Addictive (Healthy) Raw Chocolate Fudge! Be Gone, Winter Blues!

P1060631Thank God I never liked commercial fudge growing up. It tastes so gross. Even though I didn’t like it, somehow this raw chocolate fudge gives me such satisfaction, bite after bite after bite.

Make it. In bulk. It will disappear quickly! But that’s cool because it’s made with 4 simple ingredients that carry great health benefits: nuts, cacao powder, honey and coconut oil. Now go read a label on a box of commercial fudge and feel your tummy turn.

Recipe

Blend two cups of your favourite nuts on medium speed for about 15 minutes until it turns to butter. You will need to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender until you incorporate all the little bits of nut that stick to the sides of the blender. Your nutter-butter production will go through several phases:

ground nut flour – paste – thick creamy paste – oils release – full liquid

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Coconut butter (solidified)

Please bear in mind that not all nuts behave well as butters. Macadamia is a dream to work with, turning into butter before you even reach ten minutes. Cashews are very starchy but turn out a good butter. Almonds are difficult because they turn into a thick paste and don’t easily release their oils. If this happens, do stop blending and just use the paste as you would a butter.

Once your nuts have turned to butter, add 2 tablespoons of honey and raw cacao powder (or more), then blend until it is incorporated. Using a spatula or spoon, remove the thick, sticky mass from the blender into a bowl and give it a final squeeze and mix with your hands.

Pull out your favourite ice cube trays (with shapes) or simply line a square or rectangular-shaped container with plastic and press the fudge mass into the container. Flatten with your palm and neaten the edges so they are flat and straight. Refrigerate while you make the chocolate coating. If you’re using ice cube trays, leave enough space at the top to finish with chocolate coating. I use 1 tablespoon of fudge for each mould. photoChocolate Coating

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted over low heat, double boiler style)

4 tbls raw cacao powder

4 tbls honey

Mix all together until smooth. Take fudge out of fridge and gently spoon the chocolate over the fudge if you used mould. If you used a container, simply pour the chocolate over. Let it set it the fridge for an hour then un-mould or turn out of the container and slice into squares.

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Summer Canapés Workshop with Delicious Taipei

CONCEPT As more and more people worldwide are becoming health conscious, clean eating and whole foods movements are flourishing. Delicious Taipei has found that there is both a lack of information and accessibility regarding healthy eating in Taiwan. We have also discovered that there is an overwhelming interest in gourmet raw food after holding ten successful workshops in 2012. We believe that with the right venue, there is an even bigger market to tap into and even more healthy and delicious avenues to explore.

RAW FOOD Raw foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains that have not been heated above 40°C. Consuming these foods in their natural state ensures that they are not only fresh, but remain packed with enzymes, vitamins, and nutrients. Uncooked and unprocessed foods are also rich in phytonutrients and micronutrients, which are essential to maintaining an alkaline state in our body and preventing diseases. Delicious Taipei invites guests to explore the concept of a raw food lifestyle.

CANAPÉS Canapés are a type of hors d’oeuvres, or bite sized decorative morsels of food, that pack a lot of flavor and exude an air of elegance when served. These gourmet appetizers take little time to prepare and are far from fiddly when put together. Serving these posh finger foods accompanied by a glass of wine is the way to wow even the finest epicurean palate.

Join me on July 6th from 14:00 – 17:00 as we discover the world of raw food by making two exquisite canapés and one gourmet, delicious dessert.

On the menu:

1. Macadamia nut pâté served on zucchini with cranberry chutneyP1020561

This canapé is filled with the aromatic fragrance of fresh rosemary and the vibrant tones of garlic which perfectly accompany the tart fruitiness of cranberry chutney. The nut protein ensures that your guests will feel full and satisfied. So even though these are only vegetables, nuts and fruit, they produce a gourmet canapé that will surprise your guests.

2.Beetroot/ Jicama Ravioli with Spicy Cashew cream, marinated shiitake mushrooms and salted Ginger

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Loosely based on the idea of Italian ravioli, this raw version brings out the Asian flavours we all know and love – ginger, garlic and chili in a decadent cashew/avocado cream. Topped with salted ginger, this canapé is so unusual, most people would not even be able to imagine its personality. Showstopper stuff!

3. Raw Chocolate Banana Cream Cake

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No flour, no refined sugar, no eggs and no milk. If it’s raw, you can be sure, it will be better than any baked dessert you have ever tried. This cake is made with walnuts and figs as the base (fibre, fibre, fibre!), banana, vanilla, lemon, avocado and raw cacao as the topping. It sets like a firm cheese cake and will absolutely blow your socks off.

