Recipes for success!


When the corn is sweet

A recipe from Carolyn Best

Chilled Almond Corn Soup
Serves 4 -5

Chilled Almond Corn Soup is a delicious way to enjoy late summer sweet corn.
Photo: Carolyn Best

Chilled almond corn soup with avocado is a delicious cold soup, very easily prepared with just two basic ingredients: almond mi

lk and corn. Almond milk can be purchased in any grocery store but I much prefer homemade, not difficult and far superior in taste.


  1. 3 cups of almond milk
  2. Corn on the cob, sufficient to yield 3 cups of kernels
  3. 1 large avocado (or 2 small)
  4. Sea salt
  5. Black pepper
  6. Chili powder

Almond Milk: Soak 1 cup of almonds overnight. In the morning, drain and blend with 4 cups water. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and ½ teaspoon salt.

To 3 cups of almond milk, add the raw kernels scraped off the cobs of corn, making about 2 1/2 cups of kernels. Process them coarsely in the blender, put in a po

t or bowl and adjust seasoning; perhaps add more sea salt or more sweetness in the form of agave or maple syrup. Also add to taste cracked black pepper and chili powder. Stir in another 1/2 cup of corn kernels and refrigerate.

When ready to serve, dice the avocado, ladle soup into bowls, and top with a spoonful of avocado, plus a further sprinkle of black pepper and chili for a finished look.

Carolyn Best is the former proprietor/chef of The Pantry vegetarian tearoom.

Almond Chocolate Chickpea Cake and Lemony Chickpea Cake
Photos: Marisa Romano

Baking with pulses: Chickpeas and beans take centre stage at tea party

By Marisa Romano

Each summer I host a summer afternoon tea party. That is when my postage-stamp-sized backyard morphs into a tea room and fills with happy conversation. Live music wafts from there to the neighbouring yards through the surrounding trees. That is when blooms from my front garden and wild flowers foraged at the Experimental Farm fill jars scattered around my house, where rooms carry the fragrance of exotic teas and home baking. This is the annual Tea Time in the Garden, a fundraising event in support of the One World Film Festival (OWFF).

The OWFF is overseen by the non-profit organization One World Arts and programmed entirely by volunteers. The OWFF features recent documentaries on global issues, many of which are internationally acclaimed productions, as well as interviews with experts, witnesses and filmmakers.

The OWFF is supported by grants from the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Ottawa and the Community Foundation of Ottawa. However, the organization suffers from a chronic shortage of cash because of the high cost of venues and screening fees and the organizer’s firm conviction that attendance should be affordable to anyone. Fundraising activities such as special screenings at the Bytowne Cinema allow the OWFF to come to life every fall.

On this seventhyear of the tea fundraiser, the dessert table showcased pastries made with chickpeas and beans. After all, this is the International Year of Pulses! Dessert plate in hand, guests gazed at the unusual sweets with curiosity and eagerness, some a bit perplexed and tentative. But all had their fill and came back for seconds.

Here are the recipes of the “pulsey” treats enjoyed by all.

Almond Chocolate Chickpea Cake

This dessert was developed from several chocolate cake recipes and has been loved by all from the time I first made it.

Blend until smooth 2 cups of cooked chickpeas (one 19 oz can, drained), 4 eggs and 1/2 cup almond meal. Add 2/3 cup white sugar, 11/2 cups melted semisweet chocolate chips, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp each almond extract and baking powder. Mix well. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 25–30 minutes (check with a toothpick to make sure that the cake is done). Sprinkle the cake with sliced almonds and cocoa powder.

Quick Cherry Dessert

Marie-Thérèse came by to help in the kitchen and made this fabulous cake with cherries freshly picked from her fruit trees in Oxford Mills.

Cream 1/2 cup butter (or vegetable oil) and 1 cup sugar. Add 4 eggs and beat until light. Add 1 tsp almond extract. Mix 11/2 cups wheat flour (white or whole wheat), 1/2 cup white or black bean flour and 2 tsp baking powder. Stir it into the egg mixture until smooth. Turn the batter into a greased 13 by 9 inch cake pan. Spoon about 2 and 1/2 cups cherry (or blueberry) pie filling into 16 “nests” evenly spaced. Bake at 350° F for about 40 minutes until golden and cake tests done. The filling will sink into the cake while baking.

 Lemony Chickpea Cake

This recipe is from the pulse pledge website at I baked the cake in a square pan, cut it into bite-sized squares and decorated each piece with a fresh raspberry. For an extra lemony flavour, I also sprinkled more lemon juice than 
recommended in the original recipe on the golden cake. Good, and showy too!

 Black Bean Chocolate Cake

Moist, substantial and chocolatey, this recipe is a gift from Carolyn Best.

Melt 8 oz (250 gr) bittersweet chocolate. Puree 2 cups black beans (one 19 oz can, drained). Beat 5 eggs and add 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp salt and 1 tsp baking powder. Add beans and fold into the chocolate. Pour into a 10-inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F until the top springs back, 25–30 minutes. This cake was served cut into squares just like brownies. Thank you Adrijana for baking it.

OWFF, this year in its 27th edition, runs from September 29 to October 2 at Library and Archives Canada. The Tea Time in the Garden raised enough funds to finance the screening of one documentary. Thank you to all who helped in setting up this event and dropped in for tea.

Check this year’s program on the OWFF website at, send an email to for one of the free tickets available and see you at the festival.

Marisa Romano is a member of the board of directors of One World Arts and is working with Pulse Canada to spread the word about pulses (the dry seeds of legumes) in this, the International Year of Pulses.

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