Monday, July 11, 2011

Durian Fig Cream Cake

Durian is considered the "king" of fruits, and for good reason. A hefty brown specimen covered in off putting spikes... nothing about this fruit says "eat me". When ripe it will split at the seems letting out a putrid sour stench likened to dirty socks, sweat, and dead animals. With my first encounter I would have described the scent in anyone of those terms, if not worse.

Opening the seams, it reveals segmented chambers with egg looking sacks encasing large seeds. Feeling like I was opening some sort of putrid carcass, I shoved the "egg sacks" into bags and got the remains as far away as possible.(never managing to actually taste the fruit but gladly gifting it to a more adventurous woman than I)

Durian #2 was a less horrid, if not pleasant experience. Was it me or the durian, I still am not sure? The smell was not overtly offensive( albeit odd, yes) In a strange way I enjoyed the process of uncovering the sweet fleshy treasures. The taste was a creamy sweet peppery garlic blend that can't be compared.

I so badly want to love this fruit, and I am determined to ease my way into that affair. This recipe is a grand introduction to the fruit, with enough conventionally delicious ingredients to disguise the unique durian disposition. However, it is not possible to completely mask the flavor, and surly you wouldn't want to...

Durian Fig Cream Cake

Carob Date Crust:
-10 medjool dates
-1/4 cup shredded coconut
-1/4 cup sprouted dehydrated buckwheat(sub more dried coconut if unavailable)
-2 TBLS raw carob powder
-optional: 1 vanilla pod

Put all ingredients into food processor and pulse until crumbly sticky texture is reached. If necessary add a tablespoon of water at a time. Put mixture into 8 inch spring-form pan and press along bottom. Place in freezer while filling is prepared.

Durian Filling:

-5 segments of durian(about 1 cup fruit)
-4 frozen bananas
-5 medjool dates

Place ingredients into high speed blender on high until creamy texture is reached. Pour mixture on top of crust and place back in freezer.

Date and Fig Crumble:

-4 chopped medjool dates
-5 black mission figs sliced in desired fashion

Place these ingredients evenly over top of durian layer and return to freezer.

Fig Filling:

-10 frozen figs
-1 fresh banana
optional: zest of one orange

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Pour over the top and spread evenly with spatula. Decorate with dates, figs, or desired topping. Place in freezer to set, preferable over night.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Arugula Fig & Fennel Salad

This is a simple summer salad that highlights unique seasonal ingredients. Black mission figs are preferable for this dish, as the sweetness cuts the bitter and pungent notes of the arugula and fennel.(plus the color contrast is beautiful) Figs are not quite in season full force but they are slowly creeping their way up from California.(keep an eye out) The sheer simplicity of this dish is made satisfying, as each flavor is bold and complex in its own right.

Arugula Fig & Fennel Salad:
-1 bunch of arugula washed
-1/2 small fennel bulb shaved thin (use the fronds too if you desire)
-6-8 organic black mission figs cut in quarters or slices
-2 green onions minced
-optional: ¼ red onion thinly sliced

Toss all ingredients in large bowl and set aside.

Orange-Tahini Dressing:
-1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice(about 2 small oranges)
-1 TBLS raw tahini (Arisana is a great brand)

optional: a small nub of fresh minced ginger, and a few mint leaves are a nice addition

Place ingredients into small bowl and whisk together with a fork until tahini is homogenized.[much how you would(but likely
don't) beat an egg] Pour over salad just before serving.

Serves one-three