ANZAC Day always signifies that summer is well and truly over.
Autumn is in full swing and crisp mornings signify that winter is marching ever closer. ANZAC day is a great excuse to make Anzac biscuits, just as looming winter, a bad day or even a good day is a perfectly reasonable excuse in my eyes to get baking. As much as I love Anzac biscuits I really wanted to do something a bit more unexpected and unusual for the blog than just a healthified version of the classic biscuit and the result was this dish: half snack/half dessert, a beautiful brunch or an indulgent breakfast: Anzac tart with vanilla cashew cream.
I did a few swaps to a standard Anzac biscuit recipe to up the nutrition factor (more nutritious sweeteners, less sugar overall, wholemeal flour and coconut oil) then used the biscuit mixture to line a fluted tin for the crust. The mixture needs to be slightly drier than if you were making biscuits, which allowed me to cut back on the amount of oil used to bind the mixture together. Cashews are soaked overnight and blended with vanilla, coconut cream and a little sweetener until thick and smooth, then poured onto the crust and topped with lashings of fresh fruit.
Now I know that things like honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, rice malt syrup and all the other “healthier” sweeteners are still at their core just sugar molecules, and will be processed by the body in mostly the same way. In my humble opinion “healthy” doesn’t mean not eating any added sugars, it doesn’t even mean not eating any refined white sugar ever again, it just means that I try to make the most nutritious choices that I can. For this reason I prefer to use low-GI sweeteners that have a less acute impact on blood sugar levels and sugars that contain more nutrients, even if they are only in tiny trace amounts. For that reason you can really use whatever sugar or sugar substitute you like for this recipe.
I used coconut sugar and honey to both lower the GI and replicate most faithfully that golden syrup flavour of a traditional Anzac biscuits. If you don’t have those two options then use what you do have. If you're vegan sub the honey for maple, rice malt or good ol' golden syrup. If you have no interest in healthy eating then a) you may be on the wrong blog… and b) you should definitely stay on this blog but use white sugar in place of the coconut sugar and golden syrup in place of the honey. Everybody wins! Make the most of your long weekend and whip up the Anzac tart with vanilla cashew cream for your friends and family - they'll love you (even more) for it.
Anzac Tart with Vanilla Cashew Cream
2 cups cashews
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup wholemeal flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey (or maple/rice malt/golden syrup for vegan)
1/2 tsp bi-carb soda
1 tbsp boiling water
1/4 cup sweetener of choice (I used Natvia icing sugar mix to lower the calories but honey would be great)
1/3 - 1/2 cup coconut cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Fresh fruit, to decorate
1) Cover cashews with water and leave to soak for 6 hours or overnight.
2) Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
3) Combine oats, flour, coconut sugar and coconut in a large bowl. Mix well.
4) Melt coconut oil and honey together in a jug. Pour boiling water over bi-carb soda; stir well then add to honey and oil.
5) Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
6) Press crumb mixture into a 23cm fluted tin with removable base. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
7) When tart shell has cooled add cashews, coconut cream, sweetener and vanilla bean paste to a food processor and blend until smooth. Start with 1/3 cup coconut cream and add more if required.
8) Spread cashew cream over tart shell. top with fresh fruit and serve immediately.
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