Tag Archive: carob


First of all – all credit to the name goes to Samuel Lee, my comi at bhuti.

It has again been a massively long and tiring week, and once cancelled pop up dinner was rescheduled for the last day of June, Thursday the 30th. My initial plans to go with a specific cuisine did not happen as I decided to go with something simple for me to prep, but good, and thus thought that as raw lasagna had been a winner at my last pop up dinner, people should have the chance to also try the raw pizza. As I had another event to do canapes for the same evening, it was non-stop indeed until it was 7.30pm – the estimated time for commencing the dinner service.

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There were very few people present, but most had booked days in advance, and only an addition of two came on the day making my life easier. Also everyone was able to have a chat with all the people present. Welcoming nibbles included battered vegetables, raw courgette hummus, and a beetroot-carrot-orange-lemon-ginger juice.

The first course was courgette rolls, two kinds, both filled with pesto, one with a cherry tomato, the other with carrot, pepper and sprouts. Pesto really works so well with courgette, it is a match made in heaven. And a little canape of candy and purple beetroot layered with cranberry cheese sauce and topped with sprouts. And SUMAC! I love sumac.

The second course was the raw pizza. I made a tomato-oregano raw base with base ingredients such as carrots, red onion, sunflower seeds and flax. The toppings included hand-pitted olives, sweetcorn, red peppers, walnut mince (tamari, agave, smoked paprika flavoured), crispy aubergine (marinated in tamari, EVO, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, chilli -> dehydrated), layered on top of sundried tomato marinara sauce, and topped with basic cashew cheese sauce and some oregano and sprouts. This is way more filling than one might perceive from its looks.

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Third course was a selection of desserts. I did a coconut-carob-chocolate tarts, essentially coconut butter with some coconut milk (from the canned coconut) and some coconut sugar for the base, a slice of banana, and topped with carob chocolate – coconut oil, maple syrup, and carob powder. I got this pack of carob at work which was of such a superior quality I digged the flavour so much I could not stop myself from making the carob chocolate. And also carob truffles. They are also the ‘bhuti balls’ at the time, truffles the tea room sells at all times with changing the recipe with each batch, this time containing sunflower seeds, coconut, cashews, carob, hemp seeds, hemp protein, and dates. I think this is the exhaustive list of ingredients… And the last pieces were fruit roll-ups. The rolls were something in between fruit leather and raw wraps, basically a fruit smoothie with very little of flax blended in, as it looked too liquidy for my liking, and then dehydrated. For the filling I did coconut cream (tinned coconut milk with agave and vanilla) and sliced strawberries. After it had stayed in the fridge for an hour, the ‘leather’ soaked in some of the moisture and yum with the intertwined and infused flavours! And then topped it with a chocolate swirl and edible flowers.

Fourth course, and may I add – respect for the guests to have made it so far – was cultured cream cheese – basic cashew cheese recipe with added probiotics, left to culture for a day in a warm place. I separated the yield in half and chopped a heck of a lot of chives and parsley in one. It was served with raw bread, which was a mixture of carrots, courgette, spinach, onion, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax, and herbs/spices. All this accompanied by a handful of grapes and pineapple.

Similar to last time, I decided to serve a hot drink to top it off, this time our Golden Elixir from the menu, which is essentially a spiced turmeric drink including cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg and cardamom. Together with that I had a spur-of-the-moment idea and did some chocolate covered strawberries to put the cherry on top of the evening.

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From the feedback received, everyone seemed to enjoy all parts of the dinner, and it quite likely beat the option of fish and chips. I think the only part I still need to master is the amounts, for four courses, be as small as the nibbles are, is still rather filling. Me and Andrea, the newest chef addition at bhuti helping me out that evening, had a pizza for our dinner, and only that filled us up to the brim. Thank god for take-away options!

All in all, my ride at bhuti has been an educative one. I do not think I would have had the chance to start as a head chef so soon had it not been for a new startup such as this. And thanks to the steep learning curve I now can value my time and area of expertise much more, and am content with moving on from there to new challenges, and new chance to help up another start-up, this time just around the corner from where I am currently based. I would not have survived as long as I did without my dearest kitchen crew, and all the other colleagues who have lent me a shoulder to cry on and reasons to laugh until my eyes water.

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Kitchen’s angels. My kitchen team of Andrea, Sam, myself, and Junko there in our minds.

Thank you bhuti for offering me all the chances I had to improve myself and the business; and welcome to Rawligion, my new head chef challenge in the raw vegan world.

PS, last chance to catch me at bhuti next week Mon-Fri! After that you will find me on 3 Tottenham Street!

Gracefully yours,

Eli xx

Bananabread recipe

Hellloooo, everybody!

Today I thought I’d share this recipe of bananabread that I’ve done a couple of times. It’s free from added sugar, which enhances its nutritional value in my eyes. ๐Ÿ™‚
I have to say, why I was doing so many bananabreads at a time, was because I had too many nearly-overly-ripe bananas at home, so this seemed like a nice way to utilise them and make something to share with my flatmates. But the amounts I used were pretty… enormous. I think I used 12 bananas is the big one that I did, and besides getting the huge bananabread, I also had enough to make 6 muffins also.
So here’s I think the key to making a good bananabread regardless of the amounts – use about as much (wholemeal) flour as you have bananas. I mean that volume-wise. So say you got 4 bananas, it’d possibly be about 1.5-2 cups of flour. I think that kind of ratio keeps the cake nice and moist, but dry enough so it wouldn’t be very sticky from the middle. Like the first banana-bread I made, used too little flour and despite cooking it 1+ hours, the knife still came out sticky, so I concluded that there was too much banana that it wouldn’t cook dry. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just a wee heads up. But now I’ll try to guesstimate the amounts a normal amount would use.

