Matcha-Coconut Cake

yield: Two 4-inch layer cake or four individual cakes

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup (2 ounces) coconut flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup coconut oil, (liquid)
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
Matcha Ganache, recipe to follow
Coconut Frosting, recipe to follow
1/2 cup coconut flakes, toasted (garnish)

DIRECTIONS

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Grease four 4-inch cake pans with butter or cooking spray and cover pan bottoms with rounds of parchment paper. Grease parchment rounds. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine coconut flour, baking soda, salt and xantham gum, set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs with a hand mixer until lighter in colour and slightly fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add coconut oil, agave nectar, extract, continue to beat until combined. Fold in flour mixture and shredded coconut until fully combined.

4. Divide batter equally between prepared cake pans; spread to sides of pan and smooth with small off-set spatula. Bake until cake tops are light golden and skewer inserted in centre comes out clean, 18-20 minutes. Cool on rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around pan perimeter to loosen, remove cakes onto a lightly greased rack. Cool completely.

Matcha Ganache

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons matcha powder
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

DIRECTIONS

1. Place chocolate and matcha powder in a medium bowl. Bring heavy cream just to a boil, and pour over chocolate mixture. Stir until fully combined and smooth.

2. Let cool to room temperature and thickened, about 45 minutes. Alternatively, refrigerate ganache for faster cooling.

Coconut Frosting

INGREDIENTS

8 tablespoons (4 ounces/1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/4 cups (5 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons coconut milk, room temperature
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon light rum

DIRECTIONS

1. Using electric mixer, beat butter in medium bowl until smooth. Add sugar, reduced coconut milk, extracts, and salt. Beat on medium-low speed until blended, scraping down sides of bowl. Increase to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy. Add rum and continue to beat until fully incorporated. Refrigerate until needed.

ASSEMBLY

1.Using two cakes, cut each cake in half horizontally. Place one cake layer on the bottom of cake stand or serving platter, spread approximately 2 tablespoons of ganache over cake layer and top with another layer. Repeat with filling and cake layers until top with the 4th cake layer.

2. Spread or pipe frosting on top and side of cake. Garnish with pistachios. Refrigerate cake for 30 minutes before serving.

3. Repeat with remaining two cakes.

Blackberry Gin & Tonic

Ingredients

For the shrub
1 cup blackberries
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup sugar

For the gin and tonic
1.5 oz gin
.75 oz blackberry shrub
tonic

Blackberries, for garnish

Directions

1. In a bowl, toss blackberries with sugar. Let sit for one hour at room temp.

2. Mash the blackberries with a large spoon. Let sit for another hour.

3. Mash the fruit again and then let sit for 24 hours at room temp.

4. Add the vinegar, stir, and let sit, covered, for at least one week, making sure to give it a good stir every day.

5. After a week, strain the fruit from the mixture and save the liquid in a mason jar (or a large container with a cover).

6. To make the gin and tonic, pour the gin into a glass, followed by the shrub. Add a handful of ice cubes and top with tonic. Garnish with fresh blackberries.

Matsutake Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

2 large matsutake mushrooms (or sub with shiitakes if not available)

Handful of freshly diced green onions

2 carrots peeled and cut into disks

A couple bunches of baby bok choy separated into individual stalks

Water (about 2 1/2 cups)

Pinch salt

Soy sauce

Drizzle sesame oil

Rice vinegar

Soba/buckwheat noodles

Pinch of sesame seeds

Sriracha hot chilli sauce (optional)

Togarachi chili powder (optional)

Directions:

1. Slice mushrooms into very thin slivers. Peel and chop carrots. Bring water to simmer and let mushrooms and carrots cook partially covered with pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce for about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, separate bok choy into individual stalks and rinse well in a water and white vinegar bath. Set aside.

2. Cook soba noodles in separate pot. When done, toss in a drizzle of sesame oil and a tiny bit of soy sauce. Top with a few sesame seeds and togarashi chilli powder (for some extra kick) and set aside to enjoy with soup.

3. Taste broth. The flavor of the mushroom should dominate, but you may want to add a touch more water if a lot has evaporated on you. Add more soy if necessary. Taste mushrooms to make sure they are cooked to (chewy but not tough). If all is well, add the bok choy and cook for just a minute. Remove pot from heat when bok choy is bright green and cooked through, but still pretty firm at the stalk. If you overcook it, it’ll turn an ugly green colour.

