Monday, March 28, 2011

eat; raw strawberry cheesecake

This week, I hosted an eatpinklove party as I am heading on to Melbourne, Australia for a few months. Before coming to the U.S.A, I told my friends back home I wanted to make a raw strawberry cheesecake (mind you, I had NO idea what that meant!) and present it to David Lynch. I naively thought I would meet him and we would become best pals. Soooo typical of a newby to L.A! For the party, I decided to try my hand at my first ever raw strawberry cheesecake, in the hope that David would get this strange feeling that he had to go for a drive and end up at my house! He didn't, but the cheesecake was AMAZING and everyone loved it! It is Cafe Gratitude's cheesecake recipe form their book that you can buy on-line here.

 I've tweeked the recipe so to have a chocolate flavoured base and I marinated slices of strawberries in a splash of Cointreau and agave for a few hours, to pour over the top. It was YUM!!! You can also replace the strawberries with whatever fruit takes your fancy!

What you need;
2 cups almonds, soaked overnight
1/4 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh dates
1/4 cup raw chocolate powder or nibs
3 cups cashews, soaked for 4 hours
2 cups of chopped strawberries
1 cup lemon juice
3/4 agave or honey
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbs lecithin
3/4 raw unsecented coconut butter or oil

In a food processor, add the almonds, vanilla and salt and pulse until crumbed. Be careful not to over process. Add the chopped fresh dates a small amount at a time and pulse until the mixture sticks together. Place into a bowl and stir in the chocolate powder or nibs with a wooden spoon. Press into a lined 9 1/2-inch spring tin with the back of a metal spoon, spreading the base evenly.

To make the filling, use a high speed blender and start by adding the lemon juice and strawberries. Blend until strawberries are broken down. Add the agave and vanilla and half the cashews. Blend for a few minutes then add the rest of the cashews. Blend until very smooth.

I used coconut oil, which at room temperature, is solid. To melt the oil, place in a hot water bath as shown above. Once liquid, add to the cashew filling in the blender along with the lecithin. Blend until really, really smooth and creamy. This is very important! What the texture is when you stop blending will be the texture of the cheesecake, so make sure you are patient!

Pour the yumminess into the prepared springtin, spreading it evenly. Place in the refridgerator for a few hours.

Once set, be careful not to release the cheesecake too quickly when unlocking it from the tin. Slowly slide it onto a serving dish. This is what your cheesecake will look like, undecorated.

And this is what it looks like decorated! You can do whatever you like with the topping. Blend it into a strawberry sauce that you pour on individual servings or do as I did and decorate the whole cheesecake. Whatever you do, have fun with it!

Buon Appetito!

pink; yellow green violet lamp

Yellow Green Violet Lamp, David Lynch, 2011

As most of you know, I am a HUGE Lynch fan and this past week, I went to William Griffin Gallery in Santa Monica to check out his latest art exhibition. Even though David Lynch refers to the colour as violet, I've included one of his sculptures into this weeks pink category called Yellow Green Violet Lamp

As I walked into the amazingly spacious gallery in Santa Monica, I was like a giddy teenager, hoping to see the man himself. Lynch was not there but his presence was surely felt. Along the walls of the gallery were five large scale paintings that had light bulbs attached within them and sculptural elements stuck to them. A semi circle stage coming out from the main wall, showcased a group of his sculptures and in an adjoining room were beautifully delicate lead pencil drawings, which I loved!

View within the gallery space

Yellow Green Violet Lamp was one of nine sculptures, all with lights attached to them. They had exposed wires which connected the sculptures to a main power source, replicating an umbilical cord and as I stood there looking at the group of these 'lamps', I was reminded of Louise Bourgeois' early sculptures. When she first moved to New York with her family, Bourgeois made sculptures out of abandoned wood from the water towers in New York to keep her company as she felt lonely being away from friends and family in France. These sculptures of Lynch's seemed to be doing the same thing. They appeared to be connected to each other, keeping each other company and creating a dialogue between themselves. I was a little disappointed I was not invited to experience the space between each sculpture; the platform created an obvious distance and barrier between viewer and object.

Detail, top

Yellow Green Violet Lamp is made from cold-rolled steel, plaster, tint and resin. I can see how resin would appeal to Lynch. It has an unusual organic looking texture, a dullness to it's finish similar to wax and is a strangely tactile material. Because of this, the material can look odd as it's origins do not appear to be man made, but strangely they do at the same time.  I can't help but think of prosthetic limbs here, as they too are created using man made materials but the aim is to look organic, creating a strange dichotomy. Lynch's combination of cold-rolled steel and resin really does reflect his surrealist take on the world, both are man made and when combined, create an unusual relationship between materials.

As I stood there looking at Yellow Green Violet Lamp, I noticed the title of each of the works and realised Lynch did not give these sculptures individual names that one would expect. Every sculpture's title simply had a description of the colours visible within it and all ended with the word 'lamp'. What makes this interesting is you can really hear Lynch's voice in the naming of these sculptures. There is a simplicity and honesty within naming these sculptures what they obviously are. No pretension, no expectation, almost childlike and to some degree, real.

Detail, base

The sculptures took on individual persona's, even if they were given simple titles. Each one had a strange thin wonky body, supported by a steel frame like wounded soldiers and a glowing head or headpiece that didn't seem it would do the job a 'lamp' is required to do.  Each one had a strong presence, living within a strange barren world only Lynch could imagine. These sculptures are truely something to be experienced having been created by a contemporary surrealist artist, who has given us strange films, paintings, drawings and sculptures in the surrealist style since the late seventies.

The exhibition is on until the end of May and if in Los Angeles, I highly recommend a visit. These sculptures and the lead drawings in the next room were definitely the highlight of the show for me.

love; ten things i love this week

1. The amusement park at Santa Monica Pier! I do love an amusement park and this one is pretty great being right on a pier! It opened in 1909 and you can find out more about it's history here. LOVE!

2. The way all the stuffed toy prizes are lined up in rows at amusement parks and how sad and weather beaten some look. I do love the mass of them, all with different personalities! LOVE! You can check out more pics on eatpinklove's Facebook page!

3. Zoltar! I'm soooo loving Zoltar and his fortune telling cards at amusement parks here in The Sates. Something kinda creepy about them but oh soooo right! This one at Santa Monica Pier even had a button to translate his words of wisdom into Spanish! LOVE!!!

4. Carousels. This photo I took of the one at Santa Monica pier. There is something magical about Carousels.  LOVE!!

5. Having in impromptu rose petal fight with my housemates, while drinking champagne! We ended up taking a series of crazy photos wearing a petal on our noses! CRAZY LOVE!

6. Going to The Valley with my friend glo to have a facial! I am soooo bad at relaxing and being quiet that they told me to shhhhhh. Too much fun to be had as a Valley Girl! LOVE!!!

7. My housemate turning her hair pink for eatpinklove's party! Now thats commitment! LOVE!!!

8. Painting men's nails! I do love to see nail polish on a heterosexual male! Something kinda manly about it! LOVE!!!

9.  Toasting to my time in L.A with Dolphina's famous Cup Cake Martini's! Yes, I will be posting this yummy recipe soon! LOVE!
10. I've said it before and I'll say it again; I Heart L.A! Oh how I'm going to miss this city, but as Arnie said one fine 80's day, "I'll be back!" LOVE!!