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…

Drift away: a plated dessert

When I was thinking of desserts to make, I was really inspired by a particular song from the Steven Universe movie called “Drift Away”. It was about a jester who was essentially abandoned by her queen and left to be forgotten for millenniums. I thought about the idea of drifting, and wanted to interpret it…

Rose quartz: chocolate-Turkish delight cookies

Chocolate-Turkish delight ice cream is one of my absolute favorites. That and I love to make Turkish delight. I don’t know why. There’s something about how pretty they look that really appeals to me. That gem-like aesthetic. But since I know for a fact that this flavor combination works, I decided to take it from…

Charlotte the fool: a layer cake

For this cake, I just really wanted to come up with a concept that fused multiple desserts into one. That included the charlotte cake, being a layer cake surrounded with ladyfingers, and fool, which is a cream that has puree folded through it, and I also technically made an icebox cake as well, since that…

Vows in soft light: a layer cake

So this cake was my take on a wedding cake(might be jinxing myself here, but whatever, forever young, forever single). I just wanted to try making a multi-tiered cake, since the last one I made was a little lopsided, admittedly. Rather than tackling a 7 layer cake this time, I went with 6, 3 layers…

Plated pineapple upside down cake

This entire dessert stemmed from me making togarashi-honey “dole whip”, and needing to create an entire plate around that ice cream. Since I have leftover pineapple, it just made sense to make something with it, and I opted for a pineapple upside down cake, and to make it almost like a pina colada, I went…

Nexus: a ruby chocolate entremet

I was originally going to do a rose, ruby chocolate, and pistachio tiramisu when I was conceptualizing this dessert, but then I thought about the presentation, and how I really didn’t want it to look too similar to my dreaming of springtime dessert. So instead, I opted for an entremet instead. The flavor combination of…

All for one: a plated dish

Whenever I have a whole duck, I love to go to town. Being a butcher, it’s a ton of fun to work with the whole animal. In this case, I wanted to do duck three ways. The first was braising and roasting the leg. The second was a seared duck breast. The third, it was…

Game bird congee with Chinese krueller (youtiao)

I really came up with this concept out of a necessity of not wanting to waste produce. I happened to purchase a lot of different game birds, ranging from quails to Cornish hens to duck, and I also made stocks out of each and every one of those birds, and reserved the carcass meats as…