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105degrees, L2/W3/D3-5: Caprese salad, et al.

December 18, 2010

Our final projects for Level II are even more involved than those in Level I (thus my relative absence lately). We’ve been working on those throughout the week (more details on that soon), but in between, we’ve also managed to produce a few yummy things. We prepped some raw cornbread…

…some apple-raisin bread…

…and a lemon poppyseed cake with vanilla frosting.

The breads had to dehydrate overnight…

…and we ended up with nice, firm-but-moist snack breads.

The cake had to be made in three stages, so although we started it Monday, we didn’t plate it till Wednesday.

We didn’t do anything fancy; a quick honey-raspberry syrup topped it off.

This lemon poppyseed cake was fan-flippin’-tastic. I’m so glad we made it!

Last night, we found time to put together a simple Caprese salad.

Juicy Roma tomatoes, firm macadamia mozzarella, sweet-tart balsamic syrup, and chiffonaded basil comprised it.

I’m not a fan of Caprese salad (though I adore Capri itself!), and I wasn’t thrilled with my plating, but it was good practice nonetheless.

30 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2010 6:00 pm

    Ooh, that cake looks heavenly!

    That salad makes me think of Tim Burton.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 6:33 pm

      Haha! Ok, you’ve gotta explain that reference 😛

  2. December 18, 2010 7:32 pm

    Ohhh, that cake!! It looks amazing. And I’m curious what the bases fr the breads are as well as the cake. I know you can’t say exactly – but is it still nuts/dates like many other raw desserts?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 6:52 pm

      Most of the breads do have a nut flour as their main component (though dates aren’t often a big part). This cake, though, interestingly enough, is nut-free! Coconut flour and flax meal form the base.

  3. December 18, 2010 9:05 pm

    beautiful cake! and those breads look so cool too 😀

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 6:53 pm

      Thanks Rachel! The cake was deeelicious.

  4. December 18, 2010 9:23 pm

    Oh man, lemon poppyseed is one of my favoritest flavor combinations. That caprese is so uniquely plated, I really like the cascading basil.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 6:54 pm

      I don’t make lemon poppyseed desserts often enough, considering I like that combo a lot too.
      Thanks for the compliments on my caprese plating!

  5. December 18, 2010 9:43 pm

    oh man I want some some of that lemon poppyseed cake!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 6:53 pm

      It was SO good! Mmm, I’m still dreaming of it…

  6. December 18, 2010 10:17 pm

    If every blogging break you took ended with a post of this magnificence, I’d almost want you to disappear more often. (Not really! I miss you!)

    Cornbread cornbread cornbread! I adore the stuff, despite the fact that it pretty much doesn’t exist in Australia, and so I keep forgetting to make it.

    Good luck preparing for the final assessment, love! I know you’re going to blow everyone’s socks off 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 6:56 pm

      Aww, I miss you too! I’m sorry for my absence from your own comments section – but please know I’m reading along.

      Matt’s a cornbread fiend, and although he’d tell you this didn’t taste like REAL cornbread, he still liked it! It went well with miso-coconut butter 😀

  7. December 18, 2010 11:00 pm

    I ADORE insalata caprese, and I’m digging the plating. Simple, yet effective.

    The cake looks beautiful as well….ugh! I’m dying to get my hands on your class notes!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 6:56 pm

      Thanks! Glad you like it, especially since I felt “eh” about it.

      You will DIE when you taste this cake. In the best way.

  8. December 19, 2010 12:45 am

    Glad that you haven’t been a slave to the blog and have saved such beautiful things up your sleeve. Lots of bakery stuff this week, it seems. It must be fascinating the way that the dehydration dictates the direction/scheduling of classes.

    Hope you’re still having a ball with it!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 6:57 pm

      Thanks for understanding my extended breaks 🙂 A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right? Like I told Hannah, even though I have had NO time to comment, please know I’m still reading your posts. 🙂

      There WAS a lot of pastry work in weeks 3-4. Now that I’m complaining!

  9. Val @ Balancing Val permalink
    December 19, 2010 7:16 am

    Ohhhhhhh cake! You need to make that and send it to me . . . 😉

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 6:58 pm

      Hehe! It’s a bit fragile, but yknow, I think it’d taste just as good squished up ;P

  10. lindsay permalink
    December 19, 2010 10:10 am

    please please say the cornbread and apple raisin bread will be making an appearance on 105degrees menu! if so, i will be there with bells on-silver bells that is.:)

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 6:58 pm

      Aw, Lindsay, I don’t know if it will! Not this season, at least…but it may well make an appearance down the road. I’ll cross my fingers with you!

  11. December 19, 2010 1:53 pm

    Ooh that caprese salad looks to die for.. Im craving some now.

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 6:59 pm

      Thank you, Kate! 😀

  12. December 19, 2010 6:27 pm

    Your plating is always so gorgeous! I feel like there would be a bit more pressure with a raw vegan meal to make it look appetizing, especially to non-raw eaters. Mission accomplished 🙂

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 7:00 pm

      Thanks so much, Summer! I wasn’t even a big fan of this plating, so it makes me quite happy to hear so many people like it. There is DEFINITELY a great deal of expectation and pressure involved in plating raw masterpieces…but often, it’s actually more fun that way to me. It’s like foodie-art class!

  13. December 20, 2010 7:43 am

    Caprese Salad!!! WOW! I want to make everything you’re making! I love your blog!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 7:01 pm

      Aw, thank you so much Sheila! So glad you commented 😀

  14. December 20, 2010 3:38 pm

    Love this! Love all of it!! The cake looks great. It’s really inspiring me to try the whole dehydration thing. Also… the caprese? Yum!!

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 7:03 pm

      Thanks Ellen! You’d be amazed at the wonderful treats you can churn out with a dehydrator 🙂 And they’re so low-energy!

  15. December 28, 2010 7:07 pm

    Is there any way to do a quick n dirty ghetto dehydration without a dehydrator?

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      December 28, 2010 7:13 pm

      Haha! There IS a kind of DIY dehydration method. I used it before I bought my dehyd, and it works pretty well. Turn your conventional oven on “warm,” put your food in, and keep the door cracked. Option 1: come back in 10-minute intervals to turn the oven off, then back on warm, then back off, then back on warm, and so on. Option 2: leave the oven on “warm” and don’t worry about turning it off and on – just keep in mind it dries things FASTER this way than a dehyd would (since it’ll actually get upwards of 200 degrees in there). You’ll still preserve more delicate enzymes this way than with traditional baking, though!

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