Welcome to my crazy world of real food cooking ...

Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. -- Michael Pollan

I wish I could take credit for that because I think it sums up how we should eat. Simply -- eat stuff that really is food, instead of stuff that is food like substance. The supermarket is almost entirely food-like-substances, and, my friends, you should probably never ever eat them.

Fortunately, there is a world of deliciousness out there, and it can all be had in a way that not only doesn't harm your health, but in a way that benefits you hugely.

I think it's important to eat stuff that satisfies you, that keeps your blood sugar stable, and that gives you stuff your body really needs to run optimally.

But baby, it's gotta taste good.

I really like getting experimental in the kitchen. I love cooking, I love layering flavours, and I love coming up with really super yummy food. I have very strong opinions about what constitutes food, and there are a lot of things I won't touch in the kitchen. Bottom line? Pretty much everything I make is ridiculously good for you even if it tastes decadent. Although there are occasional big fat cheats ... but even those stick to real food, my friends.

For food that is usual gluten free, usually free of cane sugar, usually super low on the glycemic index, full of protein, fiber, flavour, and excellent energy, join me and Alice down the rabbit hole.

Every recipe on this blog is my own original effort and idea, so please pass 'em on, giving credit where credit is due.

Many thanks, and come back often. I'm really glad you are here!


Thursday, 25 February 2016

Chocolate Ganache Decadence -- raw, vegan, and gluten free

This ... cake ... pie? ... cake! ... happened. Why? I don't know, but I'm sure glad it did. It is ... ridiculous. That's the only word I can think of.  It's so incredibly delicious, so smooth, so silky, so creamy, so mind-numbingly filled with flavour and awesomeness that all we could do was stare at each other with this incredible taste in our mouths as we ate it, expressions bordering that fine line between bafflement and pain. That "how the ... what the ... omg ... this ... this ... this ..." expression. You'd know it if you saw it. Trust me.

It's an indulgence. It's a special occasion kind of treat. It's so tasty. It's also incredibly easy to make.

I made it a couple of hours before I needed it. In a spring form pan. Lined with foil and then baking parchment and oiled with coconut oil. Made removal easy! Might have been over kill. Any pie plate would also work. Parchment is your frieeeeeeeeeend. Next time I will make it at least 1 day ahead, if not two. The texture and flavour of the crust improved by day 2, although it was fine on day one, and chilling over night allowed the cake/pie/decadence to firm up just a wee bit more. So. Good. So flipping good. Gah.

note: you'll need to let the dates soak and the oil and cocoa butter melt, so if you get those started and then move on to your crust, that would work well.

equipment needed:
pie plate or spring form pan
grinder for chia seeds and sunflower seeds (If you use sunflower seeds instead of raw almond meal for your crust)
foil (if using a spring form pan. Not essential. But you know, um, helpful.)
immersion blender (or blender)

ganache ingredients:

1 cup pitted dates (I use parnoosh sayer dates but you can use your own preference) (pick through them carefully to make sure there are indeed no pits or shards there of.)
2 cups hot water
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raw cacao butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup raw cacao
1 cup coconut sugar (you can start with less and taste if you want it to be less sweet)
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup organic coconut milk powder

ganache directions:

1. combine the items from A in a bowl and let sit until the cacao butter and coconut oil have melted. This will also give the dates time to soften beautifully.
2. while your oil is melting and your dates are softening, make the crust
3. once the oil has melted, use your immersion blender to puree the dates/oil/water from section A. When you think it is smooth enough, puree some more. And then a little longer. You want this ganache to be so creamy and silky and smooth that dead poets would come back from the grave to write an ode to it.
4. add the ingredient from part B and puree again until even silkier and more perfect
5. If you are being parsimonious with your coconut sugar, this would be a good time to dip a scrupulously clean spoon into the mix and taste. I personally thought it was perfect with the whole cup of coconut sugar to balance the whole cup of cacao. That's the golden ratio for cacao and sweetness. However, your dates may be sweeter than mine, or your cacao less dark and sinister. Don't be afraid to trust yourself!
6. When you know your ganache tastes just right, let it cool to room temperature.

crust ingredients:
1 cup raw almond meal or raw sunflower seed meal
1/4 to 1/2 cup coconut sugar, depends on your tongue
1/4 cup raw cacao
1/4 cup ground chia
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground vanilla bean
2 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp water

crust directions:
1. combine the almond or sunflower seed meal in a bowl with the coconut sugar, cacao, chia, sea salt, vanilla bean
2. add the coconut oil and use a fork to crush it into the dry mixture to the best of your abilities
3. add the water, and distribute beautifully
4. press the mixture into the bottom of your lined/greased springform pan or pie plate

5. see above
6. do a little dance

7. When  your ganache has cooled enough, pour it into the prepared crust in the prepared pan, and pop it in the fridge.
8. When it has chilled enough, you can remove it from the pan (springform) or serve it from the pan if it's a pie plate.

Prepare to be amazed!!!!

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