Raw Chocolate with De-hydrated – Modern Living Cuisine

It’s now been one month and one week of fresh young coconut withdrawals, and I’ve finally stopped tearing up as I glance at the $2.99 and up,  flown-across-the-globe selections around town. It hasn’t been easy (well, the glaring price helps), but somehow, I keep my wallet in my bag. Recently, I caught myself staring at coconut photos in my Flickr and slowly realized, it’s beyond time I shared some of my winter vacation photos from SE Asia. And being that it’s the day after eat-chocolate-in-bed day, I finally knew where to begin. 

Let me explain: during my travels, I attended three very different culinary classes: a vegetarian cooking class at Peace Cafe in Siem Reap, May Kaidee’s Cooking School in Bangkok, and Raw Chocolate Prep by De-Hydraded Modern Living Cuisine. I’ll get to the first two classes eventually, because I really want to tell the tale of my love affair with Cambodian Amok and so on, but for now, let me photo document some raw chocolate creations. The class was taught my friend, the charming Jennifer M. Robertson, who I’d met at Vida Vegan Con back in August. Ah, the VVC connection!  Jen showed our class how to make a Thai-spiced chocolate smoothie, a rich chocolate torte with a well-textured coconut macadamia crust, assorted raw chocolate truffles, decadent bite-sized chocolate candies with a “royal” garnish, and be still my heart, young coconut-based dark chocolate ice cream with a candied cardamom-pistachio topping. Nearly everything used was organic, all dishes were prepared from scratch, and generous samples were provided of everything.

First up, a Thai-spiced chocolate smoothie with a base of frozen bananas and fantastic heat from local, organic chili peppers. When you ask a class in Thailand if they want their smoothie “spicy”, the response is going to be enthusiastically positive.

Looking back on this photo, I remind myself to breathe.

Starting the ice cream process

Ingredient display

For the tart crust.

Prepared raw macadamia and coconut tart crusts. This simply set for a short period of time before filling.

Raw cacao butter based truffles + green tea powder

Rollin’

Raw lucuma powder – so intriguing!

For the chocolate candies. The gold leaves are of a Buddhist design.

Set & adorned (these are clearly my jet-lagged examples)

Cacao nibs, crushed nuts and candied cardamom-pistachios: all raw toppings for the following treat…

Everything I sampled (damn new cashew allergy!) was so lovely, but the young coconut-based dark chocolate ice cream was tops and one of the most memorable flavors of my vacation.

My decorated tart, with dark chocolate mousse and torn flower petals

 

Jen takes her classes and retreats around the world. Check out the De-hydrated facebook for regular updates.

Steamed Soy

I remain a broken record these last few posts.  Reflections on my Southeast Asian travels, this past week’s VVC scouting trip to Chicago, and a Portland vegan nacho report (East End, Veggie Grill, etc.) are bound to come. I’m slowly compiling a list of my most memorable travel meals, and have been trying to recreate a few, as well. Khao Soi Noodles, Young Coconut Curry, Tom Yam, Tofu Larb and a ‘Wedding Dip’ in Siem Reap are all encouraging visits to Fubonn and eyerolls to food cart options.  I’m now back in town for a few weeks solid, at the least, and caffeination has been at my side once I was able to stomach it in Portland once more…

From this weekend: cup of coffee, Chicago Diner 

Equal Exchange beans & sugar

This past Autumn: Soy Cappucino, Cloud Seven Cafe 

Intelligentsia

Just yesterday: Soy Cappucino [f] & Soy Latte [r], Fresh Pot downtown 

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

The we’re-waiting-for-Sizzle Pie-to-open-for-brunch-pizza Soy Cappucino, Grendel’s Coffee House

Hilltribe coffee & steamed soy milk, Blue Diamond in Chiang Mai

The post Montavilla Farmers Market stop: Soy Latte, Bipartisan Cafe

Soy Latte, Public Domain Coffee 

PD/Coffee Bean International

 Soy Latte, Aliviar Coffeehouse

Maeve and I stopped here before the screening of My Own Private River with Gus Van Sandt and James Franco at the Hollywood Theater. Jitters. Swooning.

Soy Latte, Coffee Division 

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Lastly: more caffeination in Chicago. I picked up a pound of El Diablo Dark Roast from Intelligentsia’s Millennium Park Coffeebar on Monday.

Soy Latte, Intelligentsia in Millennium Park


Departing for Thailand, Laos & Cambodia…

Heat tolerance, you ain't seen nothing yet.

In a matter of mere hours, I’ll be en route to Bangkok via LAX (insert Ana Lucia reference here) and Tokyo, for my first multi-week vacation in years, across Southeast Asia. Magically, my vacation is only partially scheduled, as the core intention is to attend a college friend’s wedding, after which I’m heading to northern Thailand  with another college friend to spend time with her family, followed by a few days of relaxation in Laos, a flight to Siem Reap, on-wards in Cambodia and back to Bangkok.

As I type this, I’m contemplating what t-shirts and sundress (and nutrition bars, Dr. Bronners and emergency bag of nooch) I want to spend the next month with, and hoping my back survives while my mind and tastebuds are blown.

If you have any recommendations, please, do share. You can also email me at GetSconed AT gmail.com.

I’m sure I’ll return with photos galore in 2012, but for now, if you wish to peer into my adventure, here’s my silly travel blog (which led me to realize how many times I’ve abandoned a baby tumblr in the past – we’ve all been there), inspired by an inside joke with my brother and my friend, Bahar.  Time will tell if I keep it up…