A while back I heard this quote in a podcast that I listen to by Rob Bell. He was interviewing a Rabbi and this man spoke about wanting to be an original voice in his teachings and his community. The way he put it was something like this —
“I want to be an original voice within the echoes.”
And, immediately upon hearing that, it struck something in me.
Chefs ( raw and cooked alike ) are always working from a basis of traditional recipes, and tweaking them, to make them original to us as professionals, as artists in our field and as individuals. Sometimes, you know what the people want and what they will respond well to, but you feel like you’re cheating yourself by doing it because it doesn’t challenge you and it doesn’t force you to explore yourself and your abilities further. It’s the art of finding the balance between expressing yourself, challenging yourself and giving people what they want and will enjoy most. This is the delicate balance to navigate as a professional chef.But then I heard this next quote, by Rob Bell, and it changed that way of thinking for me —
“There might be one hundred people doing what you’re doing, but, none of them are you.”
And this quote hit me right away and gave way to the balance I was attempting to achieve. It’s not about being wild and crazy and different in every recipe I create. It’s about being me in every recipe I create. It’s about creating it from a place of love and passion. It’s about pushing myself in a way that might not be visible to the public, but that I know I have pushed myself. And, most of all, it’s about expressing myself truthfully and sharing myself with you.
A bit deep for a recipe post, sure, I get that, but, that’s who I am and how I roll. I’m a traditionally trained chef with a heart and soul that wants to touch others’ hearts and souls. What can you do ?! 🙂
That back story is leading to this. My assistant and great buddy, Andrea (aka dR, dRE or dR. dRE) suggested that I post this recipe and my immediate response was, “Meh. I’m not feeling it. It’s an overdone recipe post.” To which she replied, “Yes, but I think it’s what the people want.”
I think she’s right. So, this one’s for you. I think the caramel recipe alone is going to blow your mind, if not the culmination of all three layers together. The base is the perfect balance of sweet and biscuity goodness, the caramel is rich in vanilla and caramely flavours, gooey when set in the fridge and holds well at room temp and, the ganache is everything you want in a ganache — deep, dark, silky smooth chocolate goodness.
In retrospect, this is a vital recipe to share. Let’s everyone thank the dR. for suggesting it.
45g ( ¼ cup ) coconut flour
45g ( ¼ cup ) lucuma
100g ( ¾ cup ) oat flour
100g ( 1 cup ) coconut sugar
10g ( 1 tbsp ) psyllium husk
60g ( ¼ cup ) cacao butter, melted
60g ( ¼ cup ) water
- In food processor blend first set of ingredients to combine.
- Add the water and melted cacao butter and process to combine – the consistency should be such that when you squeeze it into a ball in your hand it holds shape and doesn’t crack if you gently press it.
- Line a square baking tin of your choice with cling film or use a silicone baking tin.
- Press the dough into the base of the tin.
- Use the back of a measuring cup to press the mix evenly into the base to avoid finger marks in the dough.
- Set in the fridge while you make the caramel.
100g (½ cup ) coconut oil, melted
75g ( ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp ) cacao butter, melted
30g ( 2 tbsp ) lucuma powder
30g ( ¼ cup ) mesquite powder
75g ( ½ cup ) xylitol
75g ( 3/4 cup ) coconut sugar
75g ( ½ cup ) warm water
- In high speed blender combine all ingredients and blend on high speed until smooth and creamy.
- Pour the caramel on top of the biscuit layer.
- Set in the freezer while you make the ganache.
“Milk” Chocolate Ganache Layer
75g ( ½ cup ) cashews
120g ( ½ cup ) warm water
50g ( ½ cup ) coconut sugar, or to reach desired sweetness
15g ( 1 tbsp ) chocolate powder
100g ( ½ cup ) cacao paste, melted
- Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and process on high until smooth and creamy.
- Once the caramel is set to the touch, you can pour the ganache layer on top.
- Set the whole thing in the freezer till set enough to slice, about 2-4 hours.
- To achieve a clean slice, dip your chef knife in hot water, dry it with a towel and slice immediately. Repeat this process after each slice.
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