Prana New Year Festival 2012 – see you over New Year on the Coromandel!

Yes, take your darling and the kids and join us at the Prana New Year Festival 2012 from December 30th, 2011 to January 3rd, 2012!

Just go to: http://prana.co.nz and check it out!

We will be part of the residential kitchen crew at “The Barn” and René will be the chef in charge of the daily dessert selection and raw chocolate creations. Should you have missed us at the 2006 Fresh Festival in the UK – here is your chance to enjoy some seriously yummy raw festival desserts right near you (if you live in NZ).

Divine dessertsTo top it all off you camp in one of New Zealand’s most scenic areas, have some top notch artists and entertainers perform and an amazing beach just steps away. Only a few weeks ago we happened to be on the Coromandel and stopped by to say ‘Hello!’ to Maya and Dan at Prana. We were blown away by the setting of the festival land – an old-grown coastal pine forest right behind the most serene beach. Heaven!

All right, at the festival we will share that beach with about 1500 other attendants – trusting they won’t show up all at the same time when we go swimming 😉

Here is a little teaser from Cathedral Cove, further North on the Peninsula.

Cathredal Cove BeachSo we are looking forward to seeing you at Prana over New Year!

René
🙂

Psst! René’s cakes and desserts are available for sale at the Wise Cicada Café in Newmarket too.

Raw Wedding Cake – whip up, chill, marry, eat!

This is an easy one and proved to be quick enough to make the morning before our wedding last Friday.

Yes! We did it.

On 11.11.11 and it was actually shortly after 11am that we exchanged rings on the beach of Cherry Bay at the bottom of Harrison Scenic Reserve in Opua, Bay of Islands, New Zealand – check on Google Earth for the evidence! (35°18’21.02″ S 174°06’34.64″ E)

Lydia and Rene newly wed

Oh, you are waiting for the recipe right?!

This cake was first made at the 2004 International Raw Food festival in Portland, Oregon and won the first price then. Slightly altered for our wedding 7 years after, here it is!

Strawberry and Coconut Cream CakeStrawberry and Coconut Cream Cake

12 pieces from a 20cm spring form (so keep your wedding party small!)

Ingredients:

Crust

  • 1.5 cups cashews, unsoaked
  • 1.5 cups shredded coconut
  • 6 small dates, pitted
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Berry filling

  • 500g fresh or frozen strawberries or blueberries, defrosted
  • 6-8 dates, pitted
  • 1-2 tsp organic vanilla essence, depending on strength
  • 1 tsp lemon juice, amount depending on acidity of the berries you use
  • 1 Tbsp psyllium husk powder
    (as a rule of thumb use 1 Tbsp psyllium husk powder for 2 cups of liquid mixture)

Coconut cream

  • Meat from 3-5 young coconuts. It should make about 2 cups when blended with the coconut water.
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup young coconut water
  • 1/2 cups premium virgin coconut oil (use more for a firmer cream)
  • 1 tsp organic vanilla essence
  • seeds from half a vanilla bean, cut open lengthwise and scrape out seeds
  • 2-3 Tbsp agave nectar, according to desired sweetness
  • 1/2 tsp lime juice, optional

Method:

  • To make crust grind cashews in a food processor into a fine flour. Set aside.
  •  Process coconut until broken down into coarse meal, add dates. Process till dates are finely distributed in coconut mixture. Add agave nectar, coconut oil and cashew flour. Process till a homogenous dough forms.
  • Press into a spring form (line bottom with plastic wrap) or pie dish with the bottom of the crust 5mm thick. Press sides up about 2cm and finish with a flexible rubber spatula so the whole crust rim has an even height and thickness. This might take a bit patience and practice. So don’t attempt to make your first cake of this sort on your wedding day! 🙂
  • In a blender combine defrosted berries, vanilla essence, lemon juice and dates. Blend at high speed into a smooth liquid.
  • Adjust flavour. Then add psyllium husk powder and blend again to finely disperse it throughout the mixture.
  • Pour filling into the pie crust. Make sure it stays inside the perfectly shaped crust rim. Flatten the top with a spatula.
  • Refrigerate for 20 min to allow to set.
  • Combine all ingredients for the coconut cream in a high speed blender and blend until a smooth and creamy consistency is achieved. This can take a few minutes. Make sure the mixture is folding over while blending. Upon your own risk open the blender lid and use a rubber spatula to fold the cream from the sides of the blender jar to the centre until a vortex forms. This process will warm up both your blender motor and the cream. Keep it raw and monitor the temperature of machine and cream!
  • When your cream has reached the right consistency pour it over the berry layer into the cake tin or pie dish. Tap the cake a few times hard onto your counter to allow air bubbles rise to the surface of the cream.
  • Level the top of the coconut cream with a spatula, then put the cake into the freezer for about one hour for the coconut cream to set.
  • Garnish with sliced strawberries, lemon zest and mint.
  • Enjoy and be happy ever after!

René

🙂

Strawberry Coconut Cream Cake, cut

Orgasmic Blueberry Pie – a raw revelation

And here is another all-time favourite of mine. A raw pie that works with all kind of fruit. Any frozen berry will do, although I prefer organic strawberries or blueberries because of their small seeds. Ripe pears with ginger work well, persimmons are great, so is kiwifruit. Just make sure you add enough lime or lemon juice to counter balance the fruit sugar and the sweetness of the crust.

The proper ratio for the psyllium husk powder is 1 Tbsp per 2 cups of mixture. Add last and blend well. Then quickly pour the filling. It will solidify in less than 5min. After about 30min the pie will hold up nicely when you lift it out of the pie form. If you can’t get psyllium husk powder just buy normal psyllium husks and grind them into a fine powder in your blender. It will jelly into a more homogenous texture than the whole psyllium husks.

Once you get the hang of this pie 15 min preparation time + 30 min resting time in the refrigerator should be the norm. The best thing about raw pies and cakes: they never burn! 🙂

Orgasmic Blueberry PieOrgasmic Blueberry Pie

Serves 8

Crust¨

  • 200g shredded coconut
  • 200g raw cashews
  • 2 Tbsp light honey or raw agave nectar
  • ¼ tsp lemon juice

Filling

  • 750g frozen organic blueberries, defrosted
  • 6 organic Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp Psyllium husk powder (1Tbsp per 2 cups of liquid)
  • ½ mango or pineapple, finely diced for garnish
  1. To make the crust, in a food processor grind the coconut into a fine powder. Add the cashews and continue processing till they are broken down finely. Add the honey/agave nectar and lemon juice and process till the mixture sticks together.
  2. Press into a pie form with removable bottom.
  3. To make filling blend the defrosted blueberries with the dates, vanilla extract and lime juice to a smooth liquid consistency. Add the Psyllium husk powder and blend shortly to distribute evenly throughout the mixture.
  4. Pour filling onto crust. Tap pie form a few times to let air bubbles escape and to distribute filling evenly. Smooth surface with a little spatula.
  5. Refrigerate before serving and garnish with mango or pineapple.

Enjoy!

René

🙂