4. Place in bowls and sprinkle with diced green onions. Add a little squirt of Sriracha if you like

Shortbread & Chocolate Teabags

recipe here

Matcha Mousse Cake

recipe here

Grape, Rosemary + Gin Crush

Makes 1 drink
1/2 cup purple-skinned grapes
1 loosely packed tablespoon rosemary needles
1 teaspoon sugar (I use organic blonde cane sugar)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed, strained lemon juice
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) gin, preferably chilled
ice
sparkling water
In a jar or cocktail shaker, combine the grapes, rosemary, and sugar. Use a muddling stick to mash the grapes to a pulp; the more you mash, the more colour you’ll extract from the skins and the more flavour will come out of the rosemary. Work in the lemon juice, then the gin. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the solids to extract all the good stuff. Stir with ice, then strain into a glass filled with ice, and top off with a splash of sparkling water (more or less according to your taste). (Alternatively, shake the drink vigorously with ice and strain into chilled glasses for a stronger drink.)
Matcha Tea Macarons
* Ingredients *
100g egg whites3g egg white powder125g almond meal125g icing sugar2 teaspoons of matcha tea powderFor the syrup:150g sugar and 50ml water
* Directions *
Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, and add the matcha tea powder.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.
{ Chocolate ganache }
* Ingredients *
120g dark chocolate, chopped1/2 cup heavy cream
* Directions *
Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.  Pour over the chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir.  Let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken.

Matcha Tea Macarons

* Ingredients *

100g egg whites
3g egg white powder
125g almond meal
125g icing sugar
2 teaspoons of matcha tea powder
For the syrup:
150g sugar and 50ml water

* Directions *

Process the almond meal and icing sugar together.  In a mixer, whip half the egg whites to soft peaks.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 117C (or 242F) on a candy thermometer.  Once ready, slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium speed until they thick and shiny and are completely cooled (about 10 minutes).  At the final changes of whipping the meringue, and add the matcha tea powder.  Mix the remaining egg whites to the sifted almond mixture and fold into the meringue in four parts.
Pipe macarons on lined baking sheets. Double up your baking sheets if you do not have professional grade quality.  Let your macarons sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Bake at 140C or 280F for 15-18 minutes.  Fill with ganache or filling of your choice.  Refrigerate to set.

{ Chocolate ganache }

* Ingredients *

120g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

* Directions *

Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan.  Pour over the chocolate.  Let sit for 2-3 minutes and then stir.  Let cool then transfer to the refrigerator to thicken.

Crab, Spinach & Coconut Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
2 cups chopped Roma tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
1 can coconut milk
8 ounces lump crabmeat
5 cups fresh spinach
Sliced scallions, for garnish
Reserved bacon, for garnish
Fresh time wedges, for garnish
Instructions:

1. Brown bacon in a large dutch oven or stock pot. Remove bacon and set aside.

2. Transfer onion to the pot and saute for 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and continue sauteing for 1 minute. Add potatoes, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and thyme. Stir to combine.

3. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

4. Add coconut milk, stirring to combine. Add spinach and continue cooking until wilted. Immediately before serving, add crabmeat and stir gently so you don’t break up the lumps. Serve immediately with scallions, reserved bacon, and lime wedges.

Antipasto Grill

This recipe makes wonderful use of all of summer’s bounty. It’s the perfect option for a backyard get-together when you can mingle around the grill. Because of all the different vegetables and the long cooking time, be prepared to replenish the coals every 20 or so minutes if you’re using charcoal. Use fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano and marjoram, and serve with slices of grilled country bread.

