Thirty sleeps. Can I make it through thirty more sleeps in this heat without an ocean to swim in…. with the promise of Indonesia, looming so close, I think I’ll survive.
I’m lucky enough to be spending our last month in a house with another foodie, just as crazy (or maybe even a little more crazy), about food and cooking as me. Check out her blog Taste of the Top End, she’s a clever cookie. So I’d say I’ll be able to keep myself pretty busy, as well as cooking and creating with the local produce, we’ll be helping out with renovating and gardening this little patch of rainforest in the city. It’s actually the first house we housesat in Darwin, back in January/Febuary, since then, we have become great friends with the owners and their puppies. I’m really happy we get to spend our last month in Darwin here (just install that air-con in our room when your ready guys ;-)…. )
This tart is deliciously unusual, and dramatically beautiful! For me, making it vegan wasn’t so much about it having to be vegan but rather, wanting to use all natural ingredients to accentuate the flavours of these beautiful tropical fruits. I didn’t want them to be hidden away with overpowering flavours of butter, cream, chocolate etc. Not to say that those flavours are bad! I also had a friend in mind when creating this dish. A beautiful, colourful, spiritual woman who has two of her daughters giving birth to their first babies this year. She asked me if I’d be around to cater their baby showers, and unfortunately I won’t. But if I was, I’d be cooking something vibrant like this tart, to celebrate two new babies being born into a wonderful, vibrant family.
If you live in an area that doesn’t grow dragon fruit, I would recommend replacing it with kiwifruit, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or passionfruit. And you can decorate it any way you like. Because it is so warm up here, I set mine in the freezer, and brought it out of the freezer about 15mins before decorating and serving. But if your in a cooler climate, the fridge will be fine.
1 cup roasted almonds
1 cup dates
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs maca powder
1 tbs coconut oil
1 tbs maple syrup
1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight, stained, rinsed and dried
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup coconut cream
3/4 cup coconut sugar (or raw/brown/caster)
200g chopped banana (2-3 bananas)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
200g chopped red dragonfruit flesh (about 1 1/2 dragonfruit)
Zest of 1 lime
2 white flesh dragon fruit, hard, outer skin peeled, cut into thin slices, to decorate
Toasted coconut chips, to decorate
Grease and line a springform cake tin.
Combine all ingredients for the base in a food processor and process until well combined. Press into the base of the prepared tin and place in the fridge.
For the filling, in a clean food processor, place the cashews, coconut oil, coconut cream, and sugar. Process until very smooth. (if your processor doesn’t manage to get the mixture to a super smooth consistency, I recommend finishing it off with a stick blender)
Divide the filling evenly into two bowls.
Process the dragon fruit and strain through a sieve to remove the seeds. Add this, along with the lime zest, to one of the bowls, stir to combine and spread on top of the base. Return to the fridge/freezer, to set.
Add the banana and vanilla to the other bowl and process until smooth. Spread this on top of the set dragon fruit mixture and return to the fridge/freezer to set. Minimum 6 hours.
When ready to serve, remove from the fridge/freezer, to allow it to soften a little. Decorate as you like.