Thursday, August 6, 2009

Summer Sweets

August is one of the best months of the year, in my eyes. The freezer is full of freshly picked strawberries from a nearby farm, the raspberries in my yard have finally started coming out this week (they're behind this year due to all the chilly/rainy weather), and the wild blueberries should be ready for picking within a few weeks. The sugar snap peas are coming along nicely, the carrots are looking plentiful, the herbs are flourishing, the arugula and lettuce look great, and the zucchini are starting to produce. Talk about abundance!



Amidst working at the camp, lately I've been whipping up a lot of yummy treats in my kitchen. I'm doing a rather large catering job for a wedding in 9 days, consisting of 225 mini raw cakes in 11 flavours, many truffles, nori rolls and stuffed mushrooms. Naturally it's the perfect opportunity to make extra to enjoy, especially with all the summer guests. My all time favourite, strawberry lime mousse cake is on the list, of course, and I found the perfect way to use up a bit of the filling in the bottom of the vita mix! I added a bit of water, ice, more lime juice, a few more berries, and a dash of agave for a super strawberry/limeade.

Mmm, frosty, tangy and slightly sweet - perfect on a hot day.


I used leftover lemon cheesecake filling with strawberry lime mousse filling to create these refreshing, light cakes, garnished with fresh raspberries.

This mint chocolate tart was inspired by all the mint in my garden (chocolate mint to be exact) - much similar to the peppermint chocolate squares in my Just Desserts ebook.
This is another of the cake flavours for the wedding. So deliciously minty and fresh!







Mint Chocolate Cheesecake Tart

Crust:
1 cup almonds, ground

3/4 cup pitted, packed dates
1/4 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a food processor, mix ingredients into a moist dough that presses together easily. Add 1-2 teaspoons water if needed.
Press the mixture into a 6" tart pan. Set aside.

Filling:
2 1/2 cups cashews
1 cup lightly packed mint leaves
1 cup water
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons agave
5-8 drops mint essential oil, or to taste
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of Himalayan salt
3 tablespoons cacao butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil


In a blender, combine all but the butter and oil until smooth and creamy. Start with less mint essential oil, as it is very strong! Now add the last 2 ingredients and blend to incorporate. Taste the mixture - add more mint oil if needed (or mint leaves).
Pour into the crust and spread evenly. 
Chill the tart for at least 6 hours, or even better, overnight.

Note: You can sub mint extract for the mint oil if necessary.


Chocolate banana cheesecake from Cafe Gratitude made it into the cake lineup too! This cake is absolutely amaaaazing - if you like banana, of course - BUT I will say that even my mother, who finds banana revolting, really enjoyed a piece of this cake. I ate it with banana slices, but found they didn't look so good on the cake with the pretty swirl. I was thinking for next time, it might be nice to put a layer of sliced bananas over the crust before pouring the filling in.

And last, but not least, I have a cute poem to share with you that my mom wrote about me after visiting me with some friends at work one afternoon.

But first, I must tell you a funny little story... when a childhood friend of mine was home for a visit in recent months, is somehow came up that I would only answer to my full name when I was a little girl (we went to daycare together) - "Heather Sarah Lee Pace!" she exclaimed, imitating little me. OMG! I laughed so hard. My full name is Heather Sarah Helene Pace, but I guess saying it quickly as a little girl, it came out as "Sarah Lee" - she thought that was my name all these years - and I figure it's kind of fitting considering my love for desserts! :)

Now, for the poem....


We visited her on Saturday
The young woman called Sarah Helene
We were enchanted by all she was doing
In an environment so pristine!

We felt the magic immediately
As we saw a grin on her face
While she created wonderful meals & snacks,
Loved by everyone in the place.

We wondered what made everything so special,
Delicious and appealing to taste
Until we realized we were under the spell
Of Heather "Sarah Lee" Pace!

This young woman's cooking is her passion
Her creative outlet well known
Which delights the palate of many
From far away and back at home!

Because she is so close to nature
Using Mother Earth's ingredients at best
She incorporates into food she prepares

Tasty wonderful flavors with lots of tangy zest!

So happy were we as we munched on her snacks
And walked down the forest trail
Along the rocks at the water's edge
Beauty without fail!

Our friends were happy and so were we
Enjoying nature often unseen
Feeling content with our bellies full
Of the creations of Sarah Helene!

Written by Elaine Pace

Well, thats all for now! Hope you're having a great summer, and are getting warmer weather than we are!

26 comments:

The Voracious Vegan said...

This was such a beautiful post, thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and recipes. You are SO talented! I can't believe how sweet and gorgeous those cakes and pies look, they are the perfect summer dessert. Awww what a great poem!

KaliLilla.com said...

