Knafeh with kataifi pastry

Now I have done knafeh in the past. But I have never had a chance to work with kataifi(shredded phyllo) due to never being able to find it. That is, until my coworker, Desiree, told me about a middle eastern market that was actually really close to where I live! Super special thank you to…

Good as Hell: a carrot cake

When it comes to carrot cake, I really love making them with a TON of grated carrots in them. While the concept of putting a root vegetable into a cake sounds a bit weird, that’s what the sugar and spices are for. It hides any savory notes of the vegetable and results in a cake…

Small steps: a plated dessert

I wanted to create a dessert that represented my collective growth in dessert. Chocolate cake was obviously something that has huge sentimental value to me, so I had to feature that, and with it, two of my other favorite dessert go-to’s, being ice cream and macaron. For this particular dessert, I went with chocolate friands,…

“Princess cakes”: a petit gateau

Honestly, this dessert was inspired by me seeing a TON of these cute pink petit gateaus that were floating around on Instagram, made by pastry chefs at a Mandarin Oriental. This dessert in particular was on my to-do list for a hot second, but I had the pleasure of making it with my friend Ann…

Back to life: a plated dish

This dish is a nod to Mystery Skulls, specifically their new album and song, Back to Life. When I was conceptualizing a dish around that focuses on one of my biggest banes to existence, being the filet mignon, and focusing on taking that and making it vibrant, exciting, and beautiful. Honestly, filet is a giant…

Box of dreams: a mousse tart

With all of the Christmas baking going around, I felt like I had to do some more of my very own. For this particular dessert, I wanted to go with three different inspirations. The first was fruit cake, the second was eggnog, and the third was snow. I wanted to also make a box-shaped dessert,…

L’Espoir: a plated dessert

So this was actually a concept that had been sitting around in my culinary to-do list for months. I wanted to do a dessert that featured matcha, olive oil, and goat milk, but I kept holding off on it for one reason or another. But now that I have finally caught up on a lot…

Jump: grasshopper pie entremet

Ever since my senior year of college when I made several of them for a Thanksgiving party, I have fallen in love with grasshopper pie. And no, it’s not actual grasshoppers in a pie, if that’s what you’re thinking (because my god, the Internet can be stupid sometimes). Grasshopper pie is an old school dessert…

Angelico: a plated dessert

I have really wanted to try tackling baba and hazelnut toffee tears, so I figured, why not combine the two together? Rum baba is a French and Italian classic. It is a yeast-leavened cake, similar to a brioche, that it soaked in a rum based syrup and stuffed with piped cream. With baba, you might…

If I can’t meet you: a plated dish

When I was conceptualizing this dish, I really thought of comforting and warming flavors that work in the winter. Since it’s getting colder, although in Southern California, that means nothing because we basically have two seasons: warm or warmer, I wanted to make a dish that highlight Chinese fusion comfort food. I love eating Halal-Chinese food(yes,…

Echoes of seashells: a plated dish

One of my favorite proteins to cook is clams. They’re juicy, succulent, full of beautiful, ocean-y brine, and they lend themselves well to flavoring anything that they’re cooked in because of that. For this particular dish, I wanted to make something that captures the delicate nature of seafood in general, while packing a huge punch…

Round and Round: a roll cake

As Christmas approaches, I just love to bake more and more festive desserts. Croquembouche, bouche de noel, roll cakes, Mont Blanc, I just love making festive things. So I figured, why not combine Mont Blanc and bouche de noel, and do a roll cake? I’ve been seeing a ton of chestnuts in the grocery store,…

Amber Sky: a mirror glaze cake

So this dessert came about because my friend Ann gave me a TON of really, really ripe persimmons. I haven’t made a proper mirror glaze cake for a while, so I really wanted to do another one and capture the essence of fall. Persimmons, for those of you who have never had one before, kind…

Jade: matcha-mochi-white chocolate cookies

Continuing on with my crystal cookies, we have these matcha cookies that I have embedded with matcha mochi, and there’s also some white chocolate chips in there, just to balance out the bitterness. Something that I found in Turkish delight is that it’s very similar to mochi in terms of texture, so I knew that…

Krofne with Nutella-Tim Tam pastry cream

I have been on a real Montenegrin fix lately, and I just wanted to continue that with one of my favorite desserts, the krofne. Krofne are super fluffy doughnuts, golden brown on each side, dusted in powdered sugar, and sometimes, with jam or custard piped inside of them. Very similar to a Berliner, and eaten…

Don’t start now: a plated dessert

When Dua Lipa released her new single, “Don’t start now”, of course I fanboyed. It had this upbeat, modern Disco-style that was so indicative of her music. And the message, while a bit generically delivered so that it was relatable, still resonated with me. Specifically not letting “being left behind” affect you, but rather, propel…

Flexibility, love, and trust: a plated dessert

I took inspiration from a couple things when I was conceptualizing this dessert. The first was wanting to use tofu and kinako(toasted soy bean flour) in a dessert, just to do a soy-forward concept. The second was the lyrics of the song from Steven Universe, “Here Comes a Thought”. I feel like you need flexibility…

Citrine: lemon-poppyseed cookies with elderflower-lemon crystals

Continuing on with my crystal cookies, I wanted to do a lemon-poppyseed cookie, a flavor combination I love, and I also wanted to do lemon crystals, which will be similarly made to Turkish delight. Since Turkish delight does traditionally use a flower to flavor it, being rose, I wanted to use elderflower instead, and use…

Lacuna: salted caramel-apple cheesecakes

So a funny little anecdote about how these cheesecakes came to be. I originally wanted to make an apple crostata, but when I was rummaging through the fridge, my dumbass self didn’t see I couldn’t find any butter(fun fact, there was butter in the fridge and I only found that out after buying two boxes…

Pear tarte tatin with milk tea crème anglaise

As somebody who has suffered prior trauma from tarte tatin, I can tell you now that I’ve made at least ten of them this year alone. To celebrate the fall, and to use the free bosc pears that were lying around at work, I wanted to make yet another tarte tatin. This time, I decided…