Tag Archive: chocolate


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.

DSC_2545.JPG

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.

DSC_2558.JPG

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.

DSC_2573

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.

IMG_20160701_071917

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

Raw red velvet cake

Heya folk,

Here is my take on the American classic Red Velvet cake. I found myself in a situation with too many beetroots around that needed using up, and luckily enough of other ingredients to make it work as a cake! The process is quite simple, but the cake is utterly delish. It is as moist as the cooked version, but way healthier! Also kept it nut free, but feel free to add some if you want it heavier. 🙂

Ingredients:

Base:

3-4 medium beetroots
1 1/2 cups desiccated coconut
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup flaxmeal
1/3 cup buckwheat flour (raw buckwheat soaked, dehydrated, milled)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup dates

Cream:

2 full fat tins of coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp agave/maple

OR

1 cup coconut butter (process desiccated coconut until it gets smooth)
1/2 cup plant milk (any of your choice, do yourself by soaking about 1 cup of nuts/seeds per 1 litre of milk, juice or process with water and separate pulp)
2 tbsp agave

Process:

For the base, put all the ingredients in the food processor (with the S-blade) and process until smooth. Add dates if you want to make it sweeter, or extra seeds/coconut to make it drier.  It will get quite fine and velvety if you do it for long enough. Press half of it into the cake tin.

For the cream, if you are using coconut milk cans, scoop out the white part only and mix with vanilla and sweetener with a whisk until smooth. Add more or less sweetener according to your taste.
For the other white chocolate-y layer melt the coconut butter (or have it freshly made so it is still soft), dilute it down with some liquid and sweeten it if you feel like it.

Do a layer of the cream (leave in the freezer for a short while if you need to for the hardening), and press on a second layer of the base. Cover it once more with the cream, or do a pattern instead by piping.

For decorations you can add fresh fruit, berries, or chocolate – as you wish!
It is a very simple process, really, and very vibrant with the colors! Here are the two versions I made:

bhutifood 044bhutifood 051DSC_1332DSC_1327

Hope you like it!

Eli x

Raw apple pie

Hello everyone!

The spring is in the air and even more the reason to get ‘cookin’ on the raw cakes! This one is a very simple recipe, full of raw apple goodness and date sweetness. Ready in about half an hour if you got a mandolin, food processor, and a blender handy. 🙂

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cashews
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dates

~ 10 apples
2 cups of dates
2 bananas/3 apples
1 tbsp vanilla
1 lemon (juice)
1 tbsp cinnamon
(chocolate)
(dried apple pieces)

Method:

For the base, chuck the cashews, coconut, sunflower seeds and dates in a food processor and process until chunky but sticky. If it does not seem to get sticky enough, add a piece of apple and that should help with the binding.
Press to the base of a cake tin (I use one that is 8-9″ in diameter I think).

Mandolin the apples quite thinly (as thin as you can without making the slices break) and put them in water with 1/2 lemon squeezed in it (helps with maintaining the colour). Meanwhile do the caramel.
Blend the dates with vanilla, rest of the lemon juice, cinnamon and bananas/apples and any extra apple pieces you may have left over, for example the broken pieces or slices that were too thick or thin for using. It should come out like a proper sweet caramel. Tweak the flavour if you want with some nutmeg and ginger.

Cover the base with some of the caramel and arrange the apple slices to cover it all. Cover them with more caramel and repeat that until you run out of the caramel (which should be the topmost layer).

Dust some more cinnamon over it, or melt some 30g of chocolate in hot water bath and put it in a piping bag to do funky chocolate works on top. I was doing another cake at the same time and thus had chocolate handy, but did a very plain topping.
It is way easier to cut into it once it has set for a few hours in the fridge. Otherwise it may become a very messy task and the layers will slide easily. Still delish though!

Now this cake is quite sweet as you can tell from the amount of dates, so if you are not such a fan, just use less of the dates. The caramel will still be fine, and the base as well, just add more fruit to bind it. I would serve it with some dehydrated apple slices, but some coconut cream would be nice as well, to balance the sweetness somewhat. A drizzle of agave adds nice reflective features, and more cinnamon and fanned fruit makes it look fancy. 🙂

bhuti food 911bhuti food 919bhuti food 920

Yum! Enjoy!

