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Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand - Mother Teresa

BLUEBERRY VANILLA MARBLE TART

This week is so busy; crammed with exam marking and report writing. In my early days of teaching it was a task I used to abhor. Yet with experience I’ve learned to go with the flow, and endure the endless marking by finishing it bit by bit while sneaking hooky breaks. I should admit that being a music teacher for half of my subjects means it’s instant marking during the practical exams which somewhat lightens the load. Despite this, it’ll be a relief when next weekend arrives.

On a visit to Florence, I bought marbled wrapping paper and a blue toile de jouy covered book in a wee store. Like these mementos, this pale blue tart echoes the prettiness of these antique designs. The swirling pattern of the tart reminds me of times past when afternoon tea was an art form, when sweets were eaten leisurely with cups of tea. Romance aside, the tart is perfect for a weekend lunch or dinner with guests when forward prep is essential in our busy lives, as it can be made up to a week beforehand and frozen, as the tart needs to thaw for only an hour before serving. If you wish to make it while blueberries aren’t in season, I actually used frozen berries, then thawed them for the tart, yet used fresh blueberries for a garnish. If you don’t have a food processor, a heavy-duty blender will work, but I’ve found it best to add several dates at a time after blending the other ingredients in the base.

Health benefits:

·       Blueberries are highly nutritious and among the world's most powerful sources of antioxidants. Often labelled a “superfood,” they are low in calories and incredibly good for you.

BLUEBERRY VANILLA MARBLE TART

Makes a 23cm (9 inch) cake

V, SF, DF, GF

 

For the base:

1 cup raw cashews

½ cup desiccated coconut

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

12 medjool dates, pitted

pinch of Himalayan salt

For the vanilla filling:

2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours

½ cup almond milk

1/3 cup rice malt syrup, adjust to taste

¼ cup coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla powder

For the blueberry filling:

2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 2 hours

½ cup almond milk

¼ cup rice malt syrup, adjust to taste

¼ cup coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla powder

½ cup frozen blueberries, thawed

Soak the cashews for the base and fillings in a bowl for at least 2 hours or overnight. Drain.

Cut a circle of baking paper to line the base of the cake tin, and grease the sides with coconut oil. To make the base, add the cashews to a food processor and process until they resemble crumbs. Add all other ingredients and process until the mixture sticks together. Press the base mixture into the bottom evenly.

Place the vanilla filling ingredients into the blender and blend until silky smooth. Adjust the sweetener to your taste. When a cheesecake is very cold, it needs a little more sweetener. Pour this mixture into a bowl and set aside. Place the blueberry ingredients into the blender and blend until silky smooth. Adjust sweetener to your taste. Pour both the vanilla and blueberry filling into the cake tin at the same time, one on the right side of the tin and the other on the left side. To create the marble effect, use a blunt knife and swirl one mixture into the other until the mixture is marbled. Place the cake tin into the freezer, and leave for at least 4-6 hours to set. Remove from the freezer at little bit before you wish to serve. Remove the cheesecake from cake tin and decorate with fresh blueberries, lime slices and halved figs. Cut into sections and serve.

Enjoy!