Archives for category: raw dessert

IMG_0124

So many years prognosticating
The what ifs of this year.
Look, no comet, no alien landing.
Time ticks slowly on.
But are we off the hook, or on it?
No saviour, no reaper.
The drip, drip
Of a leaky tap;
Small things left undone,
making up life,
creating us,
lest we create
ourselves. 

Make a wish,
Blow a kiss,
Your penny in the hat,
Your hat in the ring,
Your seeds, your art, your love –
Make it:
For the beauty
For the horror
For all our relations.


26,000 year anniversary cake

shazza cake arial

Fresh Persimons in Cardamon Creme on a
Walnut, Cranberry & Sour Cherry Crunch

Sharon fruit in Israel, Kaki fruit in Japan (柿), Putchamin in the Algonquian tongue of the eastern USA (from which the word Persimmon derives). The Greeks called it wheat of Zeus and a Godly fruit it is: like an orangy juicy cosmic date..

There are two main kinds available: astringent and non astringent. The astringent variety has to be really ripe before you can eat it, almost gushing inside it’s skin. The others you can eat when still a bit firm. The only way is to try one when you get it home. You’ll know if you’ve got it too early; the result in a dry mouth experience to rival snogging a slug.

3 Persimmon fruits
1 cup walnuts, soaked and dehydrated, (or just a bit toasted). sharonfruits
1/3 cup dried cranberries &/or dried sour cherries, soaked
Generous pinch of salt

1 cup cashew nuts, soaked
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons lemon juiceshazza gat base 2
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/3 cup water

shazzy gat base picFirst make the base. Soak the dried fruits in just enough water to cover them. If you’ve left it too late, use hot water, give them half an hour. Pulse them (with their soak water) with the walnuts and the salt in a food processor ’til they’re bitty but still a bit chunky.  Press the mix into the bottom of a 9inch(ish) dish.shazza cake close up

Now make the cream. Drain the cashew nuts and blend them with the rest of the ingredients, adding half the water at first, more if required to get it to a thick but pourable cream. Pour into the base leaving a bit of room for the level to rise when you push in the fruit slices.

Cut the Perimons into thin wedges, then cut each wedge in half making little pointy turrets. Starting from the centre arrange the points in circles or a spiral until you’ve filled the whole top. Put in the fridge for at least 5 hours to set, or the cream will be very oozey..

For an extra crunchy Mayan finish, sprinkle with cacao nibs before serving.

DSC_0189

Adios amigos. So long 2012. See you next ‘year’. Every blessing of the rising sun to one and all.

Advertisements

'I do'.

Layers of vanilla cream, chocolate mousse, dark chocolate hazelnut crumble and fresh cherries marinated in a compote of Schnapps and summer berries, wrapped in a basket of pure raw chocolate.

I’m not showing off, that’s just what it was made of… no dairy, no sugar, just fruit, nuts and faery dust, and a splash of maple syrup.
Twice that evening people came up to me, breathless, wild-eyed, stammering “that was the best cake I’ve ever eaten…”. One woman actually grabbed my arm as she confessed it… I allowed a warm pride to come over me, all the while a little unsure; is it safe, is it responsible, to make cakes like this?

To sing of love
With these hands.
To serve up joy
on a wedding plate.
The prize of work
and art meeting.

We didn’t get to eat any that night. By the time we saw that blade break open the chocolate castellations I was rushing so hard on cacao and fruit sugars soaked up through my skin, that I was trembling like a field mouse on a teensy trapeze, gibbering broken sentences faster than my tongue could make them.

layer: lovesong: layer: lovesong: layer..

We don’t have any pictures from after it was cut to show you the glorious love-banner of its colours, but we got one during the making. It took two days; pour a layer, set in fridge; sing a lovesong; pour another; set… this is what it looked like before we enclosed it in the chocolate basket, and then covered it with the rest of the fruit.

It would be crude to give you the whole recipe here and strip off all her lovely secrets – and anyway, imagine: cake preparation time: 2 days..

Find below however, the recipe for the chocolate mousse layer which stands alone magnificently. Preparation time; about 10 minutes.

40g coconut butter
30g cacao butter
15g mesquite powder
30g cacao powder
1½ cups brazil nut milk
¾ tsp vanilla
1/3 tsp salt
½ cup date paste or 1/4 cup maple syrup

Melt the coconut and cacao butters in a bain marie, then whizz all the ingredients together in a blender.

Pour into individual small glasses or a nice bowl and leave it to set in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight (a couple of hours in the freezer works ok, but not quite as moussey..).

Garnish with red currants or crumbled brazil nuts with a pinch of salt and a touch of lime zest.

So farewell, long summer of ’11. Love rituals, baby blessings, the harvesting of springtime dreamings. This week here on the west coast of Wales it’s shining one last blast of summer, while a winter wind knocks harder, ever harder at the gate..

(Oh go on then, one more time… take a bow madame…)

p.s. we’ve written an article about raw foods in the wintry months for the lovely Inspired Times magazine available at selected newsies and online at: www.inspiredtimesmagazine.com.

