Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Yep, there was a time when I disliked avocado immensely. Weird, mushy, avocado. Can you believe it? Thankfully the times have changed – I can’t get enough of it these days and could happily have it at least once a day on toast. Ahhh nature’s butter. While my favourite is probably on toast with chilli, it is also the perfect side to pretty much every dish ever.

0m4a3576new
This recipe is a tweaked version of one I posted about three years ago, back when I was living/travelling in a van and my photography was embarrassing. So today I bring to you an updated recipe with a little more stylish photos. Avo is still the main player in this dish, though it is hidden by cacao to bring you a rich and creamy dessert. It is quite thick, and I have seen some people do a similar thing but blend a banana into it or extra coconut cream which I suppose would create a lighter texture, I’m yet to try it though.

0m4a3574new

Raw Chocolate Avocado Mousse
(serves 2-3)

2 avocados
1/2 cup cacao
1/4 cup coconut cream
4 Tbsp maple syrup or other sweetener
1 Tbsp coconut oil, liquified
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Taste for sweetness and add more sweetener if desired, though keep in mind that the taste does settle overnight – I find the avocado flavour mellows completely with some time. Pour into serving glasses and chill in the fridge over night. Top with desired toppings e.g. berries, coconut, cacao nibs, choc chips, banana.

0m4a3581new

corn2016-1-1024x343

Almost Raw Lamington Balls

So much for “I’m back!” It’s only taken me another two and a half months to back it up with another post. Ahhh well. Rather than give you a big spiel, I’m going to give you a recipe. Hallelujah!

The Bear and I have never much celebrated Valentines day – perhaps we would have a picnic if it fell on a weekend but there was no going out of our way to make the day particularly special. That was until a few years ago, when we dubbed the day ‘Lamingtons Day’. On this day – February 14th – we make lamingtons in one form or another. Over the years we’ve had lamington cupcakes, a whole lamington cake, lamington ice-cream and of course your stock standard lamingtons. The Bear has one rule – it’s not a real lamington unless it has jam.

rawlamingtons59

This year Lamingtons day kinda snuck up on us, and I had little inspiration for building epic lamington glory. When I say glory, I’m referring to the likes of the Bear’s two (or was it three?) tiered cake that instead of icing, he covered  with three blocks of melted dark chocolate. After it had set, the shell was so thick we had to hack away at it with our biggest kitchen knife to get a piece.

On the auspicious day itself I was also in the process of preparing some food for the working week. I often make variations of bliss balls to take with as a morning/afternoon snack, so with that in mind, I threw together these dudes and I have to say, was pretty pleased with how they turned out.

Before I give you the recipe, I just want to give a shout out to fellow Australian vegan blogger Kyra at Vie de la Vegan. I was doing a quick image search before the photo shoot to get an idea of how I might present the balls (how hard is it to make balls look good?! Eeeep!) In the process, I came across her very own recipe for Raw Lamington Balls as well. Slightly different, but I’m sure equally as delicious. Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out!

rawlamingtons61

Almost Raw Lamington Balls
(can’t remember how many this makes, eep, will edit after making them again….amateur!)

1 cup raw cashews
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
3 Tbsp rice bran syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla paste
2 Tbsp non-dairy milk
80g raw chocolate (I used Loving Earth choc-raspberry block)
3/4 cup dessicated coconut

Jam:
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 Tbsp rice bran syrup
1 Tbsp chia seeds

Firstly make the jam – place raspberries and rice bran syrup in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Allow the berries to cook down slowly, gently stirring and squashing them with the back of a spoon every now and then. Cook until berries have broken down, about 5-10 minutes. Take off heat and stir in chia seeds. Set aside.

Place cashews and shredded coconut in a food processor and process until it resembles crumbs. Add rice bran syrup, vanilla and milk and process until mixture comes together and gets a bit sticky. Transfer to a bowl and add chia jam, stir until it is swirled through. Take heaped teaspoons of mixture and roll into balls.

Prepare a tray by lining it with baking paper. Using a double boiler, heat raw chocolate until melted. Pour dessicated coconut out onto a plate. One by one, cover each ball in chocolate before rolling in coconut and setting on the tray to dry. Store in the fridge.

rawlamingtons52

Raw Blueberry Cheesecakes

Something blue.

