Sunday, December 28, 2008

More From The Sunny Raw Kitchen

I've recently taken yet ANOTHER trip out to BC to visit my dearest Carmi in her Sunny Raw Kitchen. This time, things were more relaxed than our previous visits, as we weren't testing recipes for my Just Desserts ebook - as a matter of fact, we released the book on the day of my arrival - quite suiting, considering Carmi has spent sooo much time working on this project.
Our only kitchen goal was to try recipes from Sweet Gratitude, and Chef Russell's new Christmas ebook, in addition to experimenting with irish moss.

On the day of my arrival, I was treated to this amazing Persimmon Orange Cheesecake (same one from my previous post), AND tiramisu - both from Sweet Gratitude. Mmm-Mmmm good! What a treat considering persimmons are hard to find in my area.

As usual, Carmi and I were working on this post at the same time, and since her's made it into the world faster than mine, here's just a quick recap of the other desserts we made during our visit:

Sweet Gratitude's Turtle Pecan Cheesecake - A dark chocolate crust and a thick marbling of vanilla and chocolate cheesecake, topped with caramel, cacao nibs, and pecans. Decadent or what?!?!?!
Thumbs up for this one, and it was fun playing with the marbling effect, although I'll need a bit of practice.

Yet another from Sweet Gratitude, we turned the raspberry version into a Mixed Berry Tart. This light dessert combines a nut crust, lime cream, and berries, glazed in an irish moss/apple juice mixture. It reminded us of the traditional French fruit tarts - I never liked those, but I sure loved this!

Enjoying ourselves in the kitchie, side by side. As you can see, we're making the turtle cheesecake here :D

Gratitude's Orange Chai Cake is really unique. The cake has an amazing flavour, while we found that the orange cream was lacking in the orange department. Some zest would probably help. I think the cake itself would work well layered with a chocolate cream too!

We made delicious "build your own" ice cream sundae's one day with brownies from Matthew Kenney's new book Everyday Raw, along with our own vanilla ice cream, topped with bananas, and my chocolate/caramel sauces.

One of Carmi's very amazing may remember her post on this Chocolate Charlotte, which happens to be a collaboration of our recipes. The lady fingers came from our first visit when we made coconut lime cookies out of mature coconut pulp. It created the lightest, crunchiest cookie ever. Carmi took that idea a step forward, omitting the lime and turning them into basic lady fingers, filled with my chocolate creme and her whipped cream. We decorated it with roughly broken pieces of the chocolate chunks (Matthew Kenny's recipe which we had used in his cherry chip ice cream), and drizzled each slice with my chocolate sauce. Doesn't it look like a crown? LOL

We also participated in RFC's project raw: Carmi's Chocolate Orange Cake. Yay! I finally got to try it! So smooth and creamy, with a great goji berry/coconut topping.

We tested this Peanut Butter Chocolate Caramel Tart for my next book. I'm a bit surprised at how much the guys (Pontifex and my hunny, Darwin) liked this!

We enjoyed a lot of delicious smoothies during the visit, but this new creation particularly stood out. As I experimented one morning, Carmi exclaimed that it tasted just like butterscotch!
Butterscotch Shake
Serves 2 or 3
3 med. frozen bananas
2 cups almond milk
1/3 cup young coconut meat
2 Medjhool dates
1 tbs lucuma
1 tsp maca
1 tsp vanilla powder (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)
1/2 cup coconut water, regular water or almond milk
Blend in high-speed blender until smooth.
Carmella's Note: If the shake is too thick, simply add a little water until desired consistency is reached.

...And we took plenty of breaks during our kitchen time, to dance to 80s tunes and have fun!

Just to add a little something savoury into the mix of sweetness, here are Russell's vegetable samosas with cucumer raita that we made one day. The wraps are great, but the filling had waaay too much garam masala for our liking. We think that perhaps we had a super strong one, as there are many types and strengths. So heads up if you're thinking of making these...start with less masala!

Till the next visit....

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas To All

As usual, I'm a little behind. The Christmas holidays are always a busy time, but December 25th crept up a bit faster than usual this year due to being on yet another getaway to visit Carmi during the first half of the month. I do plan on sharing our latest kitchen escapades, but for now, here's a quickie about the dinner I enjoyed on Christmas day. It's typical turkey dinner for my family and friends - not for me though! I got to work a day ahead preparing Russell's infamous mushroom spinach quiche which dehydrated for a full 24 hours (and could still have used more time, as I made 1 large and 2 small ones). I first made the recipe around this time last year, and while it takes some time, its definately worth it. If you haven't already, I urge you to give it a try!

