Sometimes I have the most intense cravings for meals that only animal products can produce. I am not talking about a steak, as I was never a big meat eater, but rather other things. As a new vegan, I have come to the conclusion that there are going to be cravings that I will never be able to satisfy.
I understand that eventually these cravings will be replaced by new ones and that one day the idea of wanting some things will become foreign to me. But presently I regularly deal with cravings. They are generally cravings of indulgence. Like a fresh croissant. Without butter I truly believe that a croissant is impossible to replicate. And as I can’t use margarine or vegan products due to their fat content, then vegan croissants are not an option.
Bacon and Egg Sandwiches are another huge craving. Nothing sums up a lazy Sunday morning better than lightly toasted bread, heaps of butter, rashers of crispy bacon, and a rock hard egg (soft eggs have always made me want to be violently ill). I am literally salivating as I type. A Bacon and Egg Sandwich – oh my.
And then there’s my favourite dessert in the whole wide world. A Dacquoise filled with white chocolate cream: layers of slow cooked meringue with coconut and macadamia nuts filled with a mixture of very decadent white chocolate and cream. I had to go get a bib as I was about to dribble, just now. But when I actually analyse these cravings I realise that they are all about indulgence.
It’s not the actual foods I am craving, but the decadence they evoke and the response my taste-buds have to the mere thought of them. I’m always on the lookout for it. I think that is probably the biggest challenge of any new lifestyle change: finding that feeling of indulgence that you think you have lost. (And the unspoken fear that you will never regain that feeling.)
So when I try a recipe and it makes me go – “aaaah, that is good”, it becomes a keeper and I add it to my recipe bible.
These Berry Tarts made me go aaah. They tasted so delicious but they also looked incredibly beautiful. Pleasing to the eye, the soul, and the stomach!
Decadent Berry Tarts:
Prepare 8 individual fluted loose bottom tart cases – I would recommend putting a disc of paper in the bottom to help in getting them out as the crust is a little sticky.
For the Crust:
1 1/2 cups whole almonds
1 1/2 cups pitted dates – chopped
1 to 4 tablespoons water
Grind the almonds into a fine but not powdery meal in kitchen whiz. Add dates and enough water to form a dough that holds together when pressed. Occasionally stop the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl to distribute the ingredients.
Press the dough into each tart shell.
For the filling:
3 cups frozen berries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
4 tablespoon corn flour
Add all ingredients into saucepan and increase heat. When almost at the boil, add cornflour and combine until smooth. Allow to thicken. Then simply fill each tart shell and refrigerate.
See how long you can wait before you try them!