Eat: Raw Vegan Cafe Liegeois
And once again, a stroke of culinary genius! Yet another one of my childhood favourites made vegan, and mostly raw!
Whenever summer time is around the corner, (yes, all you Canadians, it did just get warm today, I KNOW I'm wishful thinking...) I start thinking about how much my sister and I loved Café Liégeois back in the day. Every summer when we went to France and got to eat at a restaurant, it was our dessert of choice. It was an unspoken rule that regardless of what we ate, we would still make room for one of these bad boys. I can only imagine what it would be like for our parents to have two small children on coffee and sugar!
The real deal is pretty "unhealthy" stuff: coffee, cream (made with God only knows how many egg yolks), sugar and vanilla ice cream... The version I originally wanted to make would consist of a sweetened vegan coffee-like substance with raw vanilla ice cream dumped in and topped with coconut whipped cream. However, I'm giving you the lazy version that I ended up making. It hit so close to home, I could just imagine myself on an outdoor patio under the big platane trees of Provence.
Yields: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes (+ time to overnight your coconut milk in the fridge)
For the Smoothie:
3 bananas, frozen
1 big handful of dates, pitted
1-1.5 cups of coconut water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon coffee beans
For the Whipped Cream:
Whipped coconut milk following this recipe (it's BRILLIANT! I tell you, BRILLIANT!)
1. Throw everything in your Vitamix with 1 cup of the coconut water and blend.
2. Add coconut water if you want a less creamy consistency.
3. Top with Whipped Cream and deliciousness of your choice. Enjoy!
And because I can't help but give you some food history, here is the quick and dirty history of the Café Liégeois: First off, you probably won't be surprised to hear that the dessert was not in fact created in Liège, Belgium. (What is it with food misleadingly named after places they aren't from?) It was actually originally known in France as a Café Viennois, aka. viennese coffee. (As a side note, if ever you go to France, Chocolat Viennois is the ONLY way to order hot chocolate... and no, it's definitely not vegan. Viennois seems to be the French word for "and we dump cream on top"). Anyway, during WWI, Parisian cafés started renaming the dessert "café liégeois" instead of "café viennois", because a) the Viennese were the enemy (does this make anyone think of the whole Freedom Fries fiasco at all?) and b) to honour the Belgian alliance and their embattled forts, and the newer name stuck ever since! There ya go!