Series II: Fucking Complicated


Fantasizing about Blue Almond Iced Tea. I’ve got the clitoria flower! It’s a dried product mainly used in Thailand for making tea and coloring blue rice. It’s the only natural genuine blue food coloring. Blue berries being discarded as too purple and algae as too greenish blue. Clitoria flower is blue as in blue. I realize the Blue Almond Iced Tea has got to wait. I feel it’s finally time for my much anticipated Sexy Sea Water Petits Ronds, the delightful desserts I got the clitoria flower for in the first place. And yes the name clitoria comes from where you think it comes from. No wonder they not only turn my raw cakes magnificent blue but also super sexy. Isn’t sex supposed to be a delightful combination of naturally sweet as rice malt sirup and dates, slightly bitter and salty as almonds and chick pea liquid; sweaty and soft as the aqua fava mixture and most of all satisfying, as fulfilling as the complexity of the whole range of our taste palette can bring about.

The recipe reminds me of one of the most complicated dessert recipes I have ever made. I was only in my early twenties, following precisely the directions as prescribed and pictured in the recipe book Desserts from the Time Life cookery book series. God they were ahead of their time with the step by step visual instructions. I’ve been brought up with Time Life, I realize now. The recipe was for the authentic British trifle, champagne syllabub included. It took several days to make it. I never felt as proud as I did when it all came out exactly like the pictures. 

Right, I put the blue almond iced tea on hold for you guys. We start with a recipe as complicated and lengthy as the trifle I made 25 years ago, much less traditional; other side of the culinary universe actually. It involves no cooking, no diary, no animal products at all, no refined sugar, no gluten and no artificial flavoring nor coloring. I wonder how we ended up being so discriminative in the kitchen. Is it all because of our precious health and that of our planet? Or do humans in general like to be difficult? I don’t know. I do know I get excited by the thought of creamy, smashing blue, sweet and slightly salty, raw, plant based, guilt free, individual cakes that remind me of feeling blue or make me long for Hawaiian beaches. That’s why I call them Sexy.

Sexy Sea Water Petits Ronds


Day 1 morning

Step 1.

2 cups raw almonds, roughly chopped

2 cups water

Soak for 4 hours at least
Day 1 evening

Step 2.

after 4 hours, discard almond water and divide almonds evenly over oven tray lined with baking sheet

Set the oven to 45 C

Hydrate overnight, at least 12 hours

This process is called activating. Nuts are nice when roasted. But then they’re no longer raw and according to some, have lost some of their nutrious properties. Dehydrating them in a temperature under 48 C keeps them ‘raw’ (enzymes don’t die) and makes them slightly crunchy
Step 3.

Take 1 cup dried chickpeas and 3 cups water 

Soak overnight
Step 4.

cut 12 rounds of baking sheet in exactly the shape of muffin tray bottoms only

cut 12 strips of baking sheet 3 cm wide, 12 cm long

Align muffin tray with the strips, 1 per hole and rounds on top of it. Make sure either side of the strips stick out from the holes

The crust will be pressed on top of the strip and the round. This is to make sure you can take the individual cakes once they’re done out of the tray without using a knife or having to damage the shape
Day 2 morning

Step 5.

Drain chickpeas, transfer to a pot, add twice the quantity of water and bring to the boil. 

Simmer for 2 hours or until chickpeas are done
Step 6.

Drain chickpeas, saving the cooking liquid

Store cooked chickpeas to be used in another recipe

Bring cooking liquid back to boil adding a tbsp of dried clitoria flower / pea flower tea, turning it blue

Let the blue aqua fava (literally meaning, bean water) cool down completely
Step 7.

Grind 1 cup of the almonds in coffee grinder or heavy duty food processor into almond butter

It will first crumbe, hence turn into meal, keep on grinding, pauze every now and then to give appliance a break and not overheating it, keep on going until a clump is formed. Keep on going and it will turn into butter

Step 8.
Make crust by combining 1 cup regular pitted dates, roughly chopped, 1 cup medjool dates, roughly chopped, the other 1 cup of activated almonds, chopped finely. Form 12 balls the size of a ping pong ball, rolling between the palms of your hands
Step 9.

Firmly press balls into discs in bottoms of the muffin tray. Place tray in fridge until further notice
Day 2 evening

Step 10.

1 cup pea flower / clitoria flower blue aqua fava 

1 cup activated almond butter

1 cup cream of coconut

1/2 cup brown rice malt sirup.

Mix blue aqua fava with handmixer on high speed for 3-5 minutes until stiff peaks are formed resembling egg white merengue

Step 11.

Make the Salty Sea water cake mixture

Mix in a separate bowl almond butter and cream of coconut, add rice malt sirup. Slowly fold stiffened aqua fava through almond butter mixture, in three badges. Once mixed, make sure to use it right away

Step 12.