YUMMM...Thank you for your recipes and generosity! :)

Michal said...

you deserts look totally delicious. The mint chocolate tart is so calling my name (:

Shanghai Monkey said...

I just made my first raw pie (yesterday), and I can't wait to make more! Thank you for your wonderful recipe - can't wait to try it ^_^

Lauren said...

Cute story~ Thanks for sharing! :)

Good luck with the wedding, I sure wish I was invited! :)

H Raven Rose said...

Hey Elaine:

Thank you for creating such beautiful posts and blessing me and the world by your sharing. Can't wait to try the yummi~ness!

:) H

Jennyjen said...

Wow! This is such a gorgeous & magical post. The mint chocolate tart looks divine...Ahhh, everything does!!!

Mike K said...

What a beautiful post! I love all of the outdoor photos, and the pies look absolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipes too - can't wait to try some of them. Love the poem too :)

TheFitnessFreak said...

Wonderful pictures and recipe, thanks! I love, love, love blueberries so eat extra for me:)

Raw Goddess said...

Thanks guys! Glad you enjoyed...do try the recipe!
I wish I could invite you all over for some dessert, but if you're ever in northwestern Ontario, please do drop by! :)

greenspell said...

I'm so excited to have found your blog. Few people make raw look as good as you do! I want to try everything!

Lauren said...

Darling! The latest post is lovely, the pictures convey so much TLC, all your magic is brought to life in everything you create. Strong writing too, definitely a great post. xo

Raw Goddess said...

Thanks greenspell! Let me know how it goes!

Lauren?? As in my best friend? Is that you posting a comment? :) Thanks for the kind words love!

Lauren said...

The one and only ;)And anytime!

Kari said...

Everything always looks just sooo incredibly delicious!!

Elaine Miriam said...

Heathy,
You're a culinary genious! I love what you do and how you do it! How blessed I am to have you in my life, and making these raw delights for me! Way to go!!
Love you! Mom

Marci said...

What I would like to know if how you made the banana chocolate cheesecake into a cake?

Beautiful food by the way!!

myrawlife said...

I love your blog and all your wonderful raw desserts and delicacies! I'm happy you are having this moon pie contest. The recipe you have is delicious, but I think it will be fun to add a twist to see how you like it! Thanks Heather - you Raw Dessert Diva!!! =)

Mariana said...

Lovely blog you have here. I've just become your fan :) And that mint tart looks delicios. I would really want to try it but i can't seem to find any cacao butter around here. Is there anything I could use to replace it? Thank you, I will definetly come back here for more raw dessert recipes :)

jasmine said...

wow had to make the mint chocolate cake! it was tasty, a little too dense for me im gonna try and lighten it up a little bit but i think my sweetie will like it! mine did not turn such a pretty green color, did you add spirilina or chloriphyll?

Rosemary Nickek said...

I am new in the raw world and was thrilled to come across your site to fill the gap on sweets for my husband and kids.

I made the mint chocolate torte today. Your picture makes it look dense and creamy, however, mine came out creamy but on the runny side. I put it in the fridge to chill with hopes it would firm up but it didn't. Have to say it tasted delicious but no one like the texture.

Any suggestions, I followed your directions (at least I thought I did :)

Heather Pace said...

Rosemary - a few things. Did you blend the filling with a high speed blender? That makes a difference in the way the the cashews get broken down and thickens the mixture. Also, did you measure everything properly? I teach food classes and find that some people need to learn how to measure. Also, was the coconut oil and cacao butter melted before you measured?

I've made that tart multiple times and made it into squares too and it always turns out. If you still have problems you can add another 2 tbs of cacao butter.

I hope that helps! :)

Rosemary Nickek said...

The cacao butter was not melted but the coconut oil was. We live in FL so it was naturally melted. Should I refrigerator it?

I measured using standard stainless steal cups using whole cashews.

I used a Cuisinart blender. I was just thinking that I let it run long enough that when I stopped it the mix was warm. I used the "food processor" speed. I am guessing it was too long :) How do I know how long to blend it?

Should it be ready immediately or should I refrigerate it first.

Thanks for the tip! Excited to be on this journey and so appreciate people like you who share their knowledge and inspire the rest of us!!

Heather Pace said...

Rosemary, you need to blend it until its completely smooth and there are absolutely no little bits of cashew left. That means they're fully incorporated and will thicken the mixture. Also, having the cacao butter melted will make it be more in volume than if its just chopped.

The tart will need to be chilled at least 5-6 hours, or even better, overnight.

Rosemary Nickek said...

Thanks Heather!! I think when we tried it the first time it had only been in the fridge for 2 hours. That and the cacao butter is what was the culprit!

THANKS for taking the time to help me out!!

Heather Pace said...

You're very welcome! Also, you can try using a little less water which will help it thicken, but sufficient chilling time is a big factor.

Best of luck! :)