Show 308, January 26, 2019: Author Ysanne Spevack, Vegetable Cakes – The most fun way to five a day!

Ysanne SpevackWhy aren’t we using vegetables in desserts? They are as sweet as many fruits when caramelized or marinated, and offer incredible flavors and visual appeal, and of course wonderful nutrition! Vegetable Cakes – The most fun way to five a day! by Ysanne Spevack (her 12th book) brings us a wonderful kale and coconut gateau, asparagus and sesame cake, carrot and plant-based cheesecakes made with fennel, pumpkin, and arugula.

“From a decadent beet cheesecake to a vegan radish-pavlova, eating vegetables has never been easier! Squash, corn, carrots, spinach, kale, onions and even fiddlehead ferns take you into a new culinary universe, where the tastes are intriguing, the bakes beautiful, and the results are irresistibly tempting.”

“Ysanne Spevack’s thoughtful step-by-step instructions are easy to follow, with a gorgeous finished photo for every recipe. Vegetable Cakes is a must have for anyone looking to brighten their baking universe, by adding some healthy layers to their daily diet.”

“Ysanne Spevack brings 25+ years of experience to Vegetable Cakes. Her previous books, ‘The Ranch at Live Oak Cookbook,” published by Rizzoli and “Fresh & Wild—A Real Food Adventure” commissioned by Whole Foods and published by HarperCollins received critical acclaim. Born and raised in London, Ysanne moved to Los Angeles in 2004, and has been based in New York City. All three cities inform her unique perspective on food.”

We’re in the lush vegetable garden with Ysanne.

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Classic Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce

Classic Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauceby Tess Masters
The Blender Girl

Blend, freeze, slice, and scarf. That’s how easy this cake is! Once you have your cashews soaked (essential for a righteously creamy consistency), this decadent dessert takes less than 15 minutes to put together. It looks and tastes just like dairy-drenched cheesecake, but my family and friends tell me they crave this more than the conventional kind. Add the lemon and poppy seeds for an awesome twist and a drizzle of strawberry sauce to up the indulgence.

Makes 10 Slices

Crust

1 cup (160g) raw whole almonds
1 cup (170g) firmly packed chopped pitted dates, plus more as needed

Filling

¾ cup (180ml) coconut oil (in liquid form)
½ cup (120ml) full-fat canned coconut milk (shake, then pour)
½ cup (120ml) fresh lemon juice
½ cup (120ml) pure maple syrup
3 cups (420g) raw unsalted cashews, soaked
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
Pinch of natural salt
Coconut Cream, to serve (optional)

Optional Boosters

1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more to taste and garnish
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
Sweet Strawberry Sauce, to serve

To make the crust, grease a 9- or 10-inch (23 or 25cm) springform pan with coconut oil.

Process the almonds and dates in a food processor until the mixture is well combined and clumps together. Form the mixture into a ball; if it doesn’t hold together, you may need to add a bit more chopped date and process again. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and set aside.

To make the filling, throw all of the ingredients into your blender in the order listed, including the lemon zest booster, and blend for about 1 minute, until rich and creamy. To achieve the smoothest filling, stop the machine periodically and scrape down the sides of the container. Add the poppy seed booster once the filling is completely blended, and then blast for just a few seconds to combine. Pour the filling into the crust. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and freeze the cheesecake for 6 to 8 hours, until solidified.

To serve, transfer the pan from the freezer to the fridge and defrost for about 30 minutes. Gently release and remove the sides of the springform pan, and then cut the cheesecake into 10 even slices with a very sharp knife. Keeping the slices together on the springform pan bottom, return the cheesecake to the fridge to continue defrosting for another 30 minutes before serving. Serve the slices plain or drizzle each one with 2 tablespoons of the Sweet Strawberry Sauce booster and top with a dollop of the Coconut Cream. Pass remaining strawberry sauce and coconut cream at the table.

Note: Because of the coconut oil, this filling will melt if left out at room temperature.

nutritional facts (per serving, based on 10 servings)

calories 594 kcal | fat 45.2 g | saturated fat 20.2 g | sodium 38 mg | carbs 44.8 g | fiber 5 g | sugars 28 g | protein 11.8 g | calcium 91.8 mg | iron 4 mg

Sweet Strawberry Sauce

This quick, easy sauce is like a little black dress. It complements almost any dessert without upstaging it, fits into any menu, and never goes out of style. Best of all, it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. Enjoy it over ice cream, cakes, or pies. Try it drizzled over this Classic Cheesecake. Depending on the quality of your berries and your preference, tweak the lemon juice to taste. With well-ripened fruit, I reduce the dates to a third of a cup. But a half cup typically hits the sweet spot. For a sensational sauce, boost with the Grand Marnier, ginger, and vanilla.

Makes 2 Cups (480ML)

¼ cup (60ml) raw coconut water or filtered water
½ cup (85g) firmly packed pitted dates, soaked
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
Pinch of natural salt

Optional Boosters

1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, plus more to taste
¼ teaspoon natural vanilla extract

Throw everything into your blender, including any of the boosters, and blast on high for 30 to 60 seconds, until smooth. Tweak the dates, lemon juice, and ginger to taste. This sauce will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.

nutritional facts (per serving, based on 16 servings)

calories 20 kcal | fat 0.1 g | saturated fat 0 g | sodium 18.6 mg | carbs 5.5 g | fiber 0.7 g | sugars 4.5 g | protein 0.2 g | calcium 6.6 mg | iron 0.1 mg

CREDIT: Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Blend, copyright 2016 Tess Masters. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photography Copyright 2016 by Anson Smart

Show 76, June 14, 2014: Tasia Malakasis, Proprietress & Cheesemaker – Belle Chevre, Goat Cheese from Alabama

Tasia MalakasisAmerica’ most-awarded goat cheese, Belle Chevre, is lovingly made in small batches in the tiny hamlet of Elkmont, Alabama. For the past twenty-five it’s all been made by hand.

Meet cheesemaker and proprietress, Tasia Malakasis

There is even an award-winning Belle Chevre cheesecake!

Tasia is particularly proud of her new collection of “Goat Cheese for Breakfast.” A bagel never had it so good. Just one enticing variety is Belle and The Bees Breakfast Cheese.

Goats’ milk is the most consumed milk on the planet.

In Southern California Belle Chevre is available at Bristol Farms and Whole Foods Market. Also look for it at The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills.

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