Posts Tagged ‘ raw tiramisu ’

Tiramisu for Cancer

I pooled a list of names of potential tasters a few days before I made the tiramisu. I had a candidate whom I thought would be an easy target in being turned into a raw food addict. then I remembered a promise I made to myself last week. I had to summon courage in seeing my grandfather, a dying cancer patient, by the end of this week.

Since late 2009, he had been in and out of the hospital for numerous organ failures. Grandpa was fed pills, after pills, after pills of medicines that I deemed pointless. They made him no better and only weaker by the day. What angered me even more was the fact that the family had fear played against them to keep hospitalised patients where they are.

“You can take him home, but there are these risks…” Of course. The fearful them listened to avoiding those risks.

He couldn’t eat solid foods during the time and was fed milk. MILK. According to them, milk was a necessary feed for the nutritional values it contained. I’m not going to argue over milk nutrition, but the milk also contained lactose Grandpa couldn’t digest, which, like any lactose intolerant sufferers would react with an upset stomach, it gave him an upset stomach; hardly mobile enough to bring himself to the bathroom, he soiled the bed. I cannot imagine the state of revulsion he had to go through against his own self.

By that time, I tried to reason with my anger by trying to educate my aunts and uncles in giving natural healing a shot, and take him out of the hospital environment. His condition was probably too late for any miracle curing, but the least we could do for him was maximise his level of comfort. They nodded, seemingly wanting to believe; but who am I to them standing against educated doctors, designed drugs, and life-sustaining machines? Just a 23-year old girl hardly qualified enough to know anything about dying. I knew that all too well. So I had to take matters into my own hands if I wanted to help. I instructed my mom to buy some green coconuts to feed him coconut water the next day. I wasn’t there to supervise the feeding for I had work, but Mom reported back and said we weren’t allowed to feed him such food. Grandpa was again, fed milk. At lowered dosage.

That was it. The time when I had sworn and wished to every God of this universe and other galaxies for the worst disasters to befall that very hospital, alongside with its doctors and nurses. Burn it to the ground, whatever. I haven’t stepped in or made any more efforts in Grandpa visits since. Frustration, too much of it. I had a voice, and no one was open-minded enough to hear it. So I stopped fighting for the lost battle. This was early February. Grandpa had been hospitalised a number of times again since, and I still refused to see him. I may have appeared like the inconsiderate granddaughter to everyone, but I couldn’t care less. No one would understand. Not in that room.

Time passed, and time did patch up my resentments. I made the promise last week to see him by this week. There was just one problem: I’m not very good of a conversationalist with the elderly in my family; our perceptions of the world are on totally different pages. Worse. Try different books. And of different languages. And to stare Death right in the eye with nothing to say from my end is unimaginable. So there, yesterday, I stared at the tiramisu I just freshly chilled and decided to bring it to Grandpa. “Sorry, Candidate A. Another believer would’ve been nice for my achievement. But this will save my conversation dry spell. I’ll have a story to tell.”

I went. I found him lying in bed with no strength to be able to sit himself up. Cancer has spread to his spine. He put a strong smile and repeatedly told me that he is well, and that he’s 80% healed. He doesn’t know it’s cancer eating his life. Nor does Grandma. Their children kept the knowledge away from them. Decided it is best for he would have lost his life spirit a long time ago.

I told him the great story behind my tiramisu; that unlike other cakes, he can eat this one like a meal. For breakfast, lunch, or dinner because it’s made up of just good stuff. Not even refined sugars.

Grandpa and Grandma were both impressed and wore the biggest smiles I haven’t seen in months.


Raw Tiramisu: Coconut / Cashews / Dates in disguise.

This is your most highly-prized recipe you’ve been saving for your book. Do you know what you’re doing?

Not sure myself. But, 1) Book is a long way, 2) People have been bugging me about it, 3) This might infuse a little faith to raw in people. Like a bait. Or teaser. And 4) I guess it’s open source age.

Lets hope so.


Nothing beats the hedonic experience of cream fats and refined sugars in non-raw desserts. Although I’d be eating towards ecstasy with regular desserts, I’d also find myself struggling in finding the control switch to stop. The experience usually ends with regret and self-blame for weakness. For some reason I can’t quite explain, raw fats and sugars differ in giving their sense of satiation or fullness. And still so delicious.

TIP: If you cannot source certain raw ingredients such as honey and cacao, don’t let that hold you back. Use regular honey and roasted cacao powder.

Cashew Milk
1 cup cashews, soaked 1-2 hours
3 cups water
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a blender on high until you reach smooth milky mixture.

Use the remaining of this milk as your raw milk substitute. Drink on its own, use with cereals, or blend into fruit shakes.

Coffee Cake Layer
1/2 cup dates (preferably Medjool dates), soaked in 1/2 cup water until soft.
1 cup cashews, soaked 1-2 hours
3 tablespoon rum
2 1/2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1/2 tablespoon raw honey
1 1/2 teaspoons coffee extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt

In a food processor, mix all ingredients until well incorporated and smooth.

