It was the day after November 13th. After some hesitation, we decided to go outside and walk in Paris streets, and met near the Luxembourg garden, in a lovely coffee shop called Bread & Roses. While we were warming up with a cup of tea, we were looking at the pastries that a group of American tourists ordered. Despite the attacks, these women were eager to still discover France, its culture and gastronomy J
Suddenly, a beautiful Mont-Blanc appeared. Almost magnetized by this wonderful winter pastry, we started a discussion about how to come up with a vegan and lighter version of it. The machine of yummy dreams was restarting!
Usually made of a meringue covered with a whipped cream and garnished with chestnut cream vermicelli, Mont-Blanc is often criticized for being a rich and buttery pastry. Our idea was to bring some lightness with a tiger-nut biscuit and a tangerine fluid cream.
The perfect dessert to close your Christmas dinner !
Happy holiday season to everyone!
Preparing the biscuit
In a dry pan, toast the tiger-nut flour for a few minutes, until it exhales its flavors. Let it cool.
Soak the flax seeds in 15 cl hot water and mix.
In a food processor, pour the flour and the flax seed mixture. Add the dates. Mix.
Preheat the oven 180°C / 350°F. Spread the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, 1-2 cm thick. Cook for 10 minutes.
Preparing the tangerine cream
In a saucepan, mix the agar-agar in 10 cl water. Whisk for 2 minutes after boiling. Let cool.
In a blender, mix the silky tofu to obtain a fluid texture. Add the tangerine zest and the water with agar-agar. Blend.
Break the cookie in small pieces with hands. Put some in the bottom of a ramekin. Add some tangerine cream and put in the fridge for 2 hours, to let the cream harden.
Then, add the chestnut cream at your convenience. Enjoy
What Ayurveda has to say about it?
How to prepare tasty, playful and festive desserts which stay digestible for these festivities? Christmas and New Year are gathering with family and friends. Wonderful dinners but generally difficult to digest. Especially when you get to desserts while you are already full from the starters.
This is a point on which Ayurveda can help us. How to prepare desserts that do not make our digestion collapse?
From a purely Ayurvedic perspective, sweet should generally be consumed before the meal because it is the heaviest foods (except meat) to digest and should therefore mobilize our metabolic activity in the first place. However, it seems difficult to implement for these dinners, at the risk of despair grandparents or trigger an earthquake in Christmas traditions (we do not want to spoil the dinner).
So we thought about a solution to this. We chose to create a trio, in a jar on three levels, to fill our cravings for sweets and ease our digestion, by marrying the flavors and limiting the quantities (there are always too many desserts!).
The flavors of this dessert are seasonal: chestnuts, tangerines, nuts ... According to Ayurveda, seasonal products help us to balance as they reflect the normal cycle of nature and the world of which we are part.
The biscuits which form the 1st level of the jar are light and digestible (although nourishing) without eggs (flax seeds are used as binder), and contain only natural sugar (dates).
The cream is made from silken tofu, which is also very light, cooling and smooth. Slightly sweetened with rapadura sugar to let rise the aroma and the qualities of tangerine, digestive, nervine, antioxidant...
The chestnut cream on top is the densest layer. Its rich and sweet flavor marries perfectly with the clementine and the nut of the lower layers. Its sticky quality is perfectly combined with the softness of the cream and the crunchiness of the biscuits.
As my teacher says, Ayurveda is the science of indulgence. It is never extreme. Its nutrition focuses on the individual but also and above all on the awareness on the act of eating itself and on the notion of pleasure. These celebrations are certainly the opportunity to eat but mostly it is an opportunity to come together, perhaps to cook together (this food has the best taste and best virtues), talking and eating. These meals give us the opportunity to fully savor delicious food in the company of loved ones. This will definitely help our digestion! Because the setting also plays a key role in the assimilation and digestion of food.
This recipe was created with Majda from Bread & Olive.
Bon appétit & happy holidays!