This summer, go gourmet but stay healthy with DELICIOUS TAIPEI!

Date: July 6th, 2013

Time: 14:00 – 17:00

Venue: The Watermoon Tea House (FuXing South Rd, Section 2, Alley 180 #2, 1st floor/ 台北市復興南路二段180巷2號1樓)

Cost: NT2000

Some Guidelines:

1. This will be a hands-on workshop so please be prepared to get your hands dirty:-)

2. Conversation will be limited to breaks only.

3. Cell pones should be on silent and no calls should be accepted during class time. You may however, click away on your phone camera should you wish.

4. We will start precisely at 14:00 and end precisely at 17:00. Please be on time.

5. It will greatly decrease your stress levels, if you figure out how to get to the venue before the day of the workshop:-)

6.Payment should be remitted to the following bank account: E. Sun Bank (玉山銀行: 808),

Songshan Branch (松山分行)

Account Name: 棒活動藝文有限公司 Account #0565-940-001-768

by no later than July 3rd. 

7. This workshop is limited to 14 participants only.

8. Please contact: prish(at)delicioustaipei(dot)com/ 0975-021-931 for any questions.

 

The Joe Calpin Gourmet Raw Picnic Project – Very Romantic!

Romance these days is so rare. On the one hand we have a slowly-desexualizing culture emerging and on the other hand, recourse to romantic opportunities are so limited due to our bulging, vein-popping work schedules, work goals work achievements and work, work, work. Some people even feel strange and disoriented when you pay them a compliment let alone pull out a solitary, blushing rose to gift them with.

Whether you’re gay or straight, I believe in the male-female polarity relationship as being one of balance and harmony. For the sake of not generalizing, I will speak from my own straight perspective. Thus: a man must be a man and a woman must be a woman. For me, it simply means that I love it when my man protects me, when he loves and adores me, when he makes good decisions that guide us well and when he lovingly tells me to get over my shit. I in turn, love serving him, supporting him, bringing more awareness to his strengths (I suck at this – I am very critical and complaining at times) and surrendering to him.

For those of you that know me and my man will think this is a bit of an, um… ideal. And yes, it is – to a certain extent. BUT, we are constantly in practice of these principles. For me, it is difficult to let go of decision-making. Now don’t get me wrong. Decision-making is not primarily of the masculine but I find that I bulldoze my decisions and choices onto my man at times and what it does is makes his voice smaller, his participation less. I believe, a man leads and a woman follows. That is my feminine strength – to surrender. But as a beautiful, spiritually energized man once said, a woman will only surrender when she feels led by the unabiding love of a conscious man. So here we are, I’m learning to surrender and he’s learning to lead.

What does this have to do with Joe Calpin? I mean who is Joe Calpin in the first place?! Joe Calpin is a very romantic man who called me up a few weeks ago and asked me to put together a gourmet raw food picnic for his beloved’s birthday. I hadn’t met Joe before and only met his girlfriend, Carolyn once, at one of my raw food workshops. She tried the macadamia nut pâté and fell in love.

I was deeply touched by Joe’s words and energy through his emails. He pulled out all the stops for Carolyn; patiently went through all my menu ideas with me and showed absolute enthusiasm all the way through. As you can imagine, this ignited my own creative juices, opened up my heart a whole lot and led me to dedicate myself to Joe and Carolyn’s birthday picnic. I love occasional doses of well-thought out romance (but too much makes me nauseous). Diamonds and pearls mean very little compared to a creative and honest gesture from the heart.

The week I worked on Joe and Carolyn’s picnic, I sourced and bought a good picnic basket, some good quality food containers, a cake tin, and some glass jars for drinks. Conceiving a menu was a little tricky because some of the ingredients used in raw food acts as a binder or soldifier so it energy-draining heat like we have in Taipei, I had to pay attention to what could handle being in the basket and what needed a cooler box.

As I was working on the food, I thought it would be a great idea to add some love quotes near the description of each dish as I cook with love and respect and pray that people feel that through my food. It was more importantly, a way for Carolyn to see how Joe honours her. I told him the idea and kind of expected him to say, “Now that’s taking things too far!” but instead, in true Joe Calpin style, of which I was slowly becoming accustomed to, he said, “Haha! Love quotes are perfectly fine :D”

Here’s the final elements:

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I sun-cooked Rooibos (Red Bush) tea for about 10 hours then blended with cashews, dates and apricots, adding a bit of ice once Joe arrived to pick up.