I’m probably taking the easy path here, but I was struggling to come up with an idea for something blue that wasn’t drowned in food dye. I get that blueberries are not particularly blue when used to cook with, but blue makes up part of the word so I’m going to go with it. Also it’s pretty late and I don’t have time to come up with anything else. And these are pretty.

blueberry1
This may look more complex than it is because of the subsections of ingredients, but raw desserts are often very straight forward and easy. It’s just a matter of blending ingredients and pouring them in. The most time consuming part is the soaking and waiting for them to set.

I’ve got a bunch of these stored in my freezer now which I’m bringing out sporadically when I want a quick treat. As you can probably imagine, I’m sure these would be great with raspberries, strawberries or a combination of all of them.

blueberry2

Raw Blueberry Cheesecakes
(makes about 20 mini cakes)

Base:
¾ cup dates, soaked
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup almonds
pinch of salt

White layer:
1½ cups cashews, soaked
¼ cup agave nectar
¼ cup coconut oil, liquified
2 tsp vanilla
1Tbsp lime juice

Blue layer:
1½ cups cashews, soaked
1½ cups blueberries (I used frozen)
¼ cup coconut oil, liquified
¼ cup agave nectar

Chia jam::
2 cups blueberries (I used frozen)
2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp chia seeds

Start by preparing the base – combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender until they form a thick mixture. If it’s too dry, you can add a tablespoon of water at a time until it comes together – it should be tacky, but not so sticky that you can’t work with it. Break of small pieces of mixture and press into bases of mini muffin tray, making the base a couple of millimetres thick – I used a silicone tray as they were easier to pop out at the end.

Blend white layer ingredients until smooth. Pour evenly on top of the prepared bases, filling each case to about half way. Put tray in the freezer to set.

Now do the same with the blue layer – blend until smooth and fill up each case until it is level with the top – smooth over to make even. Return to the freezer to set.

To prepare the jam, place blueberries, agave and lime juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the berries start to come apart. Using the back of a fork or spoon, mash some of the blueberries. Add chia seeds and stir to combine. Remove from heat and allow to sit – the chia seeds will absorb a lot of moisture and thicken the jam. Allow to cool.

Once the cheesecakes have set, pop them out of their moulds and top with a spoonful of jam and some extra blueberries. I find it best to keep these dudes in the freezer, taking them out 15 minutes before you want to eat them to allow them to soften a little.

blueberry3

cornweb

Save

Golden Syrup Dumplings

Most retro recipe.

In trying to plan for today’s theme, I was flicking through old Women’s Weekly Cookbooks from the ’70’s, looking for outdated and kitsch recipes (preferably with a pineapple and toothpicks) but nothing really grabbed me. Then I was over at my mum and dad’s place, and mum handed me a Country Women’s Association cookbook from the 1940’s that once upon a time belonged to my great Nanna James. The CWA is the largest women’s organisation in Australia, and since 1922 have been well known throughout the country (mainly for their jams, chutneys, knitted goods and lamingtons amongst other baked goods). The CWA initiated with the goal of improving conditions for women, particularly those living rurally, and have since assisted with emergency relief, education funds and workshops, amongst other benevolent things.

0M4A0430

Flicking through the pages, it is clear that most recipes have similar and basic ingredients, created prior to much multicultural influence in Australia. Common ingredients include butter or dripping, flour, breadcrumbs, sugar and eggs. There are some mock meat recipes which initially had me excited, however I soon discovered that the mock goose was made of liver and the mock brains made of left over porridge and egg. It was certainly an age of ration and limited wastage.

0M4A0433b

There are some pretty neat ads to take note of, including the one repping this kerosene operated fridge.

0M4A0434b

And this one from the dried fruits board (awesome) spruiking currants, sultanas and raisins. Amazing.

Anyway, I digress. When I found golden syrup dumplings I knew this was the recipe for today, as it fits the retro bill and also brings back nice memories from childhood when mum used to make this for us. Boy were they a treat with their sweet sticky sauce and a dollop of cream or ice cream. Initially when I veganised this recipe directly from the CWA book it did not turn out how I remembered enjoying golden syrup dumplings as a child. The sauce was not as thick and caramel-y, rather a bit too thin. Then I recalled Johanna at Green Gourmet Giraffe posting a recipe for golden syrup dumplings a while back that I had made and it had turned out wonderfully. So I tinkered with the CWA recipe, adding some sugar to the syrup which made all the difference. Ahhhh sugar.

dumplings2

Golden Syrup Dumplings
(serves 3-4)

Syrup:
3 Tbsp golden syrup
¼ cup coconut or brown sugar
1 Tbsp vegan butter
cups water

Dumplings:
1 cup self-raising flour
¼ cup vegan butter
1 Tbsp golden syrup
3 Tbsp water or non-dairy milk
Pinch of salt

Place syrup ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, rub together flour and butter with your hands. Add remaining ingredients and mix to form a thick dough. While it will be tacky, you should be able to use your hands to roll it into balls. Get heaped dessert spoonfuls of dough and roll into small balls. Drop the balls into the syrup mixture, and simmer, covered, for approximately 10-15 minutes, until dumplings have increased in size and sauce has thickened. Serve with cream or ice cream.

dumplings1

tomatoweb

 

 

 

 

Sago Pudding – Two Ways

Recreate a meal from your childhood.

