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  #1  
Old 12-02-2008, 07:17 PM
bergamot bergamot is offline
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Sweet Gratitude Desserts - Photos & Feedback

I'm totally jazzed about the new Cafe Gratitude desserts book - Sweet Gratitude. I know Carmella is at least as excited about this book as I am, and I suspect we're not the only ones. Here's a thread to share your photos of Sweet Gratitude creations, and feedback about how the recipes worked for you. Carmella, can't wait to hear what you thought of the tiramisu and persimmon cake that you've made...

So far, I've tried two recipes - I made the Pecan Pie on Thanksgiving, and the Carrot-Goji Berry Cake this weekend.

The Pecan Pie that I made tasted really good, but I didn't have the right kind of Irish moss to get the texture quite right. I used cut, dried Irish moss from my local herb store, because I didn't have time to order the good stuff in time for the holiday. At first the filling had a slightly seaweedy taste, but I completely covered it up by just adding ground cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger to the recipe.

These issues aside, my non-raw hosts loved the pie, so I'd call it a success. I don't have a picture on hand, but my friend took one, so I'll post that when I get it from her. I spiraled whole pecans over the top, so the finished pie looked really beautiful. Next time I try for a raw pecan pie, I'll probably experiment with a suggestion from a raw foodie friend to just make the filling out of dates and pecans - keep it simple.

I also made the Carrot-Goji Berry Cake, and I can't say enough great things about it! The cake is moist and flavorful - and huge! I sliced it into 12 pieces, which are almost too filling to eat in a single sitting (unless the cake comprises the entire meal). This recipe calls for a lot of almond flour (the pulp left over after making almond milk). My K-Tec blender makes the most amazingly textured, light and fluffy almond flour - which I think contributed to the success of the recipe. The goji berries make a great alternative to raisins to drop little sweet bites throughout the cake. Overall, the cake is not too sweet, which I really like.

Probably the best part of the Carrot-Goji Berry Cake recipe is the faux cream cheese frosting. My boss, who is a crappy but picky SAD eater, said he loved the icing and that it tasted like the "real" thing. The amount of frosting the recipe made was way too much for my personal tastes, so I have about a cup or more stashed away in the freezer.

Oh, and did I mention that the cake is ginormous? It filled my 9" springform pan clear to the top. After frosting and decorating the cake, I put it in the freezer for an hour or two so that I could cut it into neat little slices to be individually wrapped and frozen. Yummy - sweet cakey treats whenever I need 'em! This recipe took a long time start to finish - especially because it requires freezing in between a couple of steps to get the layers right. But given the amazing finished product, I'd say it was worth every minute.
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2008, 08:07 PM
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Carmella Carmella is offline
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Oh goodie! That is so cool! I was just telling Heathy yesterday that I wanted to start a thread or blogpost series on CG's recipes!

Both the recipes you made sound amazing and the cake looks fantastic! Can't wait to try them.

As I'm typing this, we've got the Turtle Pecan Cheesecake setting in the freezer. OH-MY-GOD!!! A rich delicious marble filling topped with pecan pieces and nibs, covered in a thick layer of caramel sauce. Oh, and with pecan pieces around the side (like for your cake). Man oh man, that thing looks utterly decadent!

The Persimmon Orange Cheesecake is super creamy smooth with a light persimmon flavor, along with a burst of sweetness from the persimmon slices between the cake and crust. Heathy was in taste bud heaven!

The tiramisu is a must try for coffee flavor lovers. I had a few issues in preparing the cake so will have to play with it some more. Basically, the chocolate mousse was too soft (the cake collapse while thawing! ) and the whipped cream seemed way too liquidy. I decided to leave it to firm up in the fridge overnite before pouring it, just to be safe. Sure enough, there is no way that this cream would have held its shape. I ended up transforming it into my whipped cream variation, adding more ground cashews and coconut oil. I also tried to follow their directions for the cake layer, using a hand mixer but it was a disaster. The batter is way too thick and kept getting stuck in the beaters. Next time I won't bother and just do the batter in the food processor.

OK. I think our cake is ready! Will be reporting back later. We're also taking lots of pics and will be posting them as soon as we get the chance.

Thanks for starting this thread, Bergamot! I can tell it will be one of my faves for some time to come!
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  #3  
Old 12-03-2008, 05:01 AM
WendyLouWho WendyLouWho is offline
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I adore this book, too! I have to laugh...I've posted on two threads and both are about Sweet Gratitude

So far I've made:
Cappuccino Pie ~ heavenly. I adore this one! I had to futz with the crust to get it to hold together. I think I just added a few squirts of agave. I need to take a pic of this one; still have a slice or two in the fridge.

