Saturday, 29 June 2013

and Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake

Raw Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake

Last month, for me, was full of birthdays. My sister and my niece have their birthdays just two days apart. My niece chose a pavlova for her cake and my sister wanted a chocolate cake. Well more accurately, her little boy wanted a 'brown cake', which is his term for a chocolate cake.

So I searched the net and cobbled together this recipe with a few variations.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Cake.
Preparation time: 40 mins
Setting time: 8 hours

  • ¾ cups well packed medjool dates
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla paste
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 ½ cups of ground hazelnut meal
  • ½ cup dried coconut
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 2 tsp. cacao nibs
  • Add a little coconut syrup/pure maple syrup, if mix is too bitter for your taste.
  1. Blend the dates in a food processor until a smooth paste forms. If it turns into a hard lump add a little water and blend. Repeat if required.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until smooth.
  3. The mixture should be fairly wet. Press into a lined/greased 20cm spring for tin and refrigerate until ready to add filling.

  • 2 cups cashews (soaked for at least 4 hours) 
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2/3 cup cacao powder
  • 1 Tbsp. pure vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup melted coconut butter
  • ½ mixed berries approx.
  1. Blend all of the ingredients but the oil, butter and berries until smooth and creamy in a high speed blender.
  2. Add the butter and oil and blend again to incorporate. 
  3. Gently stir in the mixed berries.
  4. Pour over the crust.
  5. Set in the fridge for at least 8 hours.
  6. Decorate with more mixed berries.

Process dates until a paste forms

Add the remaining ingredients

And process again.

Press into tin. Flatten with a glass tumbler if desired.

Pile in the ingredients,

except the butter,oil and berries, then process.

In goes the coconut oil and butter.

Once combined, stir in the berries. Fresh or frozen.

Pour on top of the base.

Pile on more berries to serve!

The cake was perfect. The base was nice and fudgy and the berries mixed through it added a nice combination of sweet and tart to compliment the richness of the cake. I am starting to really enjoy making raw cakes and I can't wait to be more daring with my next one!

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.

Friday, 21 June 2013

and by the power of 154

Days 141-154

The next set of photos includes quiet a few from my recent holiday to Brisbane. I was only there for just over a week, but I had a fantastic time and did a lot of exploring. I walked 'til my feet hurt and ate 'til my stomach hurt.

Day 141: 

A statute near my French class. I always try and walk
before hand otherwise I am sitting for too long.

Day 142: 

I held the biggest morning tea for my work. I made chocolate
slice which is hiding behind the carrot cake.

Day 143: 

We headed out to dinner with my plus ones family. It was for
his and his non-identical twins birthday.

Day 144: 

Last minute packing for my trip. My dog wasn't
very happy with me, as you can see.

Day 145: 

The view from my seat as the sun rises just before take off.

Day 146: 

Heading back to Brisbane after a day of site seeing on Mt Tamborine.

Day 147: 

I played the solo tourist and spent the day walking around the city.
This is the pagoda and the Ferris wheel on  the South Bank.

Day 148: 

This is the old museum in Brisbane. I spent another day walking around.

Day 149: 

Cloudland in Fortitude Valley is a very funky place to visit. My friends and
I had a cocktail before having Thai for dinner.

Day 150: 

I took a cruise up the river and went to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
I loved feeding the kangaroos as well as holding a koala.

Day 151: 

The is the gorgeous Moreton Bay. I spent a day driving along it and walking around it.

Day 152: 

My friend drove me into the mountains for a great girls day out.
This is the view from the top of Mt Mee.

Day 153: 

It was my last day in Brisbane and we spent the morning eating pancakes and
lazing around in the City Botanical Gardens.

Day 154: 

Home again. I took Dallas for a walk because I missed her so much,
and because I needed to walk off a lot of food.

I had an amazing time visiting my friend in Brisbane. It is a very pretty city and I loved the river lifestyle. I must admit, I am a huge fan of the River Cats. Stay tuned for some posts dedicated to my recent trip and some of the best that Brisbane has to offer.

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.

Monday, 17 June 2013

and Duende - Leederville

Duende - Leederville

Well it was my turn to be taken out for my dinner over the weekend for my birthday. My plus one and I are born just under a month apart, so there is a lot of good eating this time of the year. For my dinner we went to Duende in Leederville. Unbeknownst to my plus one the cuisine was very similar to were I took him He didn't realise until we had been seated and given the menus. He felt a bit bad since we love to use this opportunity to try out new places and new cuisine. It will just be another part of our story, so I am ok with that.

The restaurant is an odd shape since it sits on a tight corner. A bar is in the centre of the room with the seating around the outside. The setting was more relaxed than Pata Negra with some spots at the bar and a few out the front. But it was a little too chilly to be outside. It was a Sunday night but the place was pretty busy. Duende has a great, friendly and lively atmosphere.

My plus one had a liqor 43 cocktail - $17
 I had a summer cup - $17

Very pretty colours

We ordered our food in one hit, except for desert, and it all came out in such a rush we barely had time to clear one plate so they could take it away to make room for another. It was a little over whelming but we still had enough time to enjoy each dish.

