May 25, 2016

Elderflower & Strawberry Cake

Fruity layered cake on a plate

Spring and early summer is a time of many birthdays in our families. This year has been an especially special one as both my hubby and I turned 30. In the lead to our birthday celebrations, I experimented with various cake recipes (all with many layers!) and in the end, we settled for a gorgeous black forest chocolate cake (recipe which I found on Jo’s blog Nurturing Kitchen). The cake I had initially planned on making was this beautiful elderflower and strawberry cake. But at the time of celebrating (back in early April), strawberries were barely in season, and there was not an elder tree blooming in sight. I still made the cake a month or so later, just for us to enjoy, and for the pleasure of sharing the recipe with you today. I’ll admit that I may have stepped into a private property to pick a few elderflower's heads just for the purpose of this recipe, but this was definitely worth taking the risk! Elder trees are unfortunately not a very common sight down the part of the world where we are, on the contrary to back where we lived in England where they were a plenty. Along with strawberries, they’ll always be for me a quintessential symbol of late spring in Britain, and I find their combination absolutely delightful.

Fruity layered cake on a plate in the grass

Now onto the cake, below is a list of a few side notes which I hope you will find useful:
•This recipe is adapted from the Blood Orange and Chocolate Layer Cake recipe found in Sarah Britton’s My New Roots cookbook;
•I’m showing you how to make a double-layered cake, however, I expect you could double the quantities and make a four-layered cake if you wished to;
•If you’re not keen on making the strawberry jam yourself, you could always use ready-made jam instead. However, try to find an unsweetened one that highlights the fruit taste;
•For a vegan version of this cake, you could easily substitute the Greek yogurt or labneh with the cashew/coconut icing recipe from my Vegan Carrot Cake;
•Don’t expect a light and fluffy cake, this one is deliciously sticky, reminding me of Jamaican ginger cake;
•If you have any leftovers, you can keep them in the fridge for a couple of days.

Enjoy and have a beautiful Wednesday! x

Elderflower & Strawberry Cake – Serves 8
•280g whole spelt flour
•2tsp baking powder
•1tsp baking soda
•Pinch of salt
•250ml maple syrup or agave syrup + 1tbsp
•200ml elderflower cordial (see recipe here)
•80ml rice milk
•6tbsp melted coconut oil
•2tsp vanilla extract
•300g fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped + 200g whole strawberries
•1tbsp corn flour, mixed with 2tbsp water
•6tbsp thick Greek yogurt or homemade labneh
•Elderflowers (optional)

1.Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 18cm springform cake pan with baking paper.
2.In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the maple syrup with the elderflower cordial, rice milk, coconut oil and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. Pour into the prepared cake tin, and place in the oven for about 50min, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before unmolding.
3.While the cake is cooking, prepare the strawberry jam by placing the 300g strawberries in a small saucepan with 1tbsp maple syrup and 2tbsp water. Bring to a simmer, cover and leave to cook for approximately 10-15min, or until mushy. Add the corn flour and water and cook for another 2min until the mixture starts to set. Set aside to cool.
4.To assemble the cake, cut it in half lengthways, using a long sharp knife. Cover the lower half with Greek yogurt and strawberry jam and place the upper half on top. Finally, top up with fresh strawberries and elderflowers.

Gâteau à la Fleur de Sureau et aux Fraises – pour 8 personnes
•280g de farine d’épeautre complète
•2cc de poudre à lever
•1cc de bicarbonate de soude
•1 pincée de sel
•250ml de sirop d’érable + 1cs
•200ml de sirop de fleurs de sureau (voir la recette ici)
•80ml de lait de riz
•6cs d’huile de noix de coco fondue
•2cc d’extrait de vanille
•300g de fraises, équeutées et coupées en morceaux + 200g de fraises entières
•1cs de fécule de maïs mélangée à 2cs d’eau
•6cs de yaourt épais à la Grecque ou de labneh maison
•Fleurs de sureau (optionnel)

1.Préchauffer le four sur 180°C. Chemiser un moule de 18cm de diamètre de papier sulfurisé.
2.Dans un grand bol ou saladier, mélanger la farine avec la poudre à lever, le bicarbonate de soude et le sel. Dans un autre bol, mélanger le sirop d’érable avec le sirop de fleurs de sureau, le lait de riz, l’huile de coco et l’extrait de vanille. Ajouter aux ingrédients secs et bien mélanger. Verser dans le moule à gâteau et enfourner pour environ 50min ou jusqu'à ce qu’une pique en bois insérée au milieu en ressorte sèche. Laisser refroidir complètement avant de démouler.
3.Pendant que le gâteau est en train de cuire, préparer la confiture de fraises. Mettre les fraises dans une casserole avec 1cs de sirop d’érable et 2cs d’eau. Porter à ébullition, couvrir et laisser cuire 10-15min, jusqu'à ce que les fruits soient réduits en compote. Ajouter le mélange de fécule de maïs et eau et laisser cuire encore 2min, jusqu'à ce que le mélange épaississe. Laisser refroidir.
4.Pour assembler le gâteau, le couper en deux dans la hauteur à l’aide d’un grand couteau. Recouvrir la base de yaourt épais, puis d’une couche de confiture de fraises. Déposer l’autre moitié au dessus. Enfin, parsemer de fraises entières et de fleurs de sureau.

