Corn and coconut soup, coconut creamed corn… two alliterative flavours that pair together in decadent heaven. So I put them together in cake. Ooh, yeah.
The fields of corn wave at the roadside, nodding their blonde wayward hairdos at me sagely. You are somewhere new, changes are afoot all around, they whisper, but this is right, you are home. The fields are different ones but they are the same. The cornfields of my childhood weren’t the same as the cornfields of my teenagedom. Then those cornfields made way for the early adult cornfields in a new country, a new world. Now I’ve moved again but still, cornfields. Always cornfields. Comforting fields of giants.
Now I have taken their golden pearls and made cake.
This moist, mild cake has faint corn undertones with the coconut. I reduced the fat content by adding Greek yogurt and put in less sugar so it isn’t sickly sweet but still cakelike. Then I boiled the leftover corn cobs into a quick corn cob jelly to sweeten up the cake a little more. The corn cob jelly is a revelation. So easy to make and absolutely gorgeous. It tastes like honey! I adapted the jelly recipe from this corn cob jelly.
How to make whipped coconut cream.
This recipe is based on Sinh To Bo, the traditional Vietnamese avocado shake, with the extra addition of coffee. Because, well, I need it. My kids wake up at six AM and it’s killing my slowly. The avocado and fresh hazelnut milk make it silky smooth, thick, rich and delicious. If Britney Spears has taught us anything in life, it’s that Frappuccinos aren’t good for us. So this one is vegan, gluten free, sugar free and is packed with nutrients from the humble avocado. Take that Starbucks.
Sweet summer peas are an absolute joy. Ideally eaten straight from pod to mouth on a warm morning with nothing to rush for, nothing to do but burst the little spheres and savour the texture and flavour. Does anyone have the luxury of empty time? Will I ever have it again?
You could stare into the distance blissfully eating peas, listening to songbirds and relishing the moment, or you could rush indoors and bake a cake. A pea cake with vanilla and a lemon frosting. Decorated with a halo of pea shoots like the cider queen at a village fete. We all know the sweetness of peas, and in this cake the pea flavour fades beneath the vanilla, marrying nicely with the zing of the lemon buttercream. In its wake the peas leave their moist green vegetable goodness, nutrients and vitamins. Wrapped in a blanket of cake.
Two weeks without broadband. This is the horror that has befallen me. There is nothing I can do but muster my energy, stiffen my upper lip, raise my chin and cope. With wartime spirit I make do, eyes squinting at mobile screen. It’s barbaric.
This week I was thrilled to be on Sorted Food as well as Grazia. I was also interviewed in Cook Vegetarian Magazine and made the Guardian Sustainable Blog of the Week!
Yeah, you read that right: cauliflower. No cream, no milk, not even an avocado. This creamy frozen treat is… pureed cauliflower. Cauliflower makes a nice, fairly neutral base (as we all know from cauli rice, cauli pizza etc…), and it’s flavour pairs well with cinnamon and chocolate. So here I’ve turned it into a sweet chocolate popsicle with a hint of coffee and cinnamon, plus a hard chocolate shell sprinkled with pistachio dust. Use milk, dark or vegan chocolate if you wish.
You’re intrigued, perhaps skeptical. But I urge you to give it a whirl: the flavours mask the taste of cauliflower and it’s a portion of veg in a frozen dessert. Yup.
I made these in my Froothie Optimum high speed blender, but you could also use a hand blender and make it in stages.
The house echos. Memories are in boxes. The carcass of my empty house no longer feels like home. We are moving across the country and new adventures await. But for now I’m exhausted and I broke my toe on a box. Popping bubble wrap has lost all of it’s pleasure. Adieu old town, old life.
Cauliflower and Chocolate Ice Lollies with Pistachio Dust
For the popsicles:
- 250g (2 cups) cauliflower
- 75g (½ cup) chocolate, chopped or chips
- 1 teaspoon strongly brewed coffee, cooled
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of cinnamon
- 35g (¼ cup) chocolate, melted
- 50g (¼ cup) pistachios
- Boil or steam the cauliflower until just soft, then rinse and drain under cold water to stop it cooking. Blitz the cauliflower with all of the popsicle ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Pour into moulds and freeze until solid.
- Alternatively, puree the cauliflower with a hand blender until smooth, melt the chocolate and add, along with the other ingredients, and puree until smooth. Pour into moulds and freeze until solid.
- To decorate, melt the chocolate and set aside to cool very slightly. Whiz the pistachios in a high speed blender, or in a food mill or coffee grinder, until fine. Dip the frozen popsicles into the melted chocolate and sprinkle with the pistachio dust.
Have some cauliflower to use up?
Why not try this roasted cauli and pomegranate salad. I love roasted cauliflower.
Or how about cauliflower steaks? I love them on the grill pan but I really want to try them on the barbecue.
How about cauliflower cheese pasta sauce or a super-quick cauliflower dahl.
To use up the cauliflower leaves, there is this amazing-sounding dry cauliflower curry, and here are some other ideas for using up cauliflower leaves.
Chia jam. Oh my. So easy, so quick, so healthy. I’m never going to buy a jar of fruit flavoured sugar again. Seriously. This is so much easier to make and is actually good for you. And the taste? Amazing. If I do say so myself.
Beetroot and raspberry go fabulously together and the beets give an earthiness to the sweet/sharp taste of the raspberries. This jam is thickened with nothing but chia seeds and for sweetness I added a little agave and a dash of vanilla extract. That’s it. No kilos of sugar. No pectin. No checking temperatures and setting points.
I pureed the raw beetroot and raspberries in my new toy. My amazing new toy. I’ve lusted after a high-powered blender for ages. I’ve watched infomercials and I’ve trawled blender websites. Then, at long last, I opened the box and before I even cleaned the packaging from the kitchen floor I had made a green smoothie, a milkshake for my husband and a bottle of almond milk. Almond milk that was destined for overnight oats with cardamom and coconut. Delicious.
Then I made chia jam. Wonderful, fresh, raw, vegan, vegetable-laden chia jam. Beetroot and raspberry jam for toast, cookies, porridge, pancakes, nut butter and jam sandwiches. You could even mix it with some vinegar for a salad dressing or spread it on slices of apple…