Turtle Pecan Cheesecake ~ wow. This one rocked! And it looked just like the photo in the book...I was so proud, lol. This one is long gone, no pics.

Pecan Pie ~ This one didn't turn out as well as I had hoped. It tasted great, but the texture was off. I think I used too many pecans in the filling.

Lemon Meringue Pie ~ YUM! I adore lemon and for this one I used the meyer lemons off my tree. The meringue never firmed up, but was so good I didn't mind. It was more of a whipped cream.
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2008, 09:42 AM
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wyjoz wyjoz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmella View Post
The tiramisu is a must try for coffee flavor lovers. I had a few issues in preparing the cake so will have to play with it some more. Basically, the chocolate mousse was too soft (the cake collapse while thawing! ) and the whipped cream seemed way too liquidy. I decided to leave it to firm up in the fridge overnite before pouring it, just to be safe. Sure enough, there is no way that this cream would have held its shape. I ended up transforming it into my whipped cream variation, adding more ground cashews and coconut oil. I also tried to follow their directions for the cake layer, using a hand mixer but it was a disaster. The batter is way too thick and kept getting stuck in the beaters. Next time I won't bother and just do the batter in the food processor.

Carmi: Oh No ! a '''TIRAMISU DISASTER" Oh No! I'm in search of a good 'coffee chocky' Tiramisu!!!!

Please tell me? did it taste good though??? I'm going to make your 'lady fingers' from your Charlotte and layer them and then do the filling then the fingers and more filling........... did it taste ? good?? coffeeeeeeeeeeee flavor?????
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2008, 09:46 AM
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wyjoz wyjoz is offline
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WOW ya all 'beat me to some of these recipes' Now I got to get on the ball and roll up my sleeves>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.


Except so many things are jumping up at me !!!!!!!!!!!!

demolished my family room ---- replacing the rug!

Dec 10 is un Cooking class in my house

Dec 14 Raw Pot Luck in my house ! wow! the list is getting big!
MAKING THE ORANGE CHOCOLATE CAKE for: the 15th

Dec 15 counting my age backwards as of this day !!!!!!!! hurray

Dec 17 Just ''girls' RAW Lunch @ Grilla Bites

Dec 31 ''''planning''' a Dim Sum Pot Luck ---- LOL no responses yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO NO TIME TO EVEN LOOK IN '''''SWEET GRATITUDE''''
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2008, 11:18 AM
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Carmella Carmella is offline
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Woohoo! Glad you're jumping in, WendyLou! The more the merrier...

Bergamot,
I forgot to ask you about the almond flour. I couldn't find any reference in the book to using almond pulp, but I sure like the idea. I find that it makes cakes lighter and fluffier. Did you use wet or dehydrated pulp?


I'm totally with Wendy, the Pecan Turtle Cheesecake is to live for! It looks stunning and was a-ma-zing!!! The filling was soooooo smooth and creamy. Wowsers! I'll still have to work on getting the marble effect right as it ended up with gigantic blobs of chocolate filling throughout the cake. But you know what they say... "Practice makes perfect" and I intend to practice a LOT! lol

The only thing that we did differently with this cake is use part maple syrup/part yacon as it called for quite a bit of the latter which is definitely a 'luxury' item for us. Also, the crust was too chocolatey to our taste; it calls for 1 cup total of cacao products. I split it in half (kept the rest for another crust), then added more nuts and dates.

Highly recommended!

I'm attaching pichies of this beauty, along with the Orange-Persimmon Cheesecake. Oh, I should mention here that I didn't read the instructions properly for the latter and failed to pour the yacon syrup on top of the soft filling so as to do a swirl effect. Instead, I added it once the cake was firm; not as pretty but definitely as good!


Jozzie,
No-no, dodo. The tiramisu wasn't a disaster by any means! The flavor was fabulous! It's just that it needs a bit of tweaking in terms of texture.

The tweaks I did was cut down a bit on the amount of dates in the cake mixture and mix the coffee (I used decaf espresso) into the batter (much simpler!). I also used my Whipped Cream recipe instead of theirs. The chocolate mousse will require more playing with, but that too will be easily fixed. I just have to work with Irish moss some more and get a better feel for how much to use. Will keep you posted I pawmiss.
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2008, 11:49 AM
bergamot bergamot is offline
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Wow... gorgeous pictures! The turtle cheesecake it totally next on my list. I might just completely substitute out the yacon syrup. I did this for the pecan pie because a tiny jar was $14 (!!) at Whole Foods. Luxury for sure. Good tip about the cacao in the crust - I'm not too fond of super chocolatey, so I'll cut the recipe back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmella View Post
I forgot to ask you about the almond flour. I couldn't find any reference in the book to using almond pulp, but I sure like the idea. I find that it makes cakes lighter and fluffier. Did you use wet or dehydrated pulp?
I used wet almond pulp from my freezer stash (defrosted first). I'm pretty sure that I found this in the ingredients info at the beginning of the book.

