Jul 19, 2012

BED: Raw Blackberry Chia Jam

My favorite part of summer has always been the berries. Don't get me wrong -- not having to wear a coat or socks are fantastic but what always gets me most excited is seeing the farmer's markets flooded with berries. One May, when I was living in Paris, my friend Davey visited me. There, we discovered fraises gariguettes -- a special variety of strawberry that's absolutely out of this world. We bought two cartons a day -- one to eat on the way home and the other to have for dessert. They were so good that we didn't need to do anything to them; just ate them right out of the carton!

Sadly, the gariguettes are only a memory now and I no longer have the time to go to the market every day. And, while he does eat berries, the vegetarian doesn't get nearly excited enough about them to ever warrant getting more than one carton. Truth be told, he prefers his fruit mixed with wine to make sangria!

But berries are one of the few sour fruits allowed on the body ecology diet and so I knew I needed to celebrate summer by having some. But I wanted to do something more interesting than just eating them raw and it was too hot to cook them. I also didn't really want to make a dessert. Truthfully, the best time of day to have fruit is in the morning and I wanted something I could eat for breakfast. Luckily I found a recipe for Raw Blackberry Chia Jam. The really exciting thing about this jam is that it's made with chia seeds, a superfood that's very high in omega-3's and that, when combined with liquidsabsorbs them to form a jelly. Cool! I've been having the jam for breakfast with buckwheat cakes (like rice cakes but made with buckwheat) that I found at a little Russian market near us. I bet you could also swirl some into vanilla ice cream for dessert. Bon appetit!

Raw Blackberry Chia Jam
adapted from Instructables

Mash blackberries. Mix together everything else. Place in a covered container and set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Keeps for about 1 week. Enjoy!

Edible Inspirations:

Jul 14, 2012

Monthly Cooking Adventure: Gateau chocolat blanc et cerise (White Chocolate and Cherry Cake)

If I could only have one food for the rest of my life? That's easy: Pez. Cherry flavored Pez. -- Stand By Me.

Sorry for the extended silence but there have been many changes chez nous. In short ... we moved! Goodbye Lincoln Center and hello Washington Heights! This is a total change of area, apartment, (kitchen!) and commute but, while we now spend a bit longer on our subway rides, the changes are definitely for the best.

So after taking a few days to organize my "perfect" kitchen (using help from various sources), we invited some friends over and turned June's Monthly Cooking Adventure (just a few days late) into a 4th of July Housewarming Party. And how did I break in the new kitchen, you ask? By going off-diet and making a wonderful Gateau chocolat blanc et cerise (White Chocolate and Cherry Cake), Poivrons rouges farcis aux carottes (Red Peppers Stuffed with Carrots) and Corn and Edamame Salad with Mint. (Links are to recipes I adapted.)

**A note about the cake: This was my first time working with white chocolate (and I'm already not much of a baker) so I learned a lot along the way. The biggest issue was that I used too much butter (since white chocolate already has such a high butterfat content) so I ended up pouring off excess oil after the cake was cooked. I've adjusted the ingredient amounts below to reflect what I believe will work but, if you make it, use your best judgment and let us know how it turned out! Also, while my inspirational recipe (from Chocolate & Zucchini) didn't include one, I've added an (optional) crumble topping. This cut the sweetness nicely and also provided a texture contrast. I highly recommend this with vanilla ice cream. Bon appetit!

Gateau chocolat blanc et cerise
inspired by Chocolate & Zucchini

Start your preparations: Preheat oven to 325 F and butter a 10-inch springform pan.

Microwave white chocolate and butter together for 1 minute, then stir until well-combined.

Add sugar and stir with a wooden spoon. Let rest 5 minutes. Add cream a little at a time, stirring after each addition. Mash cherries, then add to the batter. Sift in flour and salt and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into pan and bake 45 minutes. Turn off oven and leave cake in there to rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely, unclasping sides of the pan. Sprinkle top with nuts. Once it's room temperature, transfer to refrigerator and let chill several hours (at least 4). Enjoy!

Edible Inspirations: