Sinfully Sinless Superfood Sweets
Inspiration is everywhere.
It can be as randomly encountered as some scrumptious slice of polenta cake grabbed from an unassuming gem of an Italian deli in Clerkenwell and eaten on-the-go.
Or as deliberately masticated as a sliver of divine sesame halva that's tiding you over as you stand in ridiculously long line for the most awesome (and messy) falafel sandwich from rue des Rosiers in the Marais.
As Emerson said, though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.
Fortunately, just as often, you don't have to wander far from your doorstep to find what you are looking for.
When I'm mapping out ideas for menus, I find myself conveniently recalling the tastes, sights, smells, sounds, moments fleeting and memorable making up the rich tapestry that is the experience of travel, the more esoteric, far-flung and exotic, the more enticing.
But I also find myself remembering snatches of conversation with friends and the individuals I've had the pleasure of meeting thanks to the classes I teach.
The genesis of this particular weekend? The seed was planted over dinner with dearest K - a very good friend, great cook, devoted wife, lady of impeccable taste and unimpeachable manners, loving mother of two adorable long-haired miniature dachshunds, pilates practitioner extraordinaire, and créatrice of the most fabulous jewellery. The sapling was watered by many requests from the wonderful regulars at the school for desserts that are vegan, or gluten-free, or reliant less on refined sugar and flour and more on whole foods and grains.
Because this is the first time I am teaching a class catering to niche needs, I wanted the menu to be a mixed bag - there is something for everyone, whatever their sensitivities, intolerances, allergies or lifestyle choices. Perhaps in the future, if demand merits it, menus could be further whittled, defined and tailored in their specific healthful focus. But for the moment, I am taking a more general approach, a macro overview if you can call it that, keeping in mind that for many, it may be the first time trying out recipes calling for natural lower-GI sweeteners, or non-wheat flours.
The challenge, of course, was creating recipes which are yummy, which are as good for you as they are good to eat, which are delicious by any yardstick. It is really a class for all those of us who want to have our cake and eat it too!
Sinfully Sinless: Superfood Desserts, the demo class I'll be teaching at Shermay's Cooking School, will be held on 21 May 2011 (Saturday) and 22 May 2011 (Sunday). For all inquiries, please call the school at +65 6479 8442 or 6479 8414, or email email@example.com
DF – Dairy-free
EF – Egg-free
GF – Gluten-free
NF – Nut-free
SF – Soy-free
V – Vegan
WF – Wheat-free
Kinako & Soy Milk Gelato Roasted Japanese soy bean powder lends an exotically earthy edge to angelic soy milk gelato
DF, EF, GF, NF, V, WF
Chocolate Chip & Cocoa Nib Cookies These wheat-free chocolate chip cookies boast the goodness and wonderful flavour of oat and brown rice flours...so delicious everyone will be asking what you put in, not what you left out!
Lemon, Polenta and Almond Cake A gluten-free superstar, this damp and moist Italian-style torta (cake) is bursting with fresh citrus flavour
GF, SF, WF
Blueberry Quinoa Muffins Between the antioxidant-rich blueberries and protein-rich quinoa, these tasty muffins truly make for the breakfast of champions
DF, EF, GF, NF, SF, V, WF
Bonus Section with Extra Recipes, Ideas & Serving Suggestions:
Magic Matcha Muffins Virtuous to a fault, these gluten-free and vegan muffins are flavoured with antioxidant-rich powdered Japanese green tea and subtly sweetened with agave nectar, the preferred natural sweetener of the health cognoscenti
DF, EF, GF, NF, SF, V, WF
Tahini Treats Soft, chewy and packed with the rich flavour of tahini (an all-natural sesame paste), these treats are inspired by the Middle Eastern sesame confection known as halvah
DF, EF, GF, SF, V, WF
Fudgesicles Cold and creamy yet absolutely dairy-free, these soy milk and cocoa frozen treats are as refreshing as they are easy to makeDF, EF, GF, NF,V, WF
Blissful Brownie Bites Part cookie, part brownie and utterly gluten-free, this intriguing hybrid is so addictive it is impossible to stop at oneGF, SF, WF