May 05, 2016

Buckwheat & Almond Breakfast Cream with Strawberries

A layered breakfast in a Kilner jar

The past few months, porridge was my breakfast on repeat and although oatmeal remains my definite favourite, I have experienced with other whole grains too. Buckwheat is actually not technically a grain but rather a fruit seed, which even if its name is rather deceptive, is actually gluten-free and does not belong to the wheat family. That said, it is most often than not used as a grain substitute and is incredibly versatile and can be used both in savoury or sweet dishes. For using it in porridge, you can leave the buckwheat groats whole or blend them into a smooth cream. In my winter version, I used to eat the cream warm, and blended it with dates and tahini, yum! Ever since it’s started warming up outside, I however prefer to keep it raw and cold and top it up with fresh fruits (blended or not), into what makes incredibly pretty layered breakfast jars. Here is an idea for an almond and strawberry one, but feel free to customise the recipe as you wish, using your favourite nut butter and milk (I’m thinking cashew would be awesome) and fruits (kiwi, rhubarb...).

If you like this recipe, you might also want to check my Raw Buckwheat, Sunflower and Apricot Porridge.

A layered Breakfast in a Kilner Jar

Buckwheat & Almond Breakfast Cream with Strawberries – serves 2
This recipe can easily be totally raw by using raw almond butter and not toasting the almond flakes.
•125g buckwheat groats
•1tbsp cider vinegar
•150g strawberries, chopped + a few extra
•1tbsp maple syrup
•2tbsp chia seeds
•125ml almond milk
•Juice of ½ lemon
•1tbsp almond butter
•1tsp almond extract (optional)
•1tbsp golden linseeds
•1 banana, peeled and chopped
•2tbsp flaked almond, lightly toasted

1.In the evening, place the buckwheat groats in a bowl with the cider vinegar, cover with water and leave to soak overnight. In the morning, drain and rinse.
2.Place the strawberries in a blender with the chia seeds and maple syrup and blend until smooth. Place in the fridge.
3.Rinse the blender and add the buckwheat, almond milk, lemon juice, almond butter, almond extract, linseeds and banana and blend until smooth and creamy.
4.Transfer the buckwheat into two jars/glasses/bowls and carefully pour over the blended strawberries. Top up with the flaked almonds and a few extra chopped strawberries. Serve and enjoy!

Crème pour le Petit-Déjeuner Sarrasin/Amandes aux Fraises – pour 2 personnes
Cette recette peut facilement rester crue, si on utilise de la purée d’amandes crue et que l’on ne dore pas les amandes effilées.
•125g de sarrasin
•1cs de vinaigre de cidre
•150g de fraises + quelques unes en plus
•1cs de sirop d’érable
•2cs de graines de chia
•125ml de lait d’amande
•Jus d’½  citron
•1cs de purée d’amandes
•1cc d’extrait d’amande (facultatif)
•1cs de graines de lin dorées
•1 banane, pelée et coupée en morceaux
•2cs d’amandes effilées, légèrement dorées

1.La veille au soir, mettre le sarrasin dans un bol avec le vinaigre de cidre, couvrir d’eau et laisser tremper toute la nuit. Le lendemain, l’égoutter et le rincer à l’eau froide.
2.Mettre les fraises dans un blender avec les graines de chia et le sirop d’érable et mixer. Réserver au réfrigérateur.
3.Rincer le blender et y ajouter le sarrasin, le lait d’amande, le jus de citron, la purée et l’extrait d’amandes, les graines de lin et la banane, et mixer jusqu'à l’obtention d’une texture lisse et crémeuse.
4.Transférer la crème dans deux verres/bocaux/bols et verser doucement dessus le coulis de fraises. Enfin, ajouter quelques fraises coupées en morceaux et les amandes effilées. Servir et déguster !

April 25, 2016

New 'About' Page

Girl holding walnut

A quick post to let you know that the Food Moods ‘About Page’ has been updated!

Learn about my story and what you can find on the blog by checking it out.

Have a read and let me know what you think.

Wishing you a beautiful day x

April 13, 2016

Curried Spring Vegetables Crumble

3 dishes filled with vegetables and a crumble

My love for crumble doesn’t stop to the dessert kinds and savoury crumbles are a staple in our family. Recipes vary with seasons, what vegetables are available at the time and what ingredients we have in our whole foods pantry. We tend to serve them, like here, with a luscious yogurt sauce or with a big bowl of green salad on the side.
We took a little trip back to England a week or so ago, and since coming back spring has been in all its glory. Every year, I am so looking forwards to the renaissance that happens at this time of year and can’t help but invite spring to our plate. I can’t resist the draw of young and fresh spring veggies and love to marry them with spices to enhance their wonderful taste. This is to me where the magic of tuning in with the seasons lies: an endless variety of meals to prepare and cook, and flavours to rediscover every time.