Ingredients:

5 bananas
2.5-3 cups wholemeal flour
2 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp cinnamon
200-300 g dates (paste, or chop yourself to pieces)
1/2 cup milk alternative (optional)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (optional)

Mash the bananas, add the milk and oil (or just some water), mix in the dates. In a separate bowl mix flour with cinnamon and baking powder and mix it with the banana mixture. Taste it and add raisins, or some liquid sweetener like date or yacรณn syrup if you feel like it. Or I divided it to 4 and added some carob powder to one, vanilla sugar to another, blackcurrant flour to third and wheatgrass to the fourth one, and then poured one after another. I was hoping for some colour change, but it all baked the same, so you could somewhat just feel the taste was a bit varied.
And then just bake it about 30 minutes until the knife comes out clean. If it gets too crusty from the top, just cover it with some tin foil. And that’s all there is to the magic ๐Ÿ™‚

Hope you’ll like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Eli x

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This. Is. INCREDIBLE!

I have many witnesses who can concur with me – this cake is simply a-m-a-z-i-n-g! And as easy as ever! This amount gave me about 15 cupcake sized cakes with some base left over. I reckon it’s be a nice average sized cake as well. Add an avocado and a banana for thicker filling!

Ingredients:

200 g hazelnuts (or any other nuts you’d fancy, I think they just already give a sort of chocolatey flavour to the base)
200 g soft dates (medjool or small ones soaked in water)

2 ripe avocados
2 ripe bananas
150-200 g soft dates
2 tbsp coconut oil (melted in water-bath)
1/4 cup cacao/carob powder (I use carob as I try to steer clear from caffeine)
1 vanilla pod (inside only, if using high-speed food processor can put the whole thing in)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp agave nectar (optional)
cacao nibs for decoration (optional)

The process is the same as usual – process the nuts and dates in food processor or through mincer for the base. For the filling blend all the ingredients, add some water if needed to get the blender going. The final product should be quite a thick paste (I’m surprised how my blender actually managed to blend it, it being so thick, but no pieces – success!). Thus fill the base of the cake mold with the date-nut paste and fill it with the avocado cream. I used wee cupcake holders as they’re handy to make and hand out, mostly though because I’ve given out a cake in my silicone cake mold so I can’t use that one at the moment… For decoration however I used these cacao nibs I have – give nice crunch to the otherwise very smooth cake and enhance the chocolatey part. Leave it in the freezer for an hour or so, that it would settle.

I ate it after 20 minutes with two housemates and we all loved it, so it’s good to go like that also, but it was better after having frozen and let standing for about an hour to defrost, a bit more firm. But trust me – it’s good in any form. It’s simply divine! ๐Ÿ™‚

Enjoy!

Eli xxx

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Hello you people! Here cometh another recipe of an amazingly delicious raw cake. This time with strawberries. ๐Ÿ™‚

I had two bowls of strawberries that had to be used up that day or they would have gone off (and who would like that to happen with strawberries?!?) thus as I already knew I wanted to make a thank-you cake for a friend, this cake happened.

Base:

7 dried banana slices (as I dried them meself, I can’t say the exact weight. The volume was about a big handful held with both hands in a bag ๐Ÿ˜€ But I did them very thin as well. I’d say up to 300 g)
300 g dates

Filling:

4-5 cups of fresh strawberries
200-300g dates (vary according to your preferences)
3 tbsp carob powder (or cocoa powder if you don’t mind caffeine)
(2 tbsp chia seeds)
(3 tbsp coconut oil)

For base, process the banana chips and dates together to form a thick paste. As it is usually reallllly thick and hard and sticky, I blended some coconut flakes into powder that I put to the bottom of the cake tin so it’d be easier to lift. Press the banana-date mix to the base, forming an equally distributed layer.

For the filling blend the strawberries with dates and your chocolatey flavour enhancer. It should become a reasonably thick paste as well, like yoghurt or something. In theory at least. As the strawberries are very watery, I added some chia seeds and blended them in as well to make it a bit more thicker. I wouldn’t say I tasted any of it in there though. But I reckon I still should have used some coconut oil as well to get it firmer (especially in the lack of time to let it settle in the freezer). However as a pie it’s still good and taste doesn’t change ๐Ÿ™‚ Thus blend all and pour onto the base. I decorated it with some more strawberries.

Put it to the freezer to settle for at least 30 minutes, but I’d recommend about 1-2 hours.

You can take it out of the tin afterwards as well so it’d be easier to cut and serve (as I had a feeling I hacked through my silicone form many a time, luckily no though :P). I’d imagine some vanilla whipped cream or ice-cream would have worked well also to be served with. Just an idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

Everyone who had it approved and were delighted so it’s definitely a nice one to share at a summer party/picnic. Enjoy!

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