I like today’s theme, as it’s prompted me to start making a dish that I haven’t eaten in years, but always loved as a child. There’s something comforting about sago pudding – perhaps because of its simplicity, or maybe the fact that memories are linked to warm bowls of it for dessert on a cool winter’s night.

sago1a
Sago has such an interesting texture – I think we used to call it ‘frog’s eggs’, a name that likely came from dad (along with the charming ‘snot blocks’) and it may be one of those things that you either love or hate. I’m definitely a fan, and the bear is too – he was so excited when I wasn’t happy with my first set of photos and declared I would have to make it again. I’m glad somebody was able to see the positive.

sago2a

I could never pick which was my favourite – the milky one or the lemon one, both so delicious in their own right. The milky version was creamy and sweet, often laden with drizzles of golden syrup on top, but the lemon so zesty. Both were such a treat!

sago3a

Coconut Sago Pudding
(makes 2 large or 3 smaller serves)

½ cup sago (tapioca pearls)
1 ½ cup milk
1 ½ cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup agave or brown rice syrup
Pinch of salt
Toppings of choice – banana, toasted coconut, extra syrup

Cover sago with water and let sit for thirty minutes.

Drain any excess liquid and put the sago in a pot, along with remaining ingredients except for the toppings. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly to ensure the sago doesn’t stick to the bottom. Once boiled, turn down to a low simmer and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until the sago pearls become translucent. Make sure you stir continuously to avoid sticking.

Remove from heat and serve warm or allow to cool. Top with some brown rice syrup, banana and toasted coconut for extra deliciousness.

sago4a

Lemon Sago
(makes 2 large or 3 small serves)

½ cup sago
¼ cup lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup water
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp rice bran syrup

Cover sago with water and let sit for thirty minutes.

Drain any excess liquid and put the sago in a pot, along with remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly to ensure the sago doesn’t stick to the bottom. Once boiled, turn down to a low simmer and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until the sago pearls become translucent. Make sure you stir continuously to avoid sticking.

Remove from heat and serve warm or allow to cool.

sago5a

 

Apple, Rhubarb and Orange Crumble

My idea of a what constitutes a good crumble goes something like this: LOTS of crumble. Getting enough crumble that you have enough to take you to the last bite is an important balance to create, much like ensuring the ice cream will last the distance. Of course I always need to add a little extra to account for the crumble I will inevitably eat off the top before I’ve even served it as well. The last time I made crumble, I was so set on having enough topping that I ended up with a container of it left over that I physically could not fit on top. Luckily it was put to good use with some banana crumble muffins later on.

This is the perfect way to use some of that rhubarb that is going gangbusters at the moment, and the perfect dessert to have on a cool winter’s evening. In fact, it even works well as a breakfast (though you probably shouldn’t include the ice cream like I did the other morning – it IS kind of like the milk on the cereal of crumble, that makes sense right?)

applerhubarborangecrumbleWhile I am also a fan of a simple crumble topping, I also like to pack it full of goodies, and I tend to just throw whatever I have on hand in – sometimes various nuts, seeds and even the odd gingernut biscuit. I like the combination in this one, but you can quite easily substitute more preferred items in place of the ones I’ve used.

applerhubarborangecrumble4It makes me laugh how spherical the ice cream is in this photo – it’s almost too perfect. Is there someone I can talk to about that?

Apple, Rhubarb and Orange Crumble
(serves 4-6)

3 Granny Smith apples (approx 2 cups)
4 stalks rhubarb (approx 2 cups)
Juice of 1 orange (approx 1/3 cup)
Zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp arrowroot + 2 Tbsp water

Crumble topping:
3/4 cup oats
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup almonds, roughly chopped
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup flour (I used spelt here, but have used various flours with no problems)
1/3 cup nuttelex (or coconut oil)
2 Tbsp flax meal (optional)
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 180C.

