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I have recently been given the extra task of baker and pastry chef at the restaurant I work at. Here are the restictions: Vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, raw desserts. I have found a few sources, but all for the home cook, and all pretty sad results. Any suggestions besides trying to convince the owner to except my deep fried chocolate raviolis filled with creme anglase topped with raspberry coilis? (PS the answer was NO!) Thanks chefs.

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That's a lot of restrictions! I don't have much experience with vegan desserts, much less vegan, gluten-free, raw desserts, but my gut instinct is that the only thing that would really fit the bill and still be delicious is a top-notch piece of fruit. But convincing restaurant guests to pay for that is a little trickier.

I think mgaretz is on the right track with sorbet; if you can't go cooked, go frozen. I wonder if you could do other frozen desserts, as well: semi-freddo, granita, etc. A juicer could be useful in this regard, too. Do you have access to a dehydrator, or does that count as "cooked"?

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Right now there's a fig "pudding" that is turkish figs processed with bannana, agave and garnished with blackberries, mint, and then lightly sprinkled with cinnamon. YES! dehydrators we have, we make "chips" and "bread" in it all the time, we also make our own almond flour. I almost forgot, the owner cringed when I suggested bringing in an ice cream maker- she reminded me that frozen foods hurt digestion.... we never spoke of it again. I wish I was making this sh*t up.

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Honey is decidedly un-vegan. I'd use agave instead.

I'll second sorbet.

Chilled sweet soups are another option.

There are also fruit salads and salsas.

Are those freeze-dried fruits allowed? They have very intense flavors and can be used whole, ground into powders, and rehydrated for use in sauces, drinks, etc. They have the benefit of being very consistent in flavor and texture year-round.

Are you allowed to use a dehydrator in your kitchen? If so, you can produce fruit leather, which could be used as a wrapper for fancy presentations. (think fruity sushi)

Don't forget nuts. They can be served whole or, you can make nut butters into sauces, mix with rolled oats to make faux crusts, or make nut soups. Obviously, some are better than others when raw.

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Interesting comments on the maple syrup. I've heard that a lot of maple syrup in Quebec these days is processed using reverse osmosis, rather than boiling, though it might be a combination of the two. And, of course, producers are pretty cagey about the process, since the images of boiling the sap over an open flame are terribly romantic, and romance sells.

It's good that you have a dehydrator, since it opens up the ability to offer crisp textures.

Also, didn't Charlie Trotter do a raw food recipe book? I've never read it, but it might be worth checking it out.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Though I don't adhere to the philosophy myself, I have eaten some raw "cuisine" before. A lot of the really interesting stuff seems to be dehydrated. I've heard of people making "biscuits" and "pastry" from some kind of dehydrated flax seed paste. I have to say, I tried a raw "brownie" and it was delicious! But then again, it was sweet and chocolatey so you can't really go wrong there!

Here are some links to some interesting ideas:

These look nice, sounds like they might taste good too - http://rawgoddessheathy.blogspot.com/2008/07/sweetie-treaties.html

This is a whole site about raw desserts - http://www.therawdessert.com/

And here's a non-raw foodie's view on a raw dessert cookbook (might be interesting to get a realistic perspective of what they actually taste like!) - http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/raw-for-dessert/

A quick google of "raw desserts" comes up with lots more, so I'll leave it at that for now. Good luck!

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Check these out:

BERRY FROST PIE

http://www.recipezaar.com/Berry-Frost-Pie-Raw-Food-327991

RAW FOOD BROWNIES OR CHOCOLATE BARS

http://www.recipezaar.com/Raw-Food-Brownies-or-Chocolate-Bars-223308

(You can make this one with a nut crust instead of graham cracker, and the filling with vegan chocolate chips, such as Tropical Source:

CHOCOLATE TOFU MOUSSE PIE

http://www.veganconnection.com/recipes/chocpie.htm

Edited by merstar (log)
There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.
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Here's a raw food cookbook by two restauranteurs, Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein:

http://www.amazon.com/Raw-Charlie-Trotter/dp/1580088341/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253921432&sr=8-1

Roxanne Klein used to run a gourmet raw food restaurant in Marin. It garnered great reviews from local foodies. I never went there, so I can't say from my own experience what the food (or desserts) were like.

I also don't know if the recipes in this book will fit your parameters, but I hope it can be of help. A limited preview is available on Googlebooks here:

http://books.google.com/books?id=OgVIBx-wHOYC&printsec=frontcover&dq=roxanne+klein#v=onepage&q=&f=false

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When I asked about eggs, I was thinking of my chocolate mousse recipe but it uses eggs. I won't post it here since it's kinda off-topic but you can see it on my blog. You'd have to sub the eggs and the sweetener.

For noodles I was thinking of kugel made with rice or corn noodles, but are noodles "raw"?

You could also try some variations on tzimmes.

Gotta be lots of pie/tart type things you can do - for a crust I'd experiment with rice krispies.

Good luck.

Mark

My eG Food Blog

www.markiscooking.com

My T shirt site: Guy Bling

My NEW Ribs site: BlasphemyRibs.com

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I'm not really familiar with the boundaries of raw cuisine. For example, would agar be prohibited for setting gels since it has to be heated to hydrate? The item to be gelled doesn't have to be cooked, you can have it a warm room temp, hydrate the agar in a little water and combine the two but then the agar has been heated to a pretty significant temp. I've never been asked to cater raw vegan... I almost hope I never am.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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One of the guys at work has some ultratex 3 http://www.le-sanctuaire.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=ls&Product_Code=4MUltratex3&Category_Code=Thickeners I haven't tried it myself but it thickens without heating.

I've got a feeling that a lot of these products have probably been heated somewhere in their production to make them what they are. Also they probably don't fit in with the 'spirit' of the raw food movement - but I could be wrong.

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Yeah, Ultratex is good stuff. I use Ultratex 3 and 8 as well as Ultrasperse 3 and 8 depending on what I'm using it for. I'm not sure if it's considered raw. Is there cooking involved in turning cassava root into tapioca starch and is it then entirely enzyme or chemical modified or is cooking involved in that process? I think if I ever have to do raw vegan they'll be getting a fruit and vegetable tray. That should prevent any repeat requests. :hmmm::biggrin:

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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