2015 started with a bang. No, this wasn’t the sound of perfectly-timed fireworks erupting into breathtaking colours across the night sky. It was in fact the sound of my now-thunderous thighs crashing awkwardly together. Raise your hand if you got a tad too “fezzy” this festive season! (Hey, you in the back there… I see you. Raise it, son!)
It always seems a lot worse than it actually is and to be honest, it’s really nothing to be ashamed of. I for one, wait all year for this belt-busting occasion and best believe I went Miley Cyrus on that shit… I came in like a wrecking ball. And much like her rebellion of 2013, the results were pretty alarming. But now that the season has come and (thankfully) gone, it’s time for a little recon.
Recon? What kind of recon? Well, right now you’re probably picturing some sort of stealth mission complete with laser beams, a skin-tight cat suit and some bad-ass ninja stars. You’re not far off. There’s been a lot of wriggling and writhing (in an attempt to get my favourite pair of jeans on) and I’m even considering the installation of some high-tech laser beams (to keep me away from the pantry…) All in all, the struggle has never been more real. (And I’m South African. If we know something about anything, it’s the struggle. Ha).
And so, I took (desperately tore) a page from Regina George’s book, “I wanna lose three pounds.” My health kick began with a well-conducted audit of my kitchen’s content. I tied a knot in a plastic shopping bag that, at the end, contained the following: 4 mini Kit-Kats, 7 mini Snickers, 6 mini Twix bars, 6 mini Mars bars, a bag of mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, a bag of Speckled Eggs, a Lindt Santa, 6 Lindt truffles, 2 whopping bars of homemade fudge bought from a sweet, gentle old lady at a market in Franschoek (which was killer, by the way), 2 slabs of Cadbury’s finest, a slab from Lanzerac wine farm, 2 bags of mini digestive biscuits (one of which were the chocolate-coated kind, obviously) and finally, the God-father of my sweet-treat mafia, the one with the power to bring me to my knees… a 400g Toblerone (drool). Everybody knows that audits tend to unearth a lot of important things (like tax evasion), but my audit lead to the discovery of the following things that I myself was trying to evade:
- For someone who lives alone, I possess far too much chocolate. (Side note: Surely this is not street legal?)
- HOW could I have ever imagined that I would possibly be able to consume that much confectionery? I mean, there’s ambition and then there’s utter stupidity. And finally…
- “Hi, I’m Bron… And I’m a chocolate addict.” (You guys: “Hiiiiiii Bron”).
I must admit that I experienced a fair amount of separation anxiety when having to part with my beloved sweet treats. It was very much like a break up and in my mind I had created a pseudo playlist to help me through the stages of unbearable loss. It went something like this:
- Sugar we’re going down – Fall Out Boy. (The main ideal.)
- Sweet Disposition – The Temper Trap. (Ain’t that the truth.)
- Pour some sugar on me – Def Lepard. (Don’t I wish!)
- Got to give it up – Marvin Gaye. (Self explanatory.)
- Goodbye my lover – James Blunt. (Enough said.)
- Breaking the habit – Linkin Park. (Ha. It’s easier said than done.)
- You got it bad – Usher. (And I did, I did have it bad.)
- You know I’m no good – Amy Winehouse. (Indeed, I do know.)
- Keep your head up – Ben Howard. (Encouragement is key, people!)
- Skinny Love – Bon Iver. (The end goal.)
I will however, interrupt this post with a public service announcement to the readers of Baking & Bitching. My current mission to have a body like Giselle and/or Adriana Lima (I mean, beggars can’t be choosers) will in no way alter the course of this blog, nor will it inhibit the sheer decadence of the baked goods that I produce. Next week will be full steam ahead with the usual in all of its gluttonous glory. YAY! (I will be patenting my distribution scheme however, so if you want in, you know what to do).
So with that said, this week’s offering is as pure as its namesake. It’s raw, vegan and free from sugar, wheat, gluten, dairy, egg and colourants. I know that some of you may be rolling your eyes at the thought of something vegan, picturing a tree-hugging dude with hemp pants, Jesus sandals and a hipster beard, but please believe me when I tell you that this Virgin Mary Raw Chocolate Tart is phenomenal. It’s also 100% guilt-free. Unless of course you don’t have a conscience, then in the end, it doesn’t even matter. (If you sussed out the Linkin Park reference, “You go Glen Coco!”)
This one’s for Maris in JHB and Kelly M here in Durbs who are on this mission with me. It’s also for Ryan, the best quality control I could ever ask for who is willing to try absolutely anything I make. Your taste buds are unparalleled but also, you’re nice to look at. Ha.
Yours in Baking, Bitching and mild hallucinations, (because “xoxo” was too mainstream and because I fear I may be having sugar withdrawals)
Virgin Mary Vegan Chocolate Tart
For the Base:
1/2 cup of Walnuts
1/2 cup of Pecans
1 ½ cups of Dates
For the Filling:
2 cups of Cashews
2 tablespoons of Raw, unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup of Dates
½ cup of Water
½ cup of Coconut water
The juice of one lemon
¼ cup of Coconut oil
3 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of Vanilla extract
1. Blend base ingredients in a food processor, starting with the nuts and when they are a fine powder, add the dates and blend until combined.
- Press into a spring form tin and allow to set in the fridge.
- Blend the filling ingredients in a food processor until it is becomes the consistency of a thick yoghurt.
- Spoon on top of the base, cover and allow to set in the fridge overnight.
Health hack: This cake could not be more pure than the Immaculate Conception itself (and I would know, I’m Catholic). Release the doves!