I know, I know, that’s a terrible title, but what else could I call it? It has a raw nut-and-fruit crust, heavy on the pistachios and the apricots, it has a vegan chocolate mousse filling, with more apricot jam to give it a bit of a lift, and the whole thing is rich, rich rich.
But (mostly) good for you!
I mean, think about it – the nuts and dried fruit are full of protein and vitamins and iron. The bitter, dark chocolate is full of anti-oxidants and happiness. The tofu has more protein and is undoubtedly healthy in other ways that I’ve forgotten. It’s practically a tonic! You should eat it for breakfast!
OK, maybe that’s taking it too far, but I am ridiculously proud of this tart. You see, it was my turn to bring cake to our monthly admin meeting this week, and, as you might possibly have intuited, it has been fiendishly hot around here. I really couldn’t face baking anything, but I couldn’t do something sensible like cheesecake, because my admin group also includes a couple of people who can’t eat lactose or gluten. At this point, a sane person would have given up and gone and bought something for the meeting, but, as we have previously established, I’m not a sane person, at least when it comes to food.
So I crossed a chocolate mousse recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World with a whole lot of different raw truffle and raw cheesecake recipes from people like Hannah at Wayfaring Chocolate and Kiri at Bite Sized Thoughts, and came up with this – a decadent dessert that takes less than an hour to make. It may be more like half an hour if one is organised and not wandering around the kitchen foraging for likely ingredients.
Incidentally, it tastes amazing…
Your shopping list:
1/2 cup cashews
1 cup pistachios (plus a handful more to garnish)
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seed meal, or ground pistachios, or almond meal
1 cup fresh dates, pits removed
1/2 cup dried apricots (plus a handful more to garnish)
20 ml maple syrup, plus 60 ml for the filling
750 g tofu (a firm one with a fairly silky texture would be good here)
125 ml orange juice
60 ml apricot jam
5 ml orange flower water
650 g dark, dark chocolate, oh yeah.
Posted in dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, pastry, raw, Recipes, vegan, vegetarian
Tagged apricots, cashews, chocolate, dairy-free, dates, egg-free, gluten-free, pistachios, raw, tofu, vegan, vegetarian, walnuts
I’m on leave at the moment, and also engaged in a terrifying cookbook cull, which is causing me to madly read as many cookbooks as possible in order to feel less guilty about my terrible cookbook habit (it has, at least, reduced from the 3-book-a-week habit I had in the late 90s, but it’s still pretty severe, not least because I’ve graduated from little tiny Women’s Weekly cookbooks to more expensive and exotic tomes.
One of these is The Arab Table, by May Bsisu. It’s a book that fascinates me and also fills me with fear – every single recipe seems to go for pages and is *unspeakably* complicated. The idea of cooking a full meal from this book is terrifying. (The recipes are all very traditional, and, to be fair, their length is largely due to Bsisu’s conscientious descriptions of exactly how to do things.)
Posted in baking, egg-free, Ingredients, Middle-Eastern, pastry, Recipes, vegetarian
Tagged biscuits pastries and slices, butter, egg-free, Ingredients, kadaifi, kataifi, kunafa, orange flower water, rosewater, sweet cheese, vegetarian
This recipe is adapted from a Claudia Roden recipe (which I think turns up in different forms in several of her books). It’s fairly heavily adapted, actually. For one thing, my version is vegan, though yours doesn’t have to be. For another thing, she claims that this amount serves 30 – 40 people, but I’ve fed this cake to hungry scientists and believe me, 30 people barely got through half of it, largely because it is very rich. I usually halve the recipe and still wind up taking the recipe to work.
This cake isn’t as tricky as it looks, but I’m warning you now that the central section *is* tricky – your filo sausages will not want to coil tightly around themselves without breaking. Fortunately, once you get past the middle few coils, the outer ones help to hold them in place, and the cinnamon and icing sugar will cover all the breaks anyway…
Your Shopping List
1.5 kg ground almonds (I find this works well with half almond meal, half whole almonds processed into coarse crumbs)
1 kg caster sugar (this tells you all you need to know about the glycemic index of this recipe)
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
150 ml rosewater
100 ml orange blossom water
500 g filo pastry (refrigerated, not frozen. This would be a nightmare with de-frosted frozen pastry)
olive oil spray
(optional: 2 egg yolks for glazing, but since I never remember this, I can promise you it works without)
icing sugar and extra cinnamon for decoration
Posted in dairy-free, desserts, egg-free, pastry, Recipes, vegan, vegetarian
Tagged almonds, biscuits pastries and slices, cinnamon, dairy-free, egg-free, filo pastry, orange flower water, recipes, rosewater, vegan, vegetarian
I promise there will be a Timon post in the next day or two, but I’m still rather bushed from the last few weeks, and photo posts always take me hours, so you will just have to make do with a recipe for the time being (not an actual recipe for ‘the time being’, though. I’m not sure what that tastes like, and I haven’t written the recipe for it at any rate). Oh, how you suffer!
Don’t be intimidated by this recipe. It’s time-consuming and a little fiddly, certainly, but if you take it slowly it’s actually very easy. And it’s delicious and keeps for days, so it’s worth making the time to make it.
Two tips for filo pastry without tears (of either kind, in fact): first, never buy the frozen version – defrosted frozen filo pastry is unbelievably fragile and will fall apart if you so much as look at it cross-eyed (and after ten or so layers, you will definitely be cross-eyed). Seriously, I’ve given up buying the stuff because it always makes me cry – if it’s a choice between frozen filo pastry and cooking something different for dessert, I will cook the something different every time. Get the stuff from the fridge section. Trust me on this.
Tip two is that olive oil spray is inauthentic but awesome – I don’t, in fact, use it in this particular recipe, but there is nothing to stop you doing so, and I’d certainly use it for this if I were in a hurry or feeling generally impatient. I do use it for a lot of other things. It’s awesome for so many reasons I can hardly count them. For one thing, spraying a layer of olive oil onto filo pastry is much, much faster than brushing it with butter, and lowers your chance of tearing the pastry significantly. For another thing, it’s a bit lower in fat (you use much less of it), and of course it’s also vegan. Olive oil-brushed filo is a bit crispier than the buttery kind, and you might even find you prefer its lighter flavour.
This recipe is lightly adapted from one in Tessa Kiros’s book Food From Many Greek Kitchens. Pretty much my entire feast yesterday came from this book, and it was all lovely, so I can heartily recommend it.
What are you waiting for?
Your shopping list
360 g white sugar
2 tbsp honey
strip of lemon peel
juice of half a lemon
2-3 cinnamon sticks
150 g almonds
150 g pistachios
2 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
22 sheets filo pastry (1 packet should do it)
150 g butter, melted (or your trusty olive oil spray!)
30-50 whole cloves
Posted in baking, dairy-free, egg-free, Middle-Eastern, pastry, vegan, vegetarian
Tagged almonds, biscuits pastries and slices, cinnamon, cloves, dairy-free, egg-free, filo pastry, pistachios, recipes, vegan, vegetarian