The second in the series with Rita Ince and we decided on our favourite colour… black. Think, Miso Eggplant Sushi with Seaweed Salad and Black Sesame Chocolate muffins with Sakura frosting. La petit eats but Japanese.

Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy – but mysterious. But above all black says this: I don’t bother you – you don’t bother me. Yohji Yamamoto.

Black foods are thought by the Chinese to tonify the Kidney meridian, and to bring Jing!.. ie energy, thereby helping restore youth and deep resilience. Black sesame seeds, tiny but with huge health benefits are considered a tonic yang herb with many super powers, anti-ageing at the top of that list. Seaweed is much more nutrient dense than any land vegetables.. an excellent source of micronutrients including folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium and iodine, which sounds like a multi-vitamin in one right? Food is medicine my friends. Get on it. X


Miso Eggplant Sushi with Seaweed salad and crunchy Wakame
makes about 25 pieces of sushi

Sushi Rice:
1 ½ cups sushi rice, well rinsed, add 1 ½ cups water

Miso Sauce:
½ cup Shiro Miso
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
¼ cup warm water

1 ½ medium sized eggplants, washed and cut into longitudinal stripes about 1cm thick (width of a finger), turn around and cut into 2cm wide rectangles similar to fish fillets on sushi

other ingredients:
Seaweed salad, small bag from asian market
Dried laver sheets (Sushi sheets)
Dried wakame (dried seaweed often used for Miso soup)

Let the sushi rest for 30 min in water, cook on high heat until it boils. Once the rice has boiled turn the stove back onto low heat and let it simmer for about 20 min. Remove the pot from the stove let it stand covered for about 15 min. Put rice into a bowl and add ¼ cup of sushi vinegar to the rice and fold it under.
Let the rice cool off completely.

Put the cut eggplant onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake on 200 degrees Celsius for 20 min. DO NOT SALT to avoid it from getting soggy. After 20 min flip the eggplant fillets and add about ½ tsp miso sauce on each piece and put the eggplant back into the oven on 220 degrees celsius for another 10 minutes.

Shape cooled rice into sushi rice and add a little more miso sauce on top. Cut dried laver into thin stripes. Place a piece of baked miso eggplant on top of the rice and tie it down with the laver. Top the sushi with a small amount of seaweed salad and a sprinkle of dried wakame.

Serve leftover miso sauce on the side as extra dip and remaining seaweed salad as side too.


Black Sesame Chocolate Cherry Muffins with Sakura frosting
makes 10 small muffins

1 cup dark chocolate, melted in water bath (available at bulk buy stores such as Scoop Wholefoods)
1 cup coconut flour
1 cup blanched almond meal
1 cup dates, soaked for 2 hours and pressed dry
½ cup soaking water from dates
½ cup brown rice syrup
½ cup black tahini
½ cup coconut oil
2 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup deseeded fresh cherries
½ cup dried cherries

½ cup coconut butter, soft
1 TBSP coconut oil, melted
1 cup coconut cream, chilled overnight
20 deseeded fresh cherries
¼ cup dried cherries
Sakura essence (Cherry blossom essence) to taste – only put 2 -4 drops and try first before adding more as it is really strong

Start with soaking dates, and putting the coconut oil and coconut butter into hot water.

In a high speed blender add all icing ingredients and blend into a thick creamy icing. Fill into an icing (patisserie) bag with your favourite nozzle and keep in the fridge until semi set (2-3 hours).

Combine all ingredients of the dough in a food processor apart from the fresh and dried cherries. After all other ingredients are a nice thick dough fold the fresh and dried cherries under by hand.
Shape round balls and place them into paper muffin cups in a muffin tray.
Bake on 180 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes. The outside of the cupcakes should be slightly crunchy whereas the inside should be still soft and moist. Leave the cupcakes in the muffin tray in the switched off oven until cool.

Check if the icing is set enough to decorate your muffins. But make sure the muffins are cold enough before putting the icing on. Add an extra fresh cherry on top and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. The muffins can be kept in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.


Recipes + images: Rita Ince

Style: Bettina McILwraith

Accoutrement: Textiles – bibi & me, Ceramics – Milly Dent + Marrie Helene Clauzon, Flowers – Missy, Cutlery – DEA store. X


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