I've never liked fruit cake...until I made in raw style! It's Snowdrop's most amazing fruit cake recipe that I first made this time last year. I'm happy to say that its now on my "must make every Christmas" list. Last year I made 1 large cake, while this year I opted for 3 small cakes, topped with whipped cream and nuts or raisins.

Soak 1 hr:
¾ c dates (packed)
½ lemon juiced
½ orange juiced
2 t almond extract
pinch sea salt
grind, sift, & set aside in bowl:
1 c almonds
1 c dry coconut shreds
½ c cashews

fruit filling
1combine in any ratio to equal ¾ cup totalyour choice of the following dry fruits:
raisins, cherries apricots, pineapple, cranberry, currantsin similar size cuts
soak 1 hr in ¼ c of fruit juice of your choice (or brandy, rum…)in the dehydrator 1 hr

fruit filling 2
1” fresh ginger root sliced & slivered
1 T lemon zest
1 T orange zest
2 T agave
put in bowl in dehydrator 1 hr

Candied Nuts
1/3 c walnut halves
1/3 c pecan halves
2 T maple syrup
½ t cinnamon
pinch sea salt
toss in small bowl put on telflex sheet in dehydrator for 1 hr

Lets put it together!
Cake: After the hour of soaking, take the ginger bowl & just drain the juices into the dates (set ginger citrus zest aside)…take the date mixture and blend into a smooth puree.Pour into the ground nut mixture and stir lightly till combined. Set cake batter aside.
Fruit & Nuts: drain the fruit and put onto cake ‘batter’, also add the ginger citrus zest, …set aside the nicest dozen pecan halves for the garnish and break up the rest of the nuts into the cake batter into small enough pieces. (Remember, if the nut pieces are too big… the knife will have trouble slicing the cake neatly… ask me how I know…)
Cake: stir the additions lightly till combined then press into your 5-6” cake mold. (Use plastic wrap lining to make sure you can get it back out again.) Plate your cake and decorate.

One more dessert topped off the feast - Persimmon Orange Cheesecake, from the new Cafe Grattitude Book. I had this at Carmi's a few weeks ago, and fell in love with the light flavour and "outta this world" creamy texture. Fortunately I got my hands on some gorgeously large, ripe persimmons. Yay! What a treat!

Hope you enjoyed your Christmas, and have fun ringing in the New Year! :D Cheers!

Monday, December 1, 2008

My Just Desserts Ebook Now Available!

I am extremely thrilled to announce the release of my first raw desserts ebook, "Just Desserts: Nutritious, Delicious Raw Delights".

'Just Desserts' has something for everyone; from simple and basic treats that can be whipped up in no time to more elaborate desserts that are sure to impress both you and your guests.

If you're new to raw foods or have been feeling too intimidated to tackle raw desserts, not a problem! I will walk you step by step through the process, and give you helpful and ingenious tips so that you, too, can create beautifully decadent raw desserts with minimal fuss.

In a nutshell, here's what you will find in Just Desserts:
  • A list of ingredients and equipment frequently used in raw dessert making
  • A detailed table of contents for easy navigation
  • Helpful hints and tips
  • Gorgeous mouth-watering photos for nearly every recipe
  • A text-only version for easy printing

Whether you're looking for nutritious snacks to take along to work, visually stunning raw desserts for entertaining, or recipe ideas to satisfy your sweet cravings in the healthiest possible way, "Just Desserts" has it all... and more!

How about a visual teaser of what my raw dessert ebook has in store for you:

Vanilla Cake with Pink Frosting

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Maple Ginger Ice Cream

Chocolate Hemp Ravioli

Strawberry Lime Mousse Cake

Peppermint Chocolate Squares

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Lemon Raspberry Tarte

Chocolate Orange Cake

Double Strawberry Macadamia Nut Ice Cream

Super Granola Bars

This incredible recipe collection features 15 basic raw dessert recipes that provide a good foundation for creating delicious desserts, as well as 32 of my most scrumptious sweet creations, including:

Best Chocolate Sauce
Marble Cheesecake
Mango Cake with Lime Cream
Quick N Easy Moist Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake
Double Chocolate Maca Cake
Beautiful Chocolate Berry Pie
Caramel Macadamia Pie
Maple Pear Tarts
Chocolate Coconut Tarte
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
Double Chocolate Energy Bar
Raspberry Ice Cream
Peppermint Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
Cardamom Vanilla Ice Cream
Pomegranate Cranberry Ice Cream
Chocolate Lucanilla Ice Cream
Fruit N Chocolate Parfait
Fruit Spring Rolls
Banana Phyllo Triangles
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Dessert Sushi

Wow your family and friends this coming Holiday season with nutritious, delicious raw dessert delights!

"Just Desserts" is available for download now:

Purchase the Just Desserts ebook and download today:
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