Eli x

 

GF sweet bean ‘traybake’

Hiya, all,

It was about a year ago that I was sent a recipe exchange ‘chain mail’, and what a friend of mine sent me as an answer was savoury bean brownie recipe. I thought it was a fascinating idea to make something different out of beans like that. Never got around to it though. But the idea has stood with me ever since. So today I was faced with a challenge – make dinner for 4 in about 45 minutes. Luckily I had beans soaked so only had to boil them and rice for the main, with some veggies as side. But then the dessert… And as it had to be gluten-free, it got me thinking. Rice flour? Gram flour? Cocoa? Not enough ripe bananas though.. And then it hit me. I had a carton of red kidney beans, and the rest was improvisation. I thought I’ll go with cocoa-orange. So here goes, the recipe, best to my memories –

Ingredients:

1 carton of beans (I used red kidney beans)
1 banana
~50 g brown/muscovado sugar/molasses (to taste)
2/3 cup oats
1/4 cup gram flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp flaxmeal
50 g dates
2 oranges (juiced)

Coating – 100 g chocolate

Drain the beans and blend them with a banana into a mash. Add sugar and orange juice and mix well (I used muscovado so it needs a more liquid environment to mix properly). Chop the dates and add them to the mixture with the rest of the dry ingredients. The dough should be reasonably thick, you would have to spread it in the cake tin. And then bake it for about 20 minutes (my oven doesn’t really react to different heat settings, so I nearly always use the maximum, otherwise I’d say around 200-220 degrees). If you want to have chocolate coating then melt the chocolate in a hot water bath until melted and pour onto the cake. Let it stand until it hardens or serve it as it is – nice and soft 🙂 Has a fudge-y kinda texture.

image

So there you go, a rather easy and quick cake, and totally gluten free. Woop!

Hope you enjoyed it! Get creative 😉

Eli x

Hello everyone,

I was baking a bit the last couple of days and thought of the numerous times people have asked me – how do I bake and substitute eggs. So I thought I’d put this down ‘on paper’ and have something to refer to whenever asked the question again.
Firstly, my cake and muffin and cupcake doughs are all the same, in their essence. And the basic recipe is so basic you can modify it and make hundreds of varieties. So here it is –

500g flour (I always bake with wholegrain flour)
200g sugar/sweetener (I use molasses or brown sugar or just chop dates, add more or less depending on your sweet tooth)
1 tbsp baking powder
(Pinch of salt)
(2 tbsp cinnamon)
(1/4 cup oil)
(2 tbsp lemon juice)
(1 cup milk of your choice)
Water

All the items in brackets are optional, so you can add oil and milk but you can as well omit them and add more water. As always, mix the dry ingredients with the wet ones. Add enough water to make the dough into a yogurt like consistency.

And now some of the ingredients you can add to it –
– bananas (mashed)
– berries (fresh, frozen or ground)
– fruit, like apples, peaches, pears
– cocoa (& chocolate, or carob)
– superfoods like maca, spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, baobab, lucuma
– alternative flours like gram, rye, buckwheat, hemp, oats
– raisins
– applesauce
– essences like vanilla, or peppermint
– buttermilk (milk mixed with vinegar)
– poppy seeds
– nuts
…..

So what I’m trying to say, is you can make it into any flavour you want.
To bake it into a cupcake, just mix vegan margarine with icing sugar and maybe some wheatgrass or raspberries for colour? 😉
And now some photos of the stuff I’ve done:

image

image

image

image

image

So I hope this will help you get your imagination going regarding cakes and baking 🙂

Yours,

Eli x

Hello again, my dear followers,

I realise it’s been nearly two months since I last posted something here, thus, I’ll try to be a lot more active this month. It has already started out pretty well as I’ve made two amazing cakes, of which this recipe is the first one of the (next one posted tomorrow or day after).

This is the first very fancy-looking proper birthday cake I have rawified. And as the recipients were happy with it, I can assure you that the taste is not compromised! This might look long and complicated, and maybe with no experience in raw cakes it is, though I assure you, it took me no longer than an hour of prepping 🙂

Thus:

Ingredients:

Base:
1 cup coconut (shredded)
1/2 cup buckwheat crispies (raw soaked, dehydrated buckwheat)
2/3 cup flax seeds
1/4 beetroot
2 cups dates (soft, presoaked)

Chocolate layer:
2 avocados
2-3 tbsp cocoa/cacao powder
2 bananas
1.5 cups soft dates
3 tbsp coconut oil (melted)

Raspberry layer:
400g (frozen) raspberries
1/4 cup sweetener of your choice (I used date syrup and agave nectar)
100 g coconut butter (not oil!) (melted)
1 tbsp vanilla extract (optional)

Frosting:
200 g coconut butter
small chunk of beetroot
1/4 cup sweetener of your choice
1 banana

Process:

For base ground all the dry ingredients (coconut, buckwheat, flax), blend together with small chunks of beetroot and the dates. I use my jug blender to do all the small grinding and then my food processor with an S-blade to process it all together. It should be somewhat sticky decent mixture to press to the bottom of your prepared cake tin (if you smear tiny bit of coconut oil to the bottom of the tin, it’ll be easier to get the pieces off). The amount that you use depends very much on the size of the cake. I made the base layer roughly 80 mm thick and had quite a bit left over, which is okay! 🙂

The chocolate layer is very easy- just blend it all together, add the coconut oil at the very end. If you need to, add some water to make the blending easier. Pour that on top of your base layer.

