These two creative ladies are great friends and incredible dessert makers!! Adriana and Patricia both have worked in the retail and restaurant dessert world making raw desserts. Adriana has her own company, Succulent Cuisine, making custom cakes and wholesaling her superfood bars, the Jing Bar and Green Bar at retailers like Erewhon Market in LA. Patricia currently works as a chef at The Ranch, a wellness and fitness retreat in Malibu, where I actually used to work as well. She previously worked at The Springs in raw pastry and at Cafe Gratitude as a raw chocolatier.
I love making treats with others, where we can share any special techniques we may have learned or any inspiration for new flavor combinations and recipes we've tried. We had a trio of special treats when we met up, and got boosted with lots of superfood and herbal additions. We first made some gluten-free cinnamon rolls with Patti's Coconut Raspberry Fudge Sauce, a recipe she is still perfecting, although I thought it was great paired with this baked cinnamon roll. Then Adriana made her Chocolate Chip Reishi Cookies! Patricia finished with her peach tarts, beautified by using little peach roses made from thin peach slices.
<< Interview with Adriana Rivera >>
>> What does Dessert Medicine mean to you?
Mmmm, to me dessert medicine means the sweetness of health. I absolutely love what I do in the world because of this phrase. Sweet is a taste that can help balance our minds and bodies incorporating plant medicine and tonic herbs. Most of the time simple raw ingredients truly speak for themselves and are loaded with nutrients and energy. Dessert medicine is another way of being with this taste, getting the most out of every food experience healing ourselves one bite at a time.
>> How did you get inspired to make raw desserts, what was the catalyst?
I was inspired by my friends years ago making raw chocolate when suddenly I realized that I never had to feel bad about this indulgence and I could actually look at dessert as food, as medicine as an experience.
>> What made you want to start your own wholesale business? How did you come up with Succulent Cuisine and what drives you to continue serving your community?
Again, was inspired by many friends along the path of raw vegan delicacies when I came to a point where I stopped growing and decided to break away from my foundation and take myself and my desserts to another level by birthing Succulent Cuisine into existence. What drives me the most is the love in my heart when I taste something that I created and I am blown away at times and that is the experience I transmit through food. My drive intensifies with all of the feedback from my friends and clients...they eat my love and fill me up. I want to allow people this experience of raw vegan desserts so that they too may understand dessert as food, as love.
>> What's it like demoing your product in stores?
I love demoing my products because of how intimate it is when a buyer finally meets the person hand making their bars, a new space of compassion opens.
>> Do you have a daily practice you'd like to share?
Currently my daily practice has been waking up around 6am to drink tea or light yoga silently while I move into a manifesting meditation...I sit still for awhile and imagine everything I want in my life as if it is already happening.
<< Interview with Patricia Bardales >>
>> What does dessert medicine mean to you?
Simply put: it means you can have that slice of pie and feel good while doing so. "Dessert" and "health" don't have to be mutually exclusive!
>> Tell me about how you got into making desserts, and what inspires you to continue making them?
It was about five years ago, when I became aware of raw desserts through Sweet & Raw Pie Mandalas. I found it on my friend's coffee table and flipping through the pages, I immediately fell in love. I went online and bought the book the next day, began to experiment, and the rest is history! What resonated with me off that bat was that I could incorporate my aesthetic sensibility ability toward something edible; as an artist, it became another medium through which I could express myself creatively. I'm constantly inspired by all the ways that raw ingredients beautifully come together - and the fact that they can also be good for you is an added bonus.
>> Where do you see the world of desserts going? What role would you like to have if any?
Lately I’ve seen the quality of desserts become more refined and complex. Working in Plant-based kitchens gives me the ability to see community become more aware of quality and health conscious desserts become more important.
>> What's your favorite dessert to eat, and make?
Cookies and ice cream! And when they happen at the same time, I make a pretty buttery sandwich. There's something magical about ice cream...you can't not be happy when you eat it. It's the ultimate comfort food. And you really can’t mess it up! I once made a heaping amount of avocado creme for an event, and instead of seeing all the extra go to waste, I added some honey, coconut meat and lucuma powder to it, put it in the blender, and froze it - and voila! Heaven on a spoon.
>> What's it like to work in a dessert kitchen?
A constant flow of sweets and a heavy rotation of friends coming and going with happy bellies and smiles for miles. It's also a nonstop learning experience; I've been lucky enough to meet some incredibly talented chefs, dessert experts, and friends who make incredible products, and try to apply those tidbits to my own philosophy. In that way, I also feel like everything I make isn't only a personal expression, but also an expression of my community - which makes the end products all the more special.
Chocolate Chip Reishi Cookies
>> Pulse the cashew, Reishi, mucuna and salt in food processor
>> Add rolled oats and process until finely mixed
>> add coconut nectar, pulse
>> add water, mix until cookie dough is fully formed
>> remove batter completely into a bowl, add chocolate chips, mix well with spatula
>> using an ice cream scoop make individual balls of cookie dough go and press into circles forming cookie, place on dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for 3 hours at 118 degrees F. Store chilled, if desired.
RAW peach pie
6 white peaches
3-4 tbs raw sage honey
1/2 tsp cinamon
1/2 tsp pink salt
1/4 vanilla bean scraped
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 tbs Adaptablend
2 cups almonds
2 tbs raw honey
3-4 medjool dates
1/2 tsp pink salt
1 tsp of yacoon powder
>> First we process almonds in then add honey, dates, salt, and yacoon powder once the dough is nice and sticky place in a 9” round pie form (or makes 5 small tart pans) once you have pressed it refrigerate it.
>> Next we pit the peaches and have a mandolin ready on the thinest cut. once they have been sliced grab a handful and roll them into tiny roses set aside and the rest place in a bowl. Add the honey cinnamon, pink salt, vanilla bean, cardamom and Adaptablend, mix with you hands and place in dehydrator for 10 min at 111*degrees (if one isn’t available simply leave covered for 20 min in the refrigerator).
>> Take out the pie crust and then begin to assemble the slices of peaches, stacking them like lego pieces. Lastly add the mini rose buds on top!… you can add the juices from the bowl on top of the pie for extra butteriness.
>> Can be placed back in the dehydrator for 15 min before serving for a warm version. :)
<< Herbal Additions >>
Reishi Mushroom : This medicinal mushroom is the 'Queen Healer' filled with immune enhancing polysaccharides. A tree mushroom that has a reddish sheen, used in ancient Chinese medicine. The flavor is mild and pairs nicely with cookies and chocolate desserts.
Adaptablend : The Adaptablend powder mix contains herbs that will help the body adapt to stressors of life and other synergistic flavors that add nutritional quality, all being great for sweet treats and blended drinks! Ingredients >> Lucuma powder; Adapt Blend ~ Ashwagandha, Mucuna, Reishi, Rhodiola, Moringa, Hibiscus; Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon, Ginger.