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A hint of the love quote at the back of the jar

The flavours and textures on this canape are wild and sublime. This is the original dish that Carolyn fell in love with.

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Neatly packed into solid food containers, they made their way into the picnic basket.

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Some Shakespeare with your pate?

Next we have the haute couture of raw food dishes: Raw Lasagne. This dish alone takes about 1 week of prep, if I make my own sundried tomatoes. Now that I make my own tomatoes, every single store-bought type kills the joy in any dish. You can’t help but taste the flatness and the preservatives in it.

Usually, when you say raw lasagne, people have no idea about the complement and quality of flavours inside this dish. I would go so far as to say that it is better than cooked lasagne any day.

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Layers of zucchini, walnut meat, macadamia cheese, tomato sauce, basil pesto and marinated wilted spinach rock the socks off this dish

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Serving for one

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Looks very similar to cooked lasagne

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The love quote for lasagne

The components of the lasagne are as follows:

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Organic, Ceylon Spinach – this spinach has such an interesting, stretchy texture

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Top left: walnut meat with miso, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, tamari, etc
Top right: Ceylon spinach marinated with oregano and olive oil
Bottom left: Basil pesto, Middle: Tomato sauce and Bottom Right: Zucchini lasagne sheets

The walnut meat tastes like real meat with the addition of miso, tamari and sundried tomatoes. Since this is a really expensive dish to make, I tried my best to substitute ingredients to lower the cost. Thus, I used pumpkin seeds to make the pesto and it turned out great. Try it, just add more olive oil since it will be a bit drier.

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macadamia cheese with yellow pepper is really such a strong player in this dish

That tomato sauce is one one of best and richest tomato sauces I have ever tasted. Simply made with sundried tomatoes, raw tomatoes, dates and garlic, this thing is a thing of beauty.

Finally, Joe and I decided to make Carolyn a raw chocolate mint cake.

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Joe’s personal quote: “May our love always be marked by the deepest care intimately tied to both word and deed.”

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No romantic rendezvous would be complete without raw chocolate truffles

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I added some complimentary raw sunflower seed crackers

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Final little feminine touch: a wonderful natural skin care product company called Emba and run by my friend, Emily McKee, decided to add their luscious, earthy skin care products as part of a free gift bag

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Soft, gentle, organic and additive-free

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Carolyn is a lucky girl!

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Joe, on his way to meet his Beloved in the park:-)

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Carolyn, absolutely beaming with delight:-)

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Cheers to romance!

Thank you Joe, for bringing this wonderful project to me. I had a great time doing it. Here’s to many more years for you and Carolyn!

Artisanal Tree Nut Cheeses

Delicious Taipei retails delicious tree nut cheeses anywhere in Taiwan. Tree nut cheeses are dairy-free and cultured with  home-brewed, brown rice (gluten-free) or rye seed-based probiotics in Summer and a gluten/dairy-free store-bought probiotic in Winter. Probiotics are good bacteria that cleanse and protect the digestive system from bad bacteria.

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This is a batch of home-brewed probiotics made from sprouted seeds. The process takes about 1 week.

Our gourmet tree nut cheeses are made with cashews or macadamia. Here’s why they’re good for you:

Cashews: Two most important things about cashew are that they are magnesium-rich (the heart and head love magnesium) and they’re also the best dietary nut meaning that they are a great aid to weight loss because of their high fibre and dense energy.

Macadamia: It contains a good oil and they are rich in minerals magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium and iron. Also, they’re divinely rich and creamy

This is our delectable range of tree nut cheeses:

cashew original

cashew original

cashew sundried tomato and olive

sundried tomato and olive

 

preserved meyer lemon and fresh rosemary

preserved meyer lemon and fresh rosemary

onion and garlic

onion and garlic

Aged Macadamia - the cashew will have a similar look

Aged Macadamia – the cashew will have a similar look

plain cashew NT700
sundried tomato/ olive cashew NT750
preserved meyer lemon/ rosemary cashew NT750
onion and garlic cashew NT750
 aged cashew NT850
plain macadamia NT900
sundried tomato/ olive macadamia NT950
preserved meyer lemon/ rosemary macadamia NT950
onion and garlic macadamia NT950
 aged macadamia NT1,050

To order, email/call prish(at)delicioustaipei(dot)com/0975-021-931