I also forgot to mention that I cut back slightly on the amount of dates in the Carrot-Goji Berry Cake. It was actually accidental because I didn't have quite as many of them on hand as I had thought, but the cake turned out great anyway. That's one of my favorite things about raw desserts - they don't require the balanced "chemistry" of baking (which I still haven't quite mastered at high altitude, even after 8 years), so you can "use the force" and tweak ingredients, and still come out with something great.

I also didn't follow the instructions exactly. The cake recipes call for a stand mixer, which is one of the few appliances that I don't have. Instead, I whizzed the dates and almond milk (any maybe a few other ingredients) in my food processor, and then mixed everything else up by hand (literally - I love feeling my food!).
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Old 12-03-2008, 03:29 PM
Rawforlifeforever Rawforlifeforever is offline
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I don't have the book yet but looking at the pictures of all the deserts you guys made makes me want to buy the book. The pictures are gorgeous and I am sure taste good.
I haven't had coffee since I went raw about 5 years ago so I haven't tried the Cafe gratitude Tiramisu but it looks really good to me right now.
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Old 12-03-2008, 04:07 PM
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Eva Eva is offline
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Are you kidding me!? I could eat the computer screen!!!
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Old 12-03-2008, 06:54 PM
bergamot bergamot is offline
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Yum yum! Everyone drool over the Cafe Gratitude desserts (then go get the book and make some for yourself).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rawforlifeforever View Post
I haven't had coffee since I went raw about 5 years ago so I haven't tried the Cafe gratitude Tiramisu but it looks really good to me right now.
I also kicked coffee, so I probably wouldn't try this with real espresso (well, maybe decaf). I made a raw "coffee" ice cream a few weeks ago using brewed Teeccino (a grain-based coffee substitute that's really yummy), a little bit of cacao powder and a touch of maple syrup. The flavor was definitely convincing!
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:14 PM
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wyjoz wyjoz is offline
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Do you all think that 'coffee' in these recipes being a small slice per person would affect us in some way? it would be like 1/4 tsp per slice or so????

but this combo sounds ''convincing'' thanks bergamot: I'll have to give it a try:

brewed Teeccino (a grain-based coffee substitute that's really yummy), a little bit of cacao powder and a touch of maple syrup. The flavor was definitely convincing!
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Old 12-03-2008, 07:24 PM
bergamot bergamot is offline
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Do you all think that 'coffee' in these recipes being a small slice per person would affect us in some way? it would be like 1/4 tsp per slice or so????
I LOVE coffee, so I think staying away from it would be better for me. Don't want to open up any doors I don't want to walk through. Next thing you know I'll have another 4-6 cup a day habit!

If you're not particularly sensitive to caffeine, you're right that the recipe only calls for 1/4 cup of brewed espresso, so you would probably only ingest very tiny amount per serving. The book also has information about how to cold-brew espresso!
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Old 12-04-2008, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by wyjoz View Post
Do you all think that 'coffee' in these recipes being a small slice per person would affect us in some way? it would be like 1/4 tsp per slice or so????
[/color]
It would affect me, for sure! I worked at Starbucks and indulged for 5 years, was drinking coffee and taking prescribed Ritalin (a strong stimulant for ADHD) for many years before that. I get affected by cacao more than others, it seems. I'm guessing that I stressed and overworked my adrenal glands for so many years, that they're not going to put up with that nonsense from me now. My body knows better than to let me just walk over it! It's spoiled from all this delightfully easy mix of good food combining, NO coffee, only rare cacao, frequent mono eating, and only raw uncooked vegan food.

Buuuut, someone who's never stressed their adrenal glands or keeps some cooked food here and there -- would probably be cool with it.

LOL, I LOVED Tiramisu (I mean LOVED), so I might try it anyways. LOL. Ooooooh, that would be good over the holiday break when it wouldn't affect my work!!!
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:36 AM
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I think Fo-Ti has a coffee taste. Maybe this could be substituted for the coffee??

I was thinking that I don't need another recipe book, but now I think I have to get this book!
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:40 AM
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wyjoz wyjoz is offline
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Originally Posted by Eva View Post
It would affect me, for sure! I worked at Starbucks LOL, I LOVED Tiramisu (I mean LOVED), so I might try it anyways. LOL. Ooooooh, that would be good over the holiday break when it wouldn't affect my work!!!

Eva: I'm going to try brewed Teeccino (a grain-based coffee substitute that's really yummy), a little bit of cacao powder and a touch of maple syrup. The flavor was definitely convincing! for my next Tiramisu !!!!!
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