Take the muffin tray from the fridge and fill up the individual holes with the Salty Sea water cake mixture. Place in freezer. Freeze overnight.

Day 3 anytime


Step 13.

To serve the cakes, dip the whole tray with it’s bottom in water (fill a shallow oven tray with just a few centimeter of luke warm water and place the muffin tray in there for 15 seconds). Pull at the baking sheet strips to gently lift the cakes one by one. Peel off the baking sheet rounds from the bottoms of the crust, can be tricky, be patient and careful.

Step 14.

Sprinkle the cakes with grapefruit zest and serve with sweet or sweetened fruit. I’d opt for grapefruit sweetened with maple sirup or ripe mango.

Congratulations guys. You’ve made it. Recipe for blue almond milk iced tea is next. Will be part of the KiSS series: Keep It Stupid and Simple, again. Pfffft!
Mise en place

2 cups raw deskinned almonds, coarsely chopped

1 cup dried chick peas

Baking sheet

Scissors

Muffin tray

1 tbsp Pea flower tea / dried clitoria flower

Coffee grinder or heavy duty food processor (1000 Watt min)

1 cup regular pitted dates, chopped

1 cup medjool dates, depitted and chopped

Handheld mixer or Kitchenaid

1 cup cream of coconut

1/2 cup brown rice malt sirup

Zest of 1 grapefruit

2 cups of grapefruit particles sweetened with maple sirup or brown rice malt sirup / ripe mango 

KiSS series, nr 1


Something that doesn’t sound sexy at all. Not so much the word itself. Rather it’s association with a certain timeless salty sour, slightly bitter and harsh flavor. It’s consistency equals this sensation. Which is quite the opposite of smooth, pleasant in the mouth or softly touching my lips. It’s Jurassic like crocodiles, perky like cactusses and often cold, damp cold. Are we talking about food? Yes! And about everything it beholds: nutrition, pleasure, connection, warmth, taking care, paying attention, surprise and a whole lot of dedication. All at the same time, preferably. 
In no two different culinary traditions it’s done the same way. But I dare say that each and every culinary tradition does know it’s own variation of the art of pickling. Maybe eskimo’s and Tibetans have been able to stay away from it, thanks to their fridge-worthy surroundings. The rest of the world needed methods to conserve their precious food. 
A quarter of one cauliflower head, cut in the small roses, the size of cashew nuts, is to be transferred into a glass confit jar. It’s nice to use an authentic one, with orange rubber lining to secure keeping the jar air tight. But a former jam jar works just as well for these quick pickling methods. Add a six centimeter strip of orange peel to it. The jars I use contain 500 ml. But you can use any size. Then measure half of the content, in my case 250 ml, apple cider vinegar and the other half, 250 ml plain water and heat in a pot. Add a generous tablespoon of sugar and a generous tablespoon of salt. Heat until the salt and sugar are dissolved and the liquid is at the verge of boiling. Then take it from the heat and carefully poor it over the cauliflower in the glass jar. Close lid. Let it cool. Place in the fridge for 24 hours. After which it is ready to use although it can be kept pretty much timelessly. The hot liquid quick pickling method I prefer for hard vegetables like roots and cabbages or watermelon rind. The same conjunction of vinegar, water, salt and sugar can be poored cold as is, over soft vegetables like zucchini, cucumber or onion. What I like about quick pickling is that it’s so easy. Already after 24 hours, you can enjoy your very homemade pickles. To all handsome ladies and smart guys in the kitchen my message here is: ‘please don’t forget to KISS’, in other words, Keep It Stupid and Simple

First

Yesterday I made love with the love of my life during five hours. We parted and I felt pretty depleted. Both emotionally and physically. We both went our ways, picking up our kids from different schools. At my kid’s school the Thursday market was on and my youngest daughter’s class due for bbq’ed sausages. As a raw-vegan culinary addict I love anything food related, including grilling supermarket sausages. Or is it the handing them out to kids and parents alike, I love? A few hours later, cold and almost dark outside now, I’d parked myself behind the stove in my own kitchen, baking mini pancakes made of many left over egg yolks (debris of croquettes made without liquid egg white to coat them), self raising flour, diary milk, turmeric, smoked red chillie and cumin. Creating and enjoying it, my senses fully open; it struck me. I want to discover what food is all about. Or what food and me are about. Our relationship, if I may.

Recipes of a pretty woman is meant to be a superficial account of what I do food related. Or maybe it is about all the senses. An expression of feelings, emotions, beauty, sadness, open or closed, restraint or let go, mixed with sweetness, spices, deliciousness and mishappenings, sensuality and short cuts.  But most of all it will surpass the mind, logic and the world as we understand it.