Cream Layer
1 cup cashew milk
1/2 young coconut meat
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon soy lecithin, optional
1 teaspoon raw honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch sea salt
Tip: You may substitute coffee extract with one serving of espresso or 1 tablespoon of coffee liquor. If sweet coffee liquor is used, omit raw honey.

Blend all ingredients in a blender on high until smooth.

*Soy Lecithin is a substance that acts as an emulsifying agent.  It prevents fat and water components from separating. Not a must, however. You can omit.


1/2 tablespoon raw cacao powder

In a small casserole dish or pie pan, form a coffee cake layer (about 1cm in thickness) into  bottom of pan; then pour a layer of cream (about 0.5cm in thickness) over coffee cake and  chill in freezer until firm.
Repeat layering and refrigerate until firm.
Through a sieve, sift through raw cacao powder to dust over top layer of cream. Refrigerate until serving.

Continue reading

Alive & Cafe Gratitude: San Francisco Raw Eateries

Golden Gate Bridge


These two are long due for a review. I dined at Alive & Cafe Gratitude during the 4-day San Francisco visit in mid July and boy, did I walk away at the end of my meals with the biggest satiated smile.


Considering how quickly you fill up on raw foods, I ordered an ample amount of them for one person for every time that I go, (yes, I went on solo.. my family party wasn’t too keen on dining raw) but the intention for this summer holiday travels was to try out (wherever available) raw eateries as many as, if not more than the number of cities I visited. I would order 3 or so dishes, eat halfway on each and take away the rest. Though I shouldn’t have done them with the cake slices because they required refrigeration to stay firm and solid; I ended up with a pile of mush a few hours later.


Raw food menus generally carry heavier price tags than the regular non-raw menus. I suppose all those extensive processes of nut milking, soaking, straining, sprouting, dehydrating, dicing, blending, pureeing, julienning, chopping, cubing, did I already say dicing? In care of keeping those exogenous enzymes in tact so our pancreases can focus solely on body maintenance rather than digesting are high premiums to pay. So was I willing to exchange the content of my wallet to please my palate with fancy, labor-extensive prepared raw culinary delights to alleviate stress off my pancreas’ enzyme-producing duty? I guess I was.


Neighborhood: Marina/Cow Hollow

1972 Lombard Street

(between Buchanan St & United States Highway 101) 

San Francisco, CA 94123

(415) 923-1052




1. Spicy red curry avocado wrap

2. King trumpet mushrooms, capers, and Mendocino sea palms with almond cream sauce

3. Chocolate coconut banana torte


I was in love with their ‘king trumpet mushrooms, capers, and Mendocino sea palms with almond cream sauce” (they should really come up with a name for this) entree. The Mendocino sea palms made a superb pasta/noodle feel of the whole dish; crunchy, lightly slimed, fettuccine shaped sea vegetable. I would toss out the old method of creating raw “pasta” from zucchini and squash (I rarely can mouth this very well, they quickly turn bland) and in with this! or at least mix the two together to give a balance.


Sea Palms, botanical name: Postelsia, grow in the North America. So do not attempt to find them in an Asian grocer, you’d waste your time looking. There are online retailers you can buy them from, get googling. They are also protected species and has been in danger of over-harvesting as the shorn edible plant blades affect the limit of its spore production, needed to reproduce. Currently illegal  (to harvest, I believe) in B.C., Washington, and Oregon.



Cafe Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude

Neighborhood: Mission

2400 Harrison Street

(between 20th St & 21st St) 

San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 824-4652

Cafe Gratitude

Cafe Gratitude


1. Daily special enchilada

2. Key lime pie

3. Tiramisu



Daily special enchilada

THE tiramisu

THE tiramisu

The lovely lady taxi driver who brought me back to the hotel from Alive the night before recommended Cafe Gratitude. I’m happy I didn’t miss this place. I got the entire key lime pie to go and did the half/half-eat in/to-go with the enchilada and tiramisu.


All I can remember eating here was taking part in savouring the taste of every bite. The enchilada foursomed with cooked quinoa, red rice (i’m still a sucker for rice and other cooked grains), and cabbage salad was just.. out of this world. From its dehydrated enchilada wrap to its nutty filling, served warm, I think I found the ultimate comfort food in raw. Eating it reminded me of times when I would eat a plate of fried eggs, bacon, and potato waffles the morning after an alcoholic night out; except I would get an unpleasant coma from the breakfast and not from the enchilada.


The tiramisu. Oh! THE tiramisu. Thank the Gods and Goddesses I can eat tiramisu again, this time without the fight to break free from a never-ending addiction to refined sugars and double/full-fat/heavy cream fixing spoon after spoon after spoon. Whoever says (refined) sugar satiates the appetite is a big fat evil liar. The appetite only ends when the dessert plate shines clean. I don’t think a detailed description of the tiramisu is necessary here. Just try it when you happen to be in the city. I’m going to try to create my own version (good luck to me!)