Chop your apple and rhubarb into manageable chunks, and place them in a medium saucepan along with the orange juice and zest, coconut sugar, spices and vanilla. Heat over a medium-low heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the fruit has softened.

In a small bowl, whisk together arrowroot and water. Take fruit off the heat and stir through arrowroot mix. Pour into a baking dish – I used a large ramekin for this.

To prepare the crumble, place all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Throw in the nuttelex in small chunks, and using your hands rub it through the mix. Sure, you could do it with a spoon, but I like to get amongst it. Distribute the crumble evenly over the fruit mix, and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the crumble topping is golden and the fruit mix is bubbling a little at the sides. Serve with ice cream, cream, yoghurt, or any damn thing you like.

applerhubarborangecrumble3

Music for your Mouth: Peaches/The Moldy Peaches

Nothing moldy about these peaches! They did, due to the fact that it is not quite stone fruit season here, come from a can and we could assume that they were put there by a man…in a factory down townnnnnn. Yep. Uhuh.

I’m just doubling up bands now as an excuse to play multiple songs to ya. I can’t remember if I said this already, but when I started planning for MoFo I compiled a list of foodie bands, and I well exceeded the thirty I needed for the month. So wherever I can, I’m trying to squidge more in.

First up, Peaches – duh. But today I’m featuring a song by Peaches and Iggy Pop, because I love the dude, and also you get to watch a video of them fighting off zombies. Wins all round!

Secondly, the Moldy Peaches. I guess peaches are not so edible once they are mouldy, but they are still fun to listen to because Kimya Dawson is cute.

peaches2I had some leftover cherries from the cherry ripe balls I made the other night, so decided to team them up with some peaches for a classic crumble. It worked out EXTREMELY well, as I also had some leftover ginger ice cream from the other other night. My testers for this recipe – Mum, Dad and the Bear all loved it. I always love desserts in ramekins where you feel special for getting your own little pot of something.

peaches3Usually when I make a crumble, I just put the fruit, some lemon (sometimes) and spices together for the base – I personally don’t think it needs any more than that. I like my crumbles to be a bit tart and tangy rather than overly sweet – I leave the sweetness for the crumble topping. Because I used tinned and frozen fruit for this one though the fruit was quite juicy – hence adding the flour to thicken it up and create a saucier texture rather than a pool of liquid at the bottom. If you prefer a sweeter crumble, feel free to omit the lemon and add a sweetener.

peaches1

Peach and Cherry Crumbles
(makes 4)

2 cups peaches
2 cups cherries
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup flour

Topping:
1 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
3 Tbsp coconut oil, firm
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a large bowl, place peaches, cherries, lemon juice, zest, cinnamon and flour. Stir until well combined. Distribute mix amongst four ramekins.

In a small bowl, all ingredients except the coconut oil and vanilla, and stir well. Add coconut oil in small chunks, and vanilla, and stir through – I did this with my hands. Ensure all the oat mixture has gotten some moisture, if you need more oil, add it by the teaspoon.

Distribute crumble amongst ramekins. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until top is golden and crispy.

Serve with ginger or vanilla ice cream, custard or non-dairy cream.

peaches4 peaches5Millions of peaches, peaches for me!

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Cream (with Ginger Baker)

See what I did there? Yeahhhh!

Cream are awesome. I like listening to them in the car, where I can groove along by myself and remain calm in traffic. They are good for that. Also check out young Eric Clapton, isn’t he funky?

Ice cream is also good! It is delicious and I love it. Not to toot my own horn but this ice cream is PARTICULARLY tasty. I don’t know that I’ve had ginger ice cream before but it definitely won’t be the last time I have it.

cream3The addition of crystallised ginger is really great here, and I suspect some crumbled up gingernut cookies would also be delicious. THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!

cream1

Ginger Ice Cream with Caramel Sauce

Ice cream:
400ml coconut cream
400ml coconut milk
1/2 cup rice malt syrup
1/4 cup minced fresh ginger
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup crystallised ginger, chopped into small pieces
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp arrowroot
1 Tbsp vodka

Caramel sauce
400ml coconut cream
1/3 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt

For the ice cream – Put 1/4 cup of coconut milk in a small bowl and set aside. Place remaining coconut cream, coconut milk and ginger in a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Turn of heat and steep for 15 minutes.

Pour milk through a strainer and return to pot.  Add rice malt syrup and vanilla and return to heat.

Add arrowroot, nutmeg and cinnamon to the 1/4 cup of coconut milk and whisk with a fork. Pour into pot and whisk well. Cook over medium heat while whisking continuously until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in vodka.