“So Odin and his brothers set a ring around the planet out of which grew the magic tree Yggdrasil, which, by spreading it’s branches over the world held it safe for the coming man. Thus the Sybil’s vision says:

I know a tree called Yggdrasil,
tall tree and sacred,
sprinkled with white clay,
thence come the dews,
that fall in the dales;
it stands ever green,
over Destiny’s spring.” *


Tis the height of summer, flowers everywhere droop their sexy coloured parts and the air is thick with seed. The faery King and Queen have passed beneath the Elder tree (as they do each mid-summer’s eve).

Among the ever varied fruits in Odin’s branches, the Elder tree is most highly prized by herbalists – so it’s been for aeons. All of its parts have medicinal properties and there is folklore galore about its lucky, protective boons.

In this thorny paradox, our current ‘elders’ are making new Euro-lores to curb this kind of unlicensed quackery.

It’s a myth, they say.
But isn’t it still ‘true’…
Who to trust: the Elders or the elders…?

It’s all very confusing. Lets make a cake.

How about a sweet, moist, low glycemic index cake infused with the scent of Elderflowers.. Make merry now, they’ll soon be gone.

Base

2 cups almonds, soaked 8 hours
1 cup of soft dates or 1 cup dry dates, soaked 6 hours (save the soak water for a smoothie)
1 tbs mesquite powder

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse lightly so that you have a chunky nut date mix. Roughly spread out the mix onto the bottom of your cake dish – a flat bottomed bowl will work best.

Carrotty middle mix

2 cups of shredded carrot (about 3 big carrots)
Juice of 2 oranges (about 3/4 cup)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbs melted coconut oil
1 tbs maple syrup (optional)

Marinate the carrot in the orange juice and spices for half an hour then blend the mix in a food processor and add in the coconut oil. This is quiet a wet mix. if you want a more traditional doughy cake try adding 1/2 – 1 cup of ground oat groats. You may need a pinch of salt and another tbs of maple syrup if you do this.

Spread the carrot mix over the base mix. The idea is that the layers will combine rather than be completely distinct from one another.

The icing

1 cup cashews, soaked
5 tbs melted coconut oil
1 cup elderflower water (see below)
3 tbs lemon juice
3 tbs maple syrup
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest

First make elderflower water. I used 6 heads of fresh flowers in 2 cups of fresh water and let them infuse for about 8 hours (best in the sun).

Blend it all up in the blender til it’s a silky smooth, liquid cream. Pour it on the cake and leave it to set in the fridge (3 – 4 hours).

We’ve also got a recipe for Elderflower Gooseberry fool in the summer edition of Inspired Times magazine. See http://www.inspiredtimesmagazine.com for stockists.

* Text from the extraordinarilybrilliant ‘Forest Farming’ by J.Sholto Douglas & Robert A de J Hart, poem from the ancient Norse Sagas.

Our dear furry friends,
not wanting to leave you too long without inspiration, here is a recipe from the famous Charlotte Mabon cake library we would like to share with you.

It happened one afternoon before a birthday celebration for which we had promised a Berry-Nice-Cheesecake.

Horror and spite! the little elves cried. Vital red, black and blue fruity berry ingredients were missing and worse still, the essential spring-form cake tin was nowhere to be seen…

Before we burned our frocks and threw ourselves in the river, we scratched our heads and ruffled our brows and came up with something new, and it worked out rather spectacularly.

Get ready for
Sticky-bottom chocolate and orange cheesecake surprise!

Base

1 cup almonds

¼ cup dates

¼ cup desiccated coconut

1 tbs oat milk, nut milk or just water (to make oat or nut milk, blend 1/4 cup soaked oat groats/ nuts with 1 cup water and strain )

1 tbs maple syrup or other liquid sweetener of choice

¼ tsp salt

Grind the nuts til you have a breadcrumb like mix ingredients in a food processor. Add the coconut and dates. Blend some more then add the maple syrup and water. We had to make a base that would stand up on its own so adding the liquid ingredients made it sticky and pliable so you can easily sculpt the base sides.

Orange Cream

1 cup orange juice

¾ cup cashew nuts

2 tbs coconut oil

6 soft dates

¼ tsp salt

Combine in a blender til you have a silky cream. We were planning to leave it there as an orange cheese cake but it felt a bit one-dimensional. Enter the chocolate cream… Heavens!

Chocolate cream

½ cup cashews

1 ½ tbs coconut oil

1 cup oat milk / nut milk

3 dates

½ tsp vanilla

2 tbs cacao butter

¼ cup ground cacao beans (or cacao powder)

1 tbs cocoa powder

1 tbs maple syrup

Combine in a blender as you did the orange cream.

To marble the cake, pour the two creams in alternating stripes into your sculpted base. With a chopstick, draw lines across the cake at right angles to the stripes. When you’ve got it looking good STOP! To much messing and you’ll end up with a yellow-brown sludge – remember primary school art class…?

It’s a delicately light yet deliciously rich combination and the sharp refreshing bite of the thick orange wedges on top balances the whole affair resulting in a crowd-melting chocgazmatronic hero of a cake. Looks alright too…

Chok on little elves.. til the next time.