with love from mexico

Raw Marzipan in Cacao

If you’ve ever found yourself standing in front of any of the Mayan pyramids with the warmth of the sun on your back and a level of gratitude that threatens to break your heart in half, you don’t need me to ramble on about how unbelievable that experience is. Unbelievable on every level. How was this done, what happened here and what happened to us in the process? Enormous questions that end up so big, you forget about wanting to have them answered, in favour of just sitting on the earth and letting wonder take over. Sacred sites indeed.

We really couldn’t have imagined how extraordinary this trip would be. We have been humbled by the magic of open hearted people again and again. There is so so much more. But all I have right now is the phrase I seem to have repeated over and over these last 2 weeks in the Yucatan – “I have no words.”

Thank goodness there’s raw chocolate coated marzipan. With everything the Yucatan is famous for.

Every joy to every one for this beautiful time of year, for this beautiful time in time.

With a heart full of love from Mexico.

 

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Raw Marzipan In Cacao

 

This is more a nudge in the direction of raw marzipan than a recipe, so feel free to mix things around, add dried fruit, spices etc.

 

1 cup raw organic almonds

organic cold pressed almond oil

1 vanilla bean

4 tbsp raw agave or maple syrup

pinch salt

1 teaspoon real almond essence

raw chocolate

 

To make the marzipan, you can either blanch the almonds to remove their skins for a super smooth, white paste, or leave them on like I did for a little speckle and some texture.

Blitz the almonds in a food processor until you have a fine flour. Add the vanilla bean, salt and almond essence. Blitz again. Add the agave and as much almond oil as you need for the flour to pull together in a ball.

Roll the marzipan out with a rolling pin to about 1 1/2cm thick.

Cut into squares and put in the freezer to harden.

Make the raw chocolate and when the marzipan is nice and cold, dip each piece into the chocolate and sprinkle with a little extra almond flour.

Perfect with a pot of tea. At a sacred site. Come on.

scullery tea bags

Gingersnap Teabag Biscuits

There’s a tiny voice in my head doing that tiny voice thing. And there’s the ducklings that just hatched this week. That tiny voice is saying, “You’re going to Mexico tomorrow and it would seem your bag is yet to be packed.” At the same time I’ve magically found the last half hour to sip tea on a hay bale and grin inanely at said ducklings. And now I’m blogging. Jimminy.

I wanted to share these little teabag biscuits though because they’ve become a bit of a theme over the last 2 weeks. I’ve been making them to take everywhere I’ve been for Christmas drinks, which luckily have been of the steeped persuasion, rather than the bubbly kind. These would probably work with champagne too if I think about the amount of ginger in them though.

Suitcase, suitcase.

Ok. Recipe.

Oooh, hang on. Ducklings first.

 

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Gingersnap Tea Bag Biscuits

makes about 40 biscuits

 

You could either do these raw in the dehydrator or bake them in the oven. I’ve done both and they’re yummy either way. Just make sure your GF flours are raw if you want to do the dehydrator thing.

 

1 cup organic almond flour 

1 cup organic GF flour 

1/2 cup organic panela sugar

1/4 cup organic maple syrup

2 Tbsp organic black strap molasses

1 Tbsp organic raw coconut oil

1-2 Tbsp freshly grated organic ginger

1 tsp ground organic cinnamon

1 tsp ground organic cloves

1 1/4 tsp Himalayan salt

3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg

 

Cotton thread

Sticker labels

Stamp

 

 

In a food processor, process all dry ingredients. Slowly add in wet ingredients and pulse until ingredients start to stick together. 

Preheat oven to 170C.

Roll out dough and cut into tea bag sized rectangles. Then trim the top two corners on an angle to create the classic teabag shape. 

Place biscuits onto a floured baking paper lined tray and make a hole in the top with a skewer or chopstick. This will be where you’ll thread your tag.

Bake for 10-12 minutes (or dehydrate for about 12 hours) and let cool on a cake rack.

 

To make the tags, take some labelling stickers and cut into strips that can be folded over with sticky sides securing the cotton thread.

 

Thread the cotton through the hole and peel the label strip to reveal the sticky side. Put both ends of the cotton onto one of the short ends of the label and then fold the label over itself to stick the cotton in between. 

 

Stamp the tag or write something lovely to be your ‘brand’ of teabag.

 

These are great to dunk into tea without risk of burning your pinkies. Dainty.

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my favourite flowers

Black Bean Zucchini Flowers

This time of year can be so crazy. And then your friends pop a brown paper bag of freshly picked homegrown zucchini flowers in your hands and you remember what’s important again. Just look at these babies! Aren’t they perfect? A perfect package of kindness. There’s nothing flippant about that comment either. There’s not really much that usurps the value of anything homegrown and hand-tended to me. It’s the ultimate gift from where I sit.

Timing was perfect too, because we had one of our best buddies from Sydney hanging on the hill with us over the weekend, and the beauty of whipping fresh zucchini flowers out of the fridge wasn’t lost on her for a minute.

I’m not sure if it’s because everything seems so busy, or if the flush of Summer produce naturally encourages a simpler approach in the kitchen, but I’m not really cooking anything that takes longer than 15 minutes to be on a plate at the moment so the idea of battering these and perhaps stuffing them wasn’t part of the plan from the onset. I wanted them to be delicious though – absolutely – just in the shortest time possible. You know how it goes. So, I grabbed some black bean flour to roughly coat the flowers with before popping them on a flat sandwich grill. A little olive oil and fresh lemon juice, lemon thyme, dill and salt and they all but took themselves outside for us to eat as a first course while the sun set.

The black bean flour has such a yummy, nutty kind of finish, and the speckle of the black against the zucchini looks a lot fancier than I imagined it would. Bonus. So if you have a glut of zucchini flowers, or kind friends with an abundant garden, maybe think about grabbing a bag of black bean flour for a super fast option. Actually grab a bag of black bean flour regardless, it’s good stuff if you’re a chapati fan too.

 

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Black Bean Zucchini Flowers

 

just picked organic zucchini flowers

organic black bean flour

organic lemons

extra virgin olive oil

salt flakes

freshly ground black pepper

organic lemon thyme

organic dill

 

Cut the zucchini and flowers in half and wash. The residual water from washing will give the flour a reason to hang on, so coat the flowers and zucchini with the black bean flour and place onto a hot grill plate with a drizzle of olive oil. Cook for a couple of minutes and turn over to continue cooking until just tender.

 

Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper and fresh herbs. Add another drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving.

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