Now if you had any of the base left over, now would be the time to either crumble it on top the chocolate layer or if the latter is solid enough, you may be able to make a proper second base layer in between there. 🙂

The raspberry layer is fairly easy as well. If you’re using frozen raspberries, like I was, melt them in warm water, and try to drain most of the water out. Blend it with whatever sweetener you wish, add vanilla if you so desire. The coconut butter must be melted to a thicker liquid like state, use hot water bath. Or de-freezing option on the microwave if you want it done quicker. Not sure if it would qualify as raw then any more though. Anyway, once you’ve achieved that, blend it with the raspberry mixture. Pour that on top of the assembled cake you’ve got so far. This layer balances out the sweetness of the rest of the cake and brings a dimension of freshness to it.

For frosting, melt the rest of the coconut butter and blend together with the other ingredients. As it gets thick very quickly due to the low temperatures, you may have to add hot water (I did), to keep it from becoming totally solid.
I used a piping bag, where I fit it all in and with the nice nozzle decorated the whole thing.
As this cake needs to be kept in the freezer for a few hours, you might want to do the frosting as the last thing, after it’s frozen, so you could lose the sides of the cake tin and use the frosting on the sides. I did it only at the top (and had a hard time of using all of it up), but it’s nice either way.

Thus, either with or without your frosting, make sure it’s nice and solid from being frozen. I froze mine overnight and then let it warm to room temperature with a couple of hours. I’m sure it’ll be nice with less time spent on each activity 🙂

And that’s it! Enjoying left, really! Below you can see photos of the cake, and a cupcake I made alongside, for sampling, and photos 😛

I hope this inspires you to try and do something similar!

Eli x

 

rasp choc cake 1

cakes n more 048

 

rasp choc cake whole

rasp choc cake side

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! 🙂

Enjoy!

Eli xxx

Image

Hello you people! Here cometh another recipe of an amazingly delicious raw cake. This time with strawberries. 🙂

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 😀 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 🙂 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! 🙂

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

Image
Image

Raw chocolate recipes

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lately I have rediscovered chocolate for meself. People often ask me if I now still can have chocolate on a raw diet and I usually have answered that I could make it meself but I hadn’t bothered. Well. Times have changed now and I’m amazed of the variety of flavours one can make. 🙂

The main ingredients are:

coconut oil or cocoa butter (I’ve used coconut – cheaper and more available in my circles)

cocoa/carob powder for dark chocolate

sweeteners (yacón, agave, stevia)

 

I forgot to take a picture of my trial of white chocolate, but for that I blended some soaked cashews with agave and vanilla from half a pod and mixed it with melted coconut oil. AMAZING! It was seriously so good! Just like a normal vegan white chocolate. Cashews are important because agave doesn’t mix with coconut oil and thus when you do try to do it, they still separate when freezing so you have agave syrup at the bottom and frozen coconut oil on top – not working 😛 It should mix with honey if you don’t have problem with that though.

But for normal chocolate: melt coconut/cocoa butter in water bath, add about as much cocoa/carob powder as you had the fat (or more or less, as you really like the taste) and sweeten in up with as little agave as possible as this is the ingredient that makes it melt at room temperature. Or if not melt then soften remarkably. You can add any spices, like I’ve added quite a lot of cinnamon usually. for the card-suit shaped ones I made three different flavours. For ones I put raisins in the molds, another one I mixed in sea salt and put some on top as well and for the last one I used a mixture of spices – cinnamon, cloves, ginger, star anise, cardamom, nutmeg. A wee christmasy taste, though the mixture with star anise in it gave it a somewhat liquorish flavour. Good nonetheless!

For the whole chocolate bar I used quite a handful of goji berries and another half vanilla pod, otherwise just cinnamon and mixture of cocoa and carob. Supposedly delicious, didn’t have a taste myself, but I trust the opinion of the recipient.

A lovely gift for a birthday, or so I thought. So get your coconut oils melting and start experimenting!

Bom appetit!

ImageImage

Raw brownie cookies

Brownie cookies 

 

2 cups almondmeal
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tbsp cocoa powder
sweetener
pinch of salt
water
cinnamon

 

Mix all dry ingredients, add enough sweetener (amount varies depending on what you’re using, ~1/2 cup agave syrup/2-3 tbsp stevia + 2-3 tbsp agave/1/4 cup yacón) and water to make it thick dough. Scoop the dough with a teaspoon and put straight on to a dehydrator’s tray. Dehydrate on 104F/40C for 5 hours or more if you want them crispier. 🙂 Irresistable! 

Foood_010