A plate with a curried savoury crumble and cucumber raita

Curried Spring Vegetables Crumble + Cucumber & Mint Raita – serves 4 to 6
•½ cucumber, peeled and seeded
•400g natural yogurt
•4 sprigs of mint, leaves finely chopped
•1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
•½ tsp ground cumin
•A pinch of cayenne pepper
•4 young carrots, sliced diagonally
•1 small cauliflower, separated into florets
•A bunch green asparagus, tough bottom ends removed, sliced diagonally
•2 handfuls podded fresh peas
•1tbsp curry powder
•Black pepper
•½ can coconut milk
•100g quinoa flakes
•60g cashews, finely chopped
•60g rice flour
•100g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1.Prepare the raita: grate the cucumber, then squeeze it between your hands to remove excess water. Place in a bowl. Add the natural yogurt, mint, garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. Mix well, then set aside in the fridge.
2.Preheat the oven to 190°C.
3.Steam the carrots and cauliflowers for 10min, then add the asparagus and peas and steam for another 5min. Spread at the bottom of a large oven dish. Add the curry powder, some salt and pepper and the coconut milk and mix so that the vegetables are coated in curry sauce.
4.Place the quinoa flakes, cashews, rice flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add the butter then rub the mixture between your fingers until it forms rough crumbs. Spread over the vegetables in the dish.
5.Place in the oven for 25-30min until golden. Serve warm with the raita.

Crumble de Légumes de Printemps au Curry et Raita de Concombre à la Menthe – pour 4 à 6 personnes
•½ concombre, pelé et égrainé
•400g de yaourt nature
•4 branches de menthe, émincée
•1 petite gousse d’ail, pelée et émincée
•½ cc de cumin moulu
•Une pincée de piment de Cayenne
•4 jeunes carottes, coupées en rondelles dans la diagonale
•1 petit chou-fleur, séparé en fleurettes
•Une botte d’asperges vertes, dont on aura coupé les extrémités dures, et coupées dans la diagonale
•2 poignées de petits pois fraichement écossés
•1cs de poudre de curry
•Poivre noir
•½ boite de lait de coco
•100g de flocons de quinoa
•60g de noix de cajou, émincées
•60g de farine de riz complet
•100g de beurre doux, coupé en cubes

1.Préparer la raita : râper le concombre et le presser entre les mains pour en extraire autant de liquide que possible. Mettre dans un bol. Ajouter le yaourt nature, la menthe, l’ail, le cumin, le piment et saler. Mélanger et réserver au réfrigérateur.
2.Préchauffer le four sur 190°C.
3.Faire cuire les carottes et le chou-fleur à la vapeur 10min, puis ajouter les asperges et les petits pois et cuire encore 5min. Répartir les légumes dans le fond d’un grand plat allant au four. Ajouter la poudre de curry, du sel et du poivre et le lait de coco. Bien mélanger pour recouvrir les légumes de sauce au curry.
4.Mettre les flocons de quinoa dans un saladier avec les noix de cajou, la farine de riz et une pincée de sel. Ajouter le beurre et frotter du bout des doigts pour former des miettes grossières. Répartir ce mélange sur les légumes.
5.Mettre au four pour 25-30min. Servir chaud avec la raita.

You might also like: Pea, Cauliflower and Potato Curry

March 16, 2016

Kale, Pear and Kiwi Juice

A glass with a green juice and its ingredients on a white wooden board

This time of shifting seasons gives us an opportunity for rebirth and new beginnings. We emerge from the winter and welcome the longer days and vibrant spring energy around us. Our diet can also reflect the graceful transition of seasons, as we step by step start reintroducing more raw foods and help our bodies eliminating toxins accumulated over the past winter months. Juices are a fantastic way of supporting gentle cleansing of our digestive system and reviving our body. March is also a time when all the bounty of spring ingredients hasn’t arrived just yet, but there are still plenty of pears, kiwis and kale around, and it is therefore with this in mind that I came up with this very simple juice recipe.

A juicer (slow-running, if possible) is required to prepare this juice, however, if you don’t own one, you could transform it into a smoothie by adding a bit of plant milk and blending it in a high-speed blender until smooth.

Kale, Pear & Kiwi Juice – makes 1 large glass
•4 stalks of kale, leaves removed
•2 pears, chopped
•3 kiwis, chopped
•½ lemon, skinned

1.Place all the ingredients in a juicer/juice extractor and turn on to extract the juice.
2.Pour in a glass and enjoy straight away.

Jus de Kale, Poire et Kiwi – pour 1 grand verre
•Feuilles de 4 branches de kale
•2 poires, en morceaux
•3 kiwis, en morceaux
•½ citron, pelé

1.Mettre tous les ingrédients dans un extracteur de jus ou centrifugeuse et mettre en route pour recueillir le jus.
2.Verser dans un grand verre et boire de suite.