Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pineapple Almond Upside-Down Bars

So I thought that making gluten-free and vegan cakes would be the death of me. But in fact, after discovering rice flour and cheap almonds at my favorite little hanut, I've discovered that it's not too bad. It's actually kind of an adventure. And this particular adventure with pineapple and dates and buttery goodness was definitely a success. Upside-down cakes have always been one of my favorite things to make, but the dense consistency of this particular dessert makes it really more bar-like than cake-y. Whatever you call it, trust me when I say you'll want to eat the whole pan down to the last crumb in one sitting.

I teamed up with the lovely Valerie from Nuance & Bubbles for this recipe, combining flavors from her tropical Puerto Rican beaches and my Tangier coastline to create a delicious international fusion. Head on over to her blog for the whole post and the recipe!

More updates on life this weekend. For now, lots to do, lots to do.
Just keep dancin'

Oh, and you can follow Nuance & Bubbles on facebook, twitter, and instagram :)


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

(Almost) Raw Chocolate Orange Torte

Last week I finally was able to wrangle a friend into teaching me Darija (the Moroccan dialect of Arabic) on a weekly basis, and you know what? I forgot how much fun it is to learn a new language. We will put aside the fact that I'm learning it from a cute young Moroccan guy with adorable broken english and just focus on the fact that language is amazing. New sentence structures, grammar, vocabulary- man, I should have been a linguistics major. Granted, every time I try to pronounce the Kh I sound like a cat coughing on it's own fur and when I try to do that throaty R I sound like one of the Muppets, but you know, it's a process. Practice makes... well, better.

It may be difficult, but I love that I'm figuring out that I can make these sounds with my mouth that I didn't even think were possible. It's like biting into a new and delicious and totally foreign piece of fruit with each new word. 

In fact, Darija is almost as delicious as this Almost Raw Chocolate Orange Torte. 

(Did you see what I did there?)

But seriously. This tri-layered torte is smooth, creamy, and just raw enough to sort of trick your brain into thinking this is really more of a health food than dessert so let me just eat one more sliver. Make it two.

(Almost) Raw Chocolate Orange Torte

150g almonds (we toasted them for extra flavor, but that's definitely not raw, so it's totally optional)
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp tahini or other nut butter
1 tbsp sweetener (we used dark brown sugar but you could also use maple syrup or raw honey)

200g raw cashews, soaked for 2-3 hours or overnight
150g medjool dates, soaked for 1-2 hours
150g vegan dark chocolate
1 tbsp orange zest

100g vegan dark chocolate
3 tbsp soy or almond milk

Begin with the crust: line an 8" or 9" round pan with a piece of parchment paper. Pulse almonds in a food processor until ground into a meal. Add coconut oil, tahini and sweetener and mix with your fingers until it starts to stick together. Press into the bottom of the pan and stick in the fridge while you make the rest of the layers.

To prepare the filling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler and scoop it into your food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth & mousse-like. Spread the filling evenly on top of the crust and place in the fridge to set for at least 1 hour.

In the meantime, make the ganache by melting the chocolate and soymilk together in your double boiler. Whisk until smooth and set in the fridge to cool until the rest of the torte is set. Once it's all ready, flip the torte & crust out of the pan onto a plate and pour the ganache over the top. Slice, serve & smile.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Love Lists- March

The coming of Spring in Tangier has by no means been a slow and quiet process. The sun and warm weather are aggressively ushered in by strong winds and waves, bending the palm trees sideways and making my ceiling groan while I sleep at night. The wind makes everything feel alive and the colors seem more vibrant. I didn't think this place could get any more inspiring for me, but it just grows and fluctuates so much on a daily basis. I can't help falling more and more in love.

Speaking of which:

March Love List

-Listening to the newest album by Ásgeir on repeat and dreaming of taking another road trip around Iceland...
-This artist's delicate, lovely little watercolors.
-A simple and thoughtful tutorial on food photography as story-telling
-Cake truffles? Yeah. I can roll with that.
-I know this video has been circulating around a lot lately, but I just think it's so wonderfully awkward/sweet/romantic. And I'm not even someone who's into romantic things. Trust me.
-Uum so I think I have a full-on tahini obsession. I can't stop. Especially after seeing these incredible Tahini-Swirled Brownies. Ooh I'm swooning.
-Loving the fluid quality of this choreography.
-This gorgeous short film on the creation and destruction of mountains.
-I've been in the mood to get a bit more ambitious with dinners. On my list to make are this, this, and this.
-My newest blog crush.
-Finally, this song on repeat. It's just too damn catchy.

What have you been loving lately?
Happy Spring beginnings!