When in need of a mind-bending healthy-treats visual lift, I consult Emily Von Euw’s raw vegan website, This Rawsome Vegan Life, for a session of intense and hungry ogling. Gorgeous shots give you close-ups of plant-based confections: frozen tarts with date-almond crusts; three-tiered bars involving praline creams of cacao, pecan butter, and coconut oil; strawberry creams highlighted with lime zest and pureed beets that turn into layered mousse cakes; “Twix” bars made with coconut flour and Himalayan salt. She can make anything sexy: spirulina, ground oats, soaked buckwheat groats. (If her recent post of what she is calling her Fierce Salted Caramel Cheesecake doesn’t make you swoon, I don’t know what would.)
And I confess to owning her Rawsome Vegan Baking, from which I have made minted chocolate brownies on my way to the coconut cheesecake.
Which is why I have been puzzled not to love many of the desserts I tried at Mudhen as much as I wanted to. Not the carrot cake with parsnips, apples, raisins, walnuts, which I found dense; nor the honey-sweetened Chocovocado mousse topped with a raspberry and macadamia oil, though I love the notion. Pastry chef Laurel Wimberg is also the pastry chef at Lark on the Park; her sense of flavor and texture is spot-on. Issues were often, understandably, ones of density and texture.
But a recent addition to the dessert list made me sing its praises: a cool key lime pie that blends coconut, lime, and zucchini into a smooth, silky filling over a whole grain graham cracker crust. Before you make that face, know that the coconut and lime flavors are pronounced enough that zucchini is more a fun thought than a flavor player. The filling is luscious, the whole grain crust crunchy and fabulous, the fresh strawberries on top play with the tartness of the lime. And it’s a terrific feat of texture.
Key lime pie lovers, think outside the key lime pie box. And try this while zucchini is still seasonal.