Triple Chocolate Ganache Cake, Ginger Lime Cheesecake, Matcha Green Tea Cake and Mandarin Dark Chocolate Parfait
Meet the Medjool date. This is no ordinary dry fruit. It is filled with the earthy flavours of truffle, nutty warmth from peanuts, and just a hint of sea salt. It is like a candy bar but healthier, tastier and more filling. This date can be savoured in the Sea Salt Peanut Truffle Dates (Rs 690 for six), which is part of a new dessert menu launched recently by the healthy snack and dessert brand, Amai.
The menu is raw, vegan, gluten- and dairy-free, and doesn't include preservatives. In other words, it's a menu for guilt-free indulgence.
Sea Salt Peanut Truffle Dates
Amai (Japanese: sweet) was started by Aishwarya Nair Mathew (inset) in 2010. Inspired by the principles of Japanese macrobiotics, it offers nutritious snacks and now, raw desserts. "I aim to showcase the best of healthy food, prepared and eaten in its natural state. Wellness and combating food-related illness is the main reason behind this menu. The idea for eating raw is that heating food destroys its nutrients and natural enzymes, which is unhealthy because enzymes boost digestion and fight chronic disease," says Mathew, also the corporate food and wine consultant for The Leela group of hotels.
"The depth of flavour in natural ingredients is more enhanced than what is in conventionally prepared foods. The idea is to feel satiated, light and energetic after consuming these decadent desserts without feeling like you're eating healthy or raw or vegan," says Mathew. We feel like that when munching on the chocolate covered dates. They are wholesome and delicious. At first bite, we get the hit of gooey peanut butter, which balances the sweetness of the dates, with chocolates adding a crunchy sweet aftertaste.
Chocolate is the star in our next two dessert tastings. The Triple Chocolate Ganache Cake (Rs 590 for two) is layered. Organic almonds, cashews and apricots make up the granola bar-like base, providing crunch and sweetness to the creamy chocolate ganache. Here, coconut oil adds a different intensity to the dessert, which after a few bites does overwhelm the palate. We like it, but it might be a put-off for those who aren't fans of coconut.
Mandarin Dark Chocolate Parfait (Rs 550 for two) has a similar texture and base (almonds and dates) but with stronger notes of citrus. We would've liked segments of fruit for a different textural element to the otherwise one-dimensional dessert.
Mathew has used milk made from nuts such as cashew, almond and Brazil nut to provide the best non-dairy forms of milk. This nut milk stars in the Ginger Lime Cheesecake (Rs 590 for two), a custard-like dessert with overwhelming flavours of ginger and citrus. It is the sweetest dessert of the lot, owing to the use of maple syrup. But, we do miss the buttery biscuit base of the traditional cheesecake.
The Matcha Green Tea Cake (Rs 590 for two), is light and airy, as promised, but we are let down by the powdery matcha flavour that coats the mouth, and stays on our palate for long.
The idea of raw desserts is appealing, especially when you can indulge in them without worrying about consuming harmful ingredients. But, given the steep price, we are not sure if going raw would make for an affordable lifestyle addition.
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