and stir for a marbled effect if you like.