Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guilty, Guilty Pleasure..

I’ve been itching to bake/non-bake this chocolate torte for ages and today seemed the perfect day for it. We are embarking on a furious three days in Italy as of tomorrow and the weather is again a bit grey, so a relaxing hour in the kitch seemed just the thing.
Almost immediately, things began to de-simplify. Apart from the sugar, a deep search of Sistasana’s cupboards revealed none of the other ingredients. I headed off to the COOP to stock up, but had to take a reality check. Spending 70CF (nearly $100 NZD at the current scary exchange rate) of my travel budget on ingredients for one cake, especially when those ingredients would sit untouched once I leave on Tuesday, seemed…. not completely smart. I decided to grab a few essential things and improvise the rest with what was available.

The resulting recipe was a major modification of the original one. In fact, when considered in light of the ‘Oh She Glows’ recipe, it would be more correct to call it ‘inspired by’. The main thing is that I de-veganised the torte in just about every way possible (and must surely posture, scrape and offer penance to the goddesses of veganism). In the base, I used butter instead of oil and left out the maple syrup. In the filling I replaced half the avocado with crème fraiche and used nutella instead of both maple syrup and peanut butter (inventive, right?). I used organic white flour and organic granular sugar – half brown/half white and added a vial of Dr Oetker’s vanilla butter essence to the filling.

From the outset, I knew that one thing would mean death to my torte, and that was the presence of ANY visible green bits of avocado, no matter how miniscule. I constructed the torte in private so that nobody saw anything healthy going in to it. The merest hint of green and it would have been rejected my both my sister and niece – they are both super sensitive to anything remotely off the mainstream, food-wise. Even with 10 minutes of  electric beating, I could see a few tiny fragments of avocado, so I ended up pushing the topping through a strainer.  It took two hours in the freezer to firm up and a core sample reveals that it is just right in every way and probably as addictive as crack. Once I get back to NZ, I will make it again in its pure, vegan form, just to alleviate my conscience.

You may be thinking that I am spending my holiday eating sweet things and letting my fitness slide. Not so. One of my first purchases was a fantastic yoga mat, which unfortunately I will have to leave here as it is really too large for my luggage. I’ve been making use of it regularly. I’ve also been balancing up the indulgences with healthy, lower-calorie things. I’ve got a whole post on travel eating coming up next, but really my core strategy is super simple:

Instead of eating this every day:
Consider eating this:

It's the first part of a treat that is the best anyway and I'm sure that I don't have to tell you how saving 200+ calories every day will affect the fit of your pants on the plane ride home. It really is the little things that make a big difference over time.

1 comment:

  1. Woohoo! Hooray for improvising in the kitch and for balancing your vacation eating! Awesome. Looking forward to your Travel Eating post! xxoo


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