2 globe eggplants, cut crosswise into slices 1/2 inch (12 mm.) thick, or 4-6 Asian eggplants, halved lengthwise

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml.) olive oil

1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g.) chopped mixed fresh herbs, plus extra for garnish

4 cloves garlic, minced, plus 2 or 3 medium heads, 1/2 inch (12 mm.) of top trimmed

Balsamic vinegar

2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut lengthwise into wide strips

2 yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut lengthwise into wide strips

4-6 mild green chiles, halved lengthwise and seeded

1 1/2 lb. (750 g.) asparagus, ends trimmed

2 red onions, quartered

6 green onions, including 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm.) of tender green tops

2 or 3 yellow squash, halved lengthwise or thickly sliced and flesh lightly scored

2 or 3 zucchini, halved lengthwise and flesh lightly scored, or 8-10 baby zucchini, left whole

4-6 ripe but firm small tomatoes, halved or left whole

1 cup (6 oz./185 g.) mixed oil-cured olives

Place the eggplant slices in a colander, sprinkle with salt, and let drain.

In a bowl, combine the oil, the 1/2 cup herbs, the minced garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for direct-heat grilling over medium-high heat. Oil the grill rack.

Set the garlic heads on a piece of foil, and drizzle each with 1 tablespoon of the herbed oil and a few drops of vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and seal the foil tightly. Place the foil packet near the edge of the grill where the heat is less intense, and grill until the garlic is soft and caramelized, 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, working in batches, arrange the eggplant, bell peppers, chiles, asparagus, red and green onions, squashes, zucchini and tomatoes on the grill rack over the hottest part of the fire. You may have to work in batches depending on the size of your grill.

Brush the vegetables with the herbed oil and grill, turning often, until grill marks appear, about 5 minutes, depending on the type of vegetable. Move the vegetables to the edge of the grill where the heat is less intense, and grill until tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the grilled vegetables to a platter and garnish with fresh herbs. Serve with the olives. Serves 8-10.

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Compote
Total time: 6 hours 20 minsPrep time: 20 minutesCooking & setting time: 6 hoursServes 4
Ingredients
For the panna cotta• 2 cups heavy cream (if you don’t like it as creamy, you can use half cream and half milk)• 50g caster sugar• 1/2 vanilla bean (cut lengthwise and seeds scraped out) or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract• 1/2 tbsp unflavoured powdered gelatin• 2 tbsp cold water
For the berry compote• 120g frozen mixed berries• 30g caster sugar• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (can be omitted)
Instructions

1. Combine cream and 50g sugar in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add in vanilla bean seeds and pod (or vanilla extract) and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Discard vanilla bean pod.2. Pour the 2 tbsp cold water in a small bowl, add in gelatine powder and let sit for roughy 10 minutes – do not stir.3. Pour simmered cream mixture over gelatine and stir until all the gelatine is dissolved.4. Pour cream mixture into 4 serving glasses or ramekins and leave in the fridge to set for a few hours or overnight.5. Put frozen mixed berries, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat on medium high until melted and soft. Stirring occasionally to melt the sugar.6. Take off heat and cool.7. When the panna cotta has set, in the fridge and ready to be served, spoon berry compote over the serving glasses and top with a mint leaf. Serve chilled.

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Mixed Berry Compote

Total time: 6 hours 20 mins
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking & setting time: 6 hours
Serves 4

Ingredients

For the panna cotta
• 2 cups heavy cream (if you don’t like it as creamy, you can use half cream and half milk)
• 50g caster sugar
• 1/2 vanilla bean (cut lengthwise and seeds scraped out) or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 tbsp unflavoured powdered gelatin
• 2 tbsp cold water

For the berry compote
• 120g frozen mixed berries
• 30g caster sugar
• 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (can be omitted)

Instructions

1. Combine cream and 50g sugar in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add in vanilla bean seeds and pod (or vanilla extract) and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Discard vanilla bean pod.
2. Pour the 2 tbsp cold water in a small bowl, add in gelatine powder and let sit for roughy 10 minutes – do not stir.
3. Pour simmered cream mixture over gelatine and stir until all the gelatine is dissolved.
4. Pour cream mixture into 4 serving glasses or ramekins and leave in the fridge to set for a few hours or overnight.
5. Put frozen mixed berries, sugar and vanilla in a medium saucepan and heat on medium high until melted and soft. Stirring occasionally to melt the sugar.
6. Take off heat and cool.
7. When the panna cotta has set, in the fridge and ready to be served, spoon berry compote over the serving glasses and top with a mint leaf. Serve chilled.

