Non-cooking technical trials

In Daniela Cicioni’s recipe for Identità, there’s an interesting exploration of rawism

25-02-2014
Mandarin semifreddo with germinated buckwheat gran

Mandarin semifreddo with germinated buckwheat granola, cocoa beans and smoked tea, one of the 3 dishes presented by vegan chef Daniela Cicioni at Identità Milano 2014, within the Identità Naturali format. No cooking is used for this recipe (photo credits Brambilla-Serrani)

One of the starting points from which I began was macrobiotic culture (which over time has acquired some principles of Chinese traditional medicine and of the Ayurveda). Of this I preserve the thought that food can be the most direct way in which to reach a balance between an individual and its environment. This concept is subjective and can change over time. Foods are chosen on the basis of their organoleptic, nutritional (carbohydrates, proteins, fats) and energetic profile, which is not to be considered as the caloric contribution but as the capacity of each ingredient of creating different effects on the body, depending on its nature (which has to do with its form, its vegetal/animal origin, the place and period of growth, the colour and texture), but also on the chosen style of cooking and non-cooking.

Energetically “light” non-cooking techniques, such as fermentation, drying and germination represent vitalising sources of energy and nutritional elements (vitamins, enzymes, beneficial microorganisms) that can help balancing a lifestyle characterised by stress, heaviness and a strongly urbanised environment. In the following recipe no cooking is used and the granola is made with buckwheat that was first germinated and then dried.

Mandarin semifreddo with germinated buckwheat granola, cocoa beans and smoked tea

INGREDIENTS
for the semifreddo
150 g cashew nuts soaked in water for 4 hours, then drained and rinsed
65 ml mandarin juice
65 ml agave syrup
65 ml di melted coconut oil
3 grated mandarin zest
1/2 grated lemon zest
1 orange zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of saffron
1/2 fresh, chopped chilli pepper
6 g untoasted roughly chopped cocoa beans
15 g powdered mandarin (the zest, dried at 42°C and then finely chopped)
8 nasturtium flowers

for the granola
15 g germinated buckwheat, dried at 42°C with orange juice and mandarin zest
25 g knife-chopped walnuts
40 g finely chopped dried apricots
6 g untoasted roughly chopped cocoa beans
7,5 ml agave syrup
1 teaspoon of chopped rosemary
½ teaspoon of chopped Lapsang smoked tea
½ grated lemon zest
1 ml tamari (Japanese soy sauce)

Daniela Cicioni, a vegan chef

Daniela Cicioni, a vegan chef

METHOD
for the semifreddo
Put all the ingredients except the cocoa beans and the chilli into the blender and process until you obtain a smooth cream. Add the chilli pepper and the cocoa beans. Move into a pastry bag and leave in the freezer for around 30 minutes.

for the granola
Mix all the ingredients and, if necessary, add a few drops of agave syrup. Place in a hermetically closed container and leave it in the fridge.

COMPOSING THE DISH
Using non-stick sheets, create six cones (11.5 cm long and with a diameter of 4 cm). Place the buckwheat mixture in the first 6 cm of the cones, press it so as to make it compact and evened out, then fill the remaining space with the semifreddo. Cover them in cling fill and put them in the freezer for 2 hours in a vertical position, then remove them from the mould and stick to each semifreddo 4 petals of nasturtium, put the base of the cone on the mandarin powder. Place the cones on each dish, horizontally, sprinkle the mandarin powder and then a little Laspang tea.