Pour mix into a bowl and allow to cool completely. When cooled, transfer to ice cream maker and let it do its magic. If you don’t have a maker, pour into a tray and place in the freezer. Every half an hour return to the freezer to whisk the mix until it has set completely.

Once ice cream maker has done it’s thing, stir through crystallised ginger. Now you can eat it as soft serve or place into the freezer until set!

For the caramel sauce, bring coconut cream, sugar and salt to a boil in a small pot, then turn down to a simmer. Allow to simmer, stirring every now and then, until the sauce reduces and thickens.

cream2

Now I am off to watch the Bear play his first gig in a new band. I hope they are as rocking as this:

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: The Banana Splits/Bananarama

Today I’m hitting you with a double band, mostly because I wasn’t sure if you would let me get away with using the Banana Splits as a band. I think it’s valid, but I’ve got Bananarama on backup – just in case!

For those who don’t know, The Banana Splits come from an old TV show – the Banana Splits Adventure Hour – featuring Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky. The show was totally before my time, however, my love of bananas alerted me to this awesomeness some years ago. Mascots of madness! Banana heroes! And cool fact for ya: the song at the bottom was written by none another than Barry White. Enjoy!

As for Bananarama…you really need to set aside a good couple of hours just to watch their videos. THEY ARE AMAZING. Think you don’t know Bananarama? You are wrong. I guarantee you will know at least three of their songs. Think “I’m your venus, I’m your fire, your desire” or “more more more, how do you like it how do you like it”. Yeah you know it! And can you believe they are still going? 30 something years on? BECAUSE BANANAS ARE POWERHOUSES!

Also, I just realised that I posted two banana recipes in a row. It certainly is bananarama!

bananasplitAnyway, I digress. BANANANANANAANANANA!!!!!!

Banana split!

bananasplit4Ruby is certainly a fan.

bananasplit2 Banana Split

1 banana, sliced lengthways
3 scoops vanilla ice cream
Vegan whipped cream
Chopped nuts
Chocolate sprinkles
Honeycomb crumbs

Chocolate fudge sauce:
50g dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup coconut cream
1 Tbsp agave nectar

First prepare your fudge sauce. Heat coconut cream and agave in a small saucepan over medium low heat until it begins to simmer. Turn off heat and add chocolate, whisk until combined.

Assemble your split! Place banana on either side of ice cream scoops. Top with some fudge sauce, then whipped cream, sprinkles, nuts, honeycomb and more sauce. Go crazy!

bananasplit5

veganmofo

Music for your Mouth: Fiona Apple

For some reason, every time I think of Fiona Apple I picture Fiona Horne – remember her, the white witch? I know they aren’t the same person so I don’t know what’s causing the mix-up, but I just can’t help it. Sorry Fiona Apple. I’m not sure if you guys have heard any of Fiona Horne’s songs, but well, I’ll let you have a listen for yourselves. Scroll down if you dare…

This is the first thing that springs to mind when I think of apple desserts. It has fond memories for me, it was a regular in mum’s winter repertoire alongside other favourites such as golden syrup dumplings, sago, and custard with dessicated coconut on top. It’s a relatively easy one to whip up, and is super comforting, particularly when you’re all snuggled up on a cold night.

fionaapple4

Baked Stuffed Apples
(makes 4)

4 Granny Smith apples
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
2 Tbsp nuttelex or coconut oil
1 tsp lemon or orange zest (different but both delicious!)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180C.

In a small bowl, mix together dates, walnuts, coconut sugar, zest, spices and salt. Add nuttelex and vanilla and stir to combine into a kind of paste.

Now, core your apples. This can be a bit tricky without a corer, but I use a small sharp knife to make the first cut, then use one of those old school melon ballers to remove the rest. I have done it with just a sharp knife, however it does take a bit longer. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through to the bottom or your filling will leak out – try to leave a centimetre or so.

fionaappleUsing a sharp knife, cut a line around the width of the apple. This will prevent the skin from bursting in a funny way.

fionaapple2Now stuff your apples full of mix and pop them in a baking tray or dish.

fionaapple3Put a little bit of water in the bottom of the tray, then cover with a lid or some foil. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover, and bake a further 5-10 minutes until apples are tender.

Serve with vanilla ice cream, cream or custard.

fionaapple5

This is the first Fiona Apple song I ever heard.

And as promised, this is Fiona Horne on good old Hey Hey It’s Saturday…

veganmofo