Chilled Avocado Soup

serves 4

olive oil
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 inch fresh ginger, minced
a pinch of dried chilli
2 lime, juice
10 mint leaves
3 medium size avocados
1 cup water
salt & pepper

Mint olive oil: 
Stomp 15-20 mint leaves in a mortar, add 3 tbsp olive oil. Let it sit for a while before dripping it over the soup.

Add olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic, ginger and chilli until soft.

Place in a blender together with the rest of the ingredients. Pulse it and taste, add more salt and water if needed. 

Top with a couple of drips of the Mint olive oil. Enjoy!

Raw Beet & Carrot Salad with Goat Cheese & Currants

this salad is both beautiful and tasty….

Serves 4

6 small raw beets, different colours

3 raw carrots, different colours

2 oz chèvre, crumbled

fresh currants

olive oil

salt and pepper

  1. Wash the vegetables good with a vegetable brush.
  2. Use a mandolin or a sharp knife and cut the beets and carrots into very thin slices.
  3. Put the slices directly into iced water, that will make them extra crispy.
  4. Divide the vegetables on plates and top with chèvre and currants.
  5. Finish each plate off with some olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper to taste.

Orange-Rosemary Ice Cream with Cranberry Swirl

yields 1

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk

4 teaspoons cornstarch

Zest of 3 oranges (I used 2 but think this could use more orange)

Two sprigs of rosemary

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

1 cup fresh cranberries

3/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 tablespoon vodka

Instructions:

Combine 1/4 cup of the milk and the cornstarch until smooth and set aside.

In a large saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream along with the sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Add the orange zest and the rosemary sprigs (strip the leaves from them first), and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 

Cook for 4 minutes, then stir in cornstarch mixture.

Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Pour 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into a small bowl with the cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth, then whisk this into the rest of the milk mixture.

Cover mixture and steep for one hour, then strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl and discard solids. Cover and chill thoroughly.

To make the cranberry swirl, combine berries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until thickened, 5-8 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh, discard solids, stir in vodka, and chill.

When both mixtures are completely chilled, churn ice cream according to manufacturer instructions, then alternate layers of ice cream and berry sauce in a storage container before freezing.

Chilled Cucumber & Avocado Soup
Makes enough for 4 Ingredients:
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped (about 1 to 1/2 pounds)1/2 medium avocado, peeled and roughly chopped1 small sweet onion, roughly chopped1 cups sour cream1/2 cup buttermilk1 tablespoon each lemon verbena and lemon thymesalt and pepper to tasteToppings options: (as many or as little as you desire)
fresh herbssliced beets or radishesfeta or goat cheeseshaved parmesanDirections:
Place all the ingredients for the soup in a blender or food processor and puree until super smooth. I use my Blendtec which makes it extremely smooth in no time. Depending on how silky you want your soup to be, you might have to pass it through a sieve a couple of times. Refrigerate for about a couple of hours and serve cold.

Chilled Cucumber & Avocado Soup

Makes enough for 4 

Ingredients:

2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped (about 1 to 1/2 pounds)
1/2 medium avocado, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small sweet onion, roughly chopped
1 cups sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon each lemon verbena and lemon thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Toppings options: (as many or as little as you desire)

fresh herbs
sliced beets or radishes
feta or goat cheese
shaved parmesan

Directions:

Place all the ingredients for the soup in a blender or food processor and puree until super smooth. I use my Blendtec which makes it extremely smooth in no time. Depending on how silky you want your soup to be, you might have to pass it through a sieve a couple of times. 
Refrigerate for about a couple of hours and serve cold.

Elderflower Champagne Cocktail
Ingredients:
Dry champagne
St Germain (a delicate French liqueur of elderflower blossoms)
Thinly sliced cucumber
Mint
Directions:
Fill a tumbler with ice. Fill 3/4 of the glass with dry champagne. Add thinly sliced cucumber and fresh mint. Top off with St Germain.

Elderflower Champagne Cocktail

Ingredients:

Dry champagne

St Germain (a delicate French liqueur of elderflower blossoms)

Thinly sliced cucumber

Mint

Directions:

Fill a tumbler with ice. Fill 3/4 of the glass with dry champagne. Add thinly sliced cucumber and fresh mint. Top off with St Germain.