Birthday Chocolates

Celebrating your birthday is best when you get at least one of the following:

  • Beautiful weather
  • Time spent with your loved ones
  • A new experience
  • Something sweet and delicious

I believe my Grandma got all four on her recent birthday (81!) - and that's quite an accomplishment. The sky was blue, the air was warm, we had a lovely day in Barnes at the wetland centre and the farmers market, and then Phil and I adorned her with presents. Amongst them was this pink box...

which held some sweet surprises inside, made by Phil and I in our kitchen the night before (we had a bit of a chocolate factory going on...)

I recently wrote about how I've gotten into raw chocolate and that I wanted to get some molds for making little chocolate treats - well, that didn't take long! Good old amazon to the rescue, where I found some roses and hearts (which are actually ice cube trays) and got right to work.

So here we have three different varieties in Nonna's box of raw chocolates. On the left and right are raw truffles, coated in coconut. Then we have chocolate hazelnut hearts. And finally, orange flower roses. It is so much fun to come up with different flavors and mixtures - the raw dessert world is an exciting place to be!

The other night, Phil came up with an epic dessert all on his own, when we were both craving something sweet after dinner. The result is a gooey ball of goodness we are going to call "raw chocolate cookie dough". Now, it isn't COMPLETELY raw (it contains honey and oats) but it is still fantastic and the recipe will be posted when it is perfect (soon). It is a glorious thing to be able to whip something up instantly and still feel good about the ingredients.

Speaking of raw desserts, pippa and I had lunch at the always wonderful leon yesterday and indulged in some raw dessert at whole foods in soho. They make some pretty spectacular raw key lime pie and raw passionfruit cheesecake.

So why all this raw dessert talk? Well, for one thing, it sparks creative thinking. Who knew that a ripe avocado makes a beautiful and creamy chocolate mousse? I love the unique uses of everyday ingredients in raw recipes. This doesn't mean that I'm now a "raw vegan". In fact, I don't think i'll ever be able to label myself as any one thing. As you know, The Particular Kitchen is about my own particular dietary choices. Eating raw foods from time to time works for me and keeps me feeling my healthiest, but I'll probably never give up cooked meals, goat dairy products, a nice piece of fish, some amazing bread, or the occasional piece of meat. And who knows? This could all change in a year's time. But the fact is, our diets are ever-changing and SHOULD be, according to our lifestyle, our exercise habits, the weather, the season, the location, who we're with, our stage in life...

Right now, in June 2011, in London, even though the sun isn't shining as brightly as I would hope, raw foods have a place in my life and I think they'll be there for a long time :)