I've spoken before on this blog about my love for leon. Leon is a fabulous restaurant chain here in London, but you don't have to physically be here to enjoy their amazing food. They've published two cookbooks now, the most recent being naturally fast food, which is an absolute winner this year and permanently sits on my kitchen windowsill. Even if you don't cook, it's a beautifully designed book - so colorful, vibrant, and full of tips and tidbits to inspire you. A perfect coffee table book! Some of the recipes I've earmarked to try and recreate are:
- Porridge with dark chocolate flakes
- Mediterranean roast vegetables
- Spaghetti puttanesca
- Caper & anchovy miracle sauce
- Kamal's aubergine puree
- Pierre's big chill salad
- Winter vegetable herb pot roast
Lots of warming, veggie-friendly dishes, perfect for inspiring us in the depths of winter.
But I was extremely delighted to see two raw recipes in Leon 2: Naturally Fast Food. That's a massive step in the right direction. How exciting that a cookbook with plenty of traditional cuisine from Britain and beyond features a raw chocolate tart recipe using avocado! The ingredients are quite similar to the raw chocolate mousse pie I made recently, but slightly more exciting - using bananas, almonds, sunflower seeds, and tahini, as well as the crazy cacao powder and avocado combination that weirdly works so well.
I decided to give it a whirl yesterday when I had a few avocados nicely softened from a couple of days in the fruit bowl. The result is something super decadent and fudgey. It is really difficult to believe that there are some seriously strong health properties contained within this dessert. If only they didn't need refrigeration, I'd make raw desserts all the time and bring them wherever I go! Maybe set up a lemonade-type stand outside and charge passersby £1 for a slice of pie? Maybe in some crazy alternate universe where most people aren't freaked out by raw food...
The recipe comes (slightly adapted) from Gabriela in the leon 2 cookbook - her blog, on life as a picky foodie, is one of my new favorites. Thanks to that book, I may never have found it! She's also got a green smoothie recipe in the book that I can't wait to try! (Just as soon as kale makes its way to our farmers market...)
Raw Chocolate Banana Torte
Original recipe from leon 2: naturally fast food
- 1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked for 1 hour, drained and rinsed
- 6 pitted dates, soaked for 1 hour, drained, and rinsed
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 bananas, thinly sliced
- 2 avocados, peeled and stoned
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 6 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp raw honey
- Combine the almonds, sunflower seeds, dates, and salt in a food processor. Drizzle in the melted coconut oil while the engine is running. Continue to mix until it sticks together in a ball, then remove and pat down into the bottom of a loose-bottomed cake tin. Place in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
- Place the avocado flesh and the tahini in the food processor and blend. Add the cacao powder, vanilla, and agave nectar or honey. Blend until fudge-like. Add a little splash of water at the end to thin it out a bit.
- Remove the cake tin from the oven. Place banana slices all over the base, then spread the chocolate mixture on top carefully with a spatula. Finish with more banana slices arranged on top, cover with cling film, and place in the fridge until you are ready to serve.