Baby eggplant, pepperonatta and haloumi - $15
Sweetcorn and manchego croquettes - $14

Grilled chorizo with lemon and bread - $12

Beef cheek, cauliflower and pedro ximenez (white is a type of grape) - $22

Honeyed pumpkin, sumac and minted yoghurt - $14

Pork belly, braised fennel and orange glaze - $20

Then after a short break we decided to order some hot drinks and dessert. 

He had doughnut balls and condensed milk ice cream - $14

I had flourless chocolate cake, orange and hazelnuts - $14

After dessert we headed out to wander a little to settle our stomachs, which had survived a fast onslaught of food. We wandered down the road to the Oxford Street book store. I love visiting the independent bookstores. They always have something quirky in store. After that we walked across the road to Fruity Tutti, a self serve frozen yoghurt shop. 

This is my creation.

We probably didn't need anymore food, since we had dessert a the restaurant, by I love frozen yogurt and it was a perfect end to the night.

Duende was a great little restaurant and although I wouldn't consider it romantic by any means, it would be a great little place to catch up with friends and the pricesare  really good and quality of the food was amazing.

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

and Pata Negra - Nedlands

Pata Negra - Nedlands

My plus one and I have a little tradition going. Whenever it is his birthday, I book us a dinner for two at a secret location. All the information he gets is the date, time and the standard of dress. He also does the same for me. A couple of weeks ago I took him to Pata Negra in Nedlands. I had been looking at the place for quiet a while and I didn't think twice about holding my plus one's birthday dinner there.

It was a Wednesday night and our dinner was book for 7. When we arrived the place only had a few other guests, but not long after the dinning room was full. There is an outdoor area behind but this wasn't in service. The dinning room is dark with copious amounts of tea light candles in orange glass containers. Mirrors positioned around the room help reflect the light. Behind the counter there is a window into the kitchen as well as a dried meat display.

The food style is tapas and you can order more food as you go, depending on how hungry you are. The food comes out in a procession in basic course format.

Smoked, spiced almonds - $6.50

Embutidos platter - $20

Manchego, jamon croqueta - $4 each

Our first round of cocktails! I can't remember what they were called but they were delicious.

The almonds were a great little starter. They have a lot of flavour but I suggest that you have a glass of water near by. They are a bit dry and went into a little coughing fit. But none the less, they are delicious. We had to go with the little ham platter (Embutidos platter) since the place is named after "black hoof" which is a type of cured ham produced mostly in Spain. The sliced ham was my favourite on the platter. It was so soft and tender. The meat in the center is little chorizo pieces, where were speckled with what looks like a lot of fat. Finally the third meat were tiny little opaque discs of hard cured meat. I had never seen cured meat like this before but it was tasty.

Some of the decor by our table

Eggplant fritters, lemon, paprika, aioli - $16

This one was on the specials board. It was a beef tangine.

Wood roasted beetroot, red onion, horseradish yoghurt - $16

The next lot of dishes which came out were all exceptional. The eggplant fritters were one of my favourite dishes of the night. They are lightly crumbed and the accompanying aioli with a fresh squeeze of lemon lightened the dish up. The tangine was very tasty and tender. It was jam packed full of flavour, like most things. Everything is very rich but not in a creamy way, just in a hearty food type of way. Perfect for a cold night. The beetroot dish was also another highlight. The flavours were intense but refreshing at the same time.

More decor.

There was orange glass everywhere.

Round two of cocktails. His was a sangria and mine was a pisco sour.

Western plains suckling pig, royal blues, wilted greens, pinenuts, currants - $55

Finally after a bit of a wait the suckling pig came out. The suckling pig was a selection of a few different cuts. There was some rib, belly and what I believe may have been hock. It was rich and warming. The currants and greens helped balance out the dish and this is something I noticed throughout all of the dishes. They had all been well balanced with ingredients which lightened the mood of the dishes.

Next stop; dessert.

Flan de neta, mandarin, youghurt cream, pistachio praline - $15.50

Cinnamon doughnuts, px ice cream, raisins - $15.50

I finished with a very cute cup of Earl Grey tea.

My plus one chose the flan and I the doughnuts. These are the only dishes we didn't share, although we did let each other taste our dishes. The sauce that went with the flan was divine and the mandarins had soaked it up, making them very tasty. The doughnuts in my dish were very plain. I think I have been spoilt by a lot of places selling churros lately. But the ice cream, oh the ice cream. It was intense. It was a little rum and raisin tasting and had a full on flavour, so i didn't mind so much the the doughnuts were bland. I just used them to scoop the ice cream up.

The meal was a little expensive, but we did eat a lot and had a few cocktails. I can see were the price goes which is important. I was paying for really good food and really good quality food at that. Unfortunately the service let the place down a little bit. At one point in the night, after we had finished a dish, we were left for quite a while with no food, no drink and even no water. We spent quite a while trying to get the attention of our waitress but in the end another waiter noticed our gestures. It is hard to be polite and gesture at the same time. I believe that if a restaurant doesn't leave a water bottle on your table and insist on pouring it for you, that they need to very vigilant to patrons water glasses. That and the length of time it took a few of the dishes to come out are my only qualms about the place. Pata Negra for me would be kept for special occasions. But that is because my budget wouldn't stretch that far too often. I would defiantly go again purely for the quality of the dishes.

Until next time.
Love, love Elle.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...