Everybody love parfait

It’s been a busy few weeks.

Lots of cooking, lots of travelling, lots of trial and error. Lots of smoothies, and lots of strange new ingredients that the jury is still out on.

Apparently spirulina in a glass of water is the limit to my healthy-hippyness. Shudder.

Exploring Sydney has resulted in some new favourite haunts, like Dr Earth in Newtown and Nourishing Quarter in Surry Hills. I have tasted the best vegan cheesecake and rosewater flan of my life in the past two weeks, and both were naturally sweetened. Winning.

Finally back into my own kitchen, like coming home. Nothing like a decent cook-sesh to straighten me out.


Berry Crumble.


Kanten (a macrobiotic jelly).


Parfait! Everybody love parfait. (Kanten layered with banana custard and tofu cream).


Sticky-date with caramel sauce.

Three desserts and three sauces later, and I’m trying to figure out why I feel slightly nauseous.

White kumera & pea curry FOOD to balance it out, as found here.

My friends are wonderful cooks, and when they tell me about their dinners I wonder why I am the one posting things online. It is a strange habit, but one that makes me happy.

And we could all do with more of what makes us happy. 🙂

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Recipe for disaster

My cooking tends to parallel my emotional life. I have been reading ‘The Gabriel Method’, about how important it is to not starve yourself of anything, be it the nutrients your body craves or the yearnings of your heart. I move away from myself, and then I return and wonder how I ever left. Sorting through interesting emotions, I tend to find myself creating equally interesting kitchen concoctions. I have been cooking sporadically and with less vigour than usual, with my attention instead on curling my hair and dancing in the sunshine, moving house, getting a job, enrolling in post-grad, completing my travel blog, and publishing a recipe book. And yet from amongst the mess emerged this strange and wonderful creation. For a few days I wasn’t sure exactly what it was I had created, coining it my ‘unintentional flan’ in reflection of its distinctly egg-like texture. While eating the final mouthful of the dish (literally), it hit me like a ten tonne truck. I was tasting a long forgotten but adored treat from my childhood.

Custard Tart.

Prior to my wholefood, balanced life, I used to inhaled this artificially coloured, dairy and sugar laden dessert as if it constituted food. And now I had created my very own. Less pretty, definitely. In an inappropriate base, and not as sweet as I’d like. But edible, and therefore worth sharing.

Custard Tart.

500gram silken tofu
1/4 cup 1/2 C maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut cream
1 tbsp nuttelex
1-2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tsp agar agar
vanilla extract
cinnamon
ginger
nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves

pour runny mix into base. sprinkle over with cinnamon. put in oven at 180 for an hour or so. cross fingers.

Speaking of base: I took an awesome looking recipe, and tailored it to what was in my kitchen. Up to a point it was delicious; however I Do Not Advise following in my pepita and millet-y footsteps. At least not in this instance. Get more pecans in the first place and avoid needing to substitute. The original pecan base recipe can be found here.

Base.
1 cup oats
1 cup 2 cups pecans
cinnamon
vanilla
1 tsp nuttelex
salt
1/4 C 1/2C maple syrup
some leftover buckwheat flour
1/4 cup puffed millet
pepitas
pinch bicarb

Blend. press into greased pan. bake til brown.

In keeping with my general weirdness at the moment, and to compensate for it not being sweet enough, I topped mine with mixed banana and pumpkin. Don’t do that. (Ever. Seriously). Get the pecan base right the first time, or put it in a gluten-free pastry. Add in the extra sweetener, and you’ll be good to go.

The mission for a balanced, informed and wise perspective on wholefoods continues. On how to not diet (The Gabriel Method), On sugar addiction (Potatoes not prozac), On honey here, and for other glorious links (as always) check my Facebook page. Bless. xx

Luscious Carrot Cake

.. That’s right, I’m going to use the word luscious. Because I am so delighted to have finally created a moist, spongey, vegan, gluten-free cake!

Luscious, I tell you.

So without further ado.

First step. Simmer for 5-10 minutes:
3 C Carrots
½ C orange juice
1/2 cup chopped dried fruit
1 tsp. cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg/all spice
4 cloves, crushed
Pinch Celtic sea salt
1/2 cup-ish of water

Take off heat and mix through:
½ C rice malt syrup
1 tsp. bicarb soda
1 tbsp. arrowroot powder & 1 mashed banana
1/2 cup canola oil
(Optional: ½ C walnuts or pecans, toasted)

Fold through 2 C buckwheat flour

Bake for 40-45 minutes at 200 °C, or until bouncy and knife comes out clean.

Frosting. Blend together:
1 tub Kingsland/Tofutti soy cream cheese
1 tbsp. lemon juice
½-¾ C rice/maple syrup
Pinch Celtic sea salt

Refrigerate frosting to thicken, ice once cake is cooled.

Devour.

Here, the juice of two fresh oranges made half a cup, and for dried fruit I used dates. For the frosting plain tofu also works. This amount of lemon results in quite a tangy icing, adjust according. It is also lovely with coconut frosting, like that found here

I used banana as egg-replacer which made a lovely texture but changed the taste slightly. I have also made it with half a banana, a Tbsp of arrowroot powder, and a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds which adds a little texture and crunch.

Plenty of egg alternatives exist here: http://vegweb.com/index.php?PHPSESSID=d65d6b49c858f3c477e5c730419aff1f&topic=7678.0