In the past few weeks there have been many post from people mentioning the extreme heat they are dealing with in certain parts of the world. Here in Seattle on any given day the temperature will go from 50 degrees F to 70 in the matter of a half hour so needless to say we are still using are ovens and eating warm food. However, I haven’t lived here long enough to forget hot California summers, where meals consisted of vegetable trays and cut fruit. For the next few months I am going to try to balance my cooking and include more recipes where the oven is not needed. This may prove to be quite a challenge, for I love to bake but it may be the inspiration I have needed to try preparing some of the raw recipes that I find intriguing!
Last year the little vegan and I made blueberry cupcakes with a raspberry icing for our American Independence Day which got me thinking about a dessert that included the same ingredients but didn’t need to be cooked. Searching the net and dessert cookbooks I kept coming up with trifles and thought that it could be done without baking and they are visually stunning. I was so inspired that I actually went to a second hand store and purchased a trifle dish to make it in. Unfortunately, non of my layers came out dense enough to really get the visual appeal of the trifle I set out to make nor did they require the trifle bowl that I bought, but it tasted delicious. On the plus side it was super easy to make, minimal cooking and extremely refreshing which was the ultimate goal.
*For the cookie layer you could use any vegan cookie or even cut up a white cake. I chose a cookie called a Cafe Twist because they have a light buttery taste despite the fact that they are vegan. If you have a Trader Joe’s nearby you can buy them there and I have also seen them at other stores.
*I opted for frozen raspberries because I couldn’t find organic raspberries that were in my price range but fresh would work just as well.
* In the first layer of blueberries I only used enough so it would be seen outside the bowl for the trifle effect. I didn’t have enough to cover the entire layer. The ratio of blueberries at the end was fine but if you want enough to cover the entire center layer you will need more blueberries, maybe double the amount called for in the recipe.
*Sliced strawberries would be a great addition. Plus if you looked at the trifle pictures above you could come up with something far more beautiful than mine.
*Serving: We tried it immediately after and it was great but had the texture of melting ice cream. After being refrigerated overnight it set to a thicker yogurt/pudding consistency and was amazing so I am suggesting you make it the night before and refrigerate for optimal texture.
7oz Cafe Twist (I used Cinnamon) broken in thirds. I saved 3 whole cookies for the top. Use a Gluten-free cookie to make this a gluten-free dessert
11 oz blueberries
12 oz frozen raspberries
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1 tsp maple syrup
3/4 cup heavy cashew cream
1/2 cup vegan butter
8 oz vegan cream cheese
juice of one lemon (approximately 1/4 cup)
1 cup powdered sugar
In a sauce pan over low/medium heat cook raspberries, brown sugar, almond milk and syrup for 15 minutes. Turn heat to low and stir in cashew cream. Cook for 5 more minutes remove from heat.
In a mixer blend butter and cream cheese until smooth. Mix in lemon juice. Slow add in powdered sugar using a sifter or use a forks to get rid of clumps.
In serving bowl cover bottom with half the cookies. Top with half raspberry mixture. Add a layer using half of lemon cream. Then use about a third of the blueberries around the edges (see notes above.) Repeat using the rest of the ingredients starting with cookies. On top of layer use remaining blueberries over top. Decorate with remaining cookies. In the cafe twist containers there is a lot of crumbs which I sprinkled over the top of the blueberries. Refrigerate over night and serve cold.