As my journey through life takes me on a series of ups and downs there remains some moments of clarity and balance. These moments may only last for an instant but in them I could spend an eternity. This happens when I am fully engaged in working hands on with food from the seed to the table.
I feel that celebrating food is an expression of gratitude for the abundance nature provides. It is in that thought that I believe that the celebration is one of life and the connection shared to all of creation.
I have been fortunate this summer to be part of this ongoing conversation in community. The experiences shared have made a lasting impression on me. They have forever changed how I relate to food and the world around me.
Recently, with much needed and appreciated help, I had the pleasure of serving food outdoors for a celebration of a milestone in age. To me, to gather outdoors with good food, good minds in a celebration of life is an experience that wholly embodies community.
To end the night I prepared a flourless chocolate cake covered with maple syrup, berries and freshly whipped cream. I feel it was a healthy indulgence despite it’s decadent appearance because it was made with real ingredients.
In consideration for time and space the complete recipe cannot be included here. Instead, here is a recipe for how to melt chocolate for the ganache I used to top the cake. The standard for this recipe is equal parts chocolate to equal parts heavy cream by weight. I find similar results can be achieved without dairy.
Dairy Free Chocolate Ganache
Unsweetened Chocolate 8oz
Maple Syrup (medium or dark) 5oz
Virgin Sunflower Oil 3oz
Gently warm up sunflower oil and maple syrup on low heat. Gradually stir in chocolate and melt until it is smooth. The more you stir it the better. You do not want to overheat the chocolate because it will seize. The maximum temperature to take the chocolate to is around 115°F.
Once melted either use immediately or hold it around 90°F if you are going to use it for dipping things like strawberries or apple wedges in it.
Note: For a thinner sauce reduce the amount of chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate is quite bitter but I prefer that to consuming the undesirable sweeteners and emulsifiers that typical bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate contain.