Prince of the Growing Land: A plated dessert

This would be the third of my three princes who would have led me to my MasterChef Crown, had I been in the finale(cue sad violin music I guess?). Continuing with the sea, sky, and earth motif, this would be my earth-inspired dish and dessert! It is a buckwheat financier with brown butter bavarian cream,…

Sunset horizons: a plated dessert

This dessert was inspired by the delicious end to a meal I had at Providence Restaurant in. The dessert itself was a chocolate ganache, two ways, with apricots, glazed and poached in vanilla as well as an apricot sorbet and puree. I was addicted to the combination before realizing that these were the flavors of…

digging deep: a carrot cake

I actually quite like carrot cake. Ever since I started as a baker, carrot cake was one of those desserts that I came to appreciate, because it takes a lot of ingredients to transform a vegetable into a dessert, in my opinion. I really love the idea of making a carrot cake that resembles digging…

Kuromitsu kouign-amann

Kouign-amann, pronounced almost like “queen a man”, is a popular French/Breton pastry, originating from the Brittany region. I remember first learning about it from “Chef Steps” on YouTube, back in high school, where I horrendously butchered the pronunciation of it because I don’t speak French. The last time I successfully made kouign-amann was spring break, during…

Beef and Broccoli Revised: a plated dish

On the back of that wedding challenge, the elimination that followed was a freaking outdoor grilling challenge, in the patio where we all stood during the helicopter intro! It was crazy! The contestants on the losing Red Team had to choose from a huge variety of steaks and grill a dish in an hour. Which…

Face my fears: tarte tatin redemption

Fucking tarte tatin. Let me tell you now, this was the LAST dessert I expected to ever have PTSD from during my reality cooking competition journey. I love apples, I love caramel, and I love flaky pastry. And I’ve made this before(as the judges let everyone know to the point where they made it seem…

Vanille: a plated dessert

When I first started learning how to bake, I actually kept a sketchbook where I’d draw out my dessert ideas. One of them was a vanilla cake with apple that I dubbed “Vanille” after an over the top bubbly, bordering on annoying character from Final Fantasy XIII. Let’s not forget I’m as much a weeb…

“Friends in my heart”: a plated dish

This dish was inspired by my MasterChef journey (only the season 10 part, not the very short-lived seasons 8 or 9 parts LOL). I had met two people I became extremely close to, being a young lady from Texas named Mollie, and a guy from Sacramento named David. After I got a certain stage in…

One Day Afternoon: a plated dish

For the first Mystery Box of my MasterChef 10 experience, the people who were not saved during the mise en place challenge had to cook with British ingredients and make a dish inspired by Gordon himself! It was a really interesting challenge, and I was actually kind of bummed that I didn’t get to cook…

For Mollie: a plated dish

So during the beginning part of my MasterChef journey, I had made several close friends, besides my bestie Bri. There was Sage, the 18 year old from Long Beach(my neighboring beach town!) who competed on MasterChef Junior, season 1(and sadly didn’t make it to the top 36). David, my fellow skinny Asian/straight clone from NorCal….

Waking up from the dream: a plated dessert

Now I am a really big fan of the music group, harmonicblend. Their music tends to be on the fantastical side of things, and it really helps inspire me to do all sorts of desserts that I would otherwise not even think about making. Waking up from the dream is a reference to the ending…

Banoffee Pudding Galaxy Cake

The inspiration for this cake came from…. I honestly don’t know. I just wanted to make something using Korean banana milk, and I had already done a banana pudding with that and misugaru over a year ago, so I figured why not take that and transform it into something a little more special? So for…

Spring pea agnolotti with squash, brown butter, and pomegranate

I love making pasta from scratch. There’s something so satisfying about getting this golden, stretchy dough super thin, and being able to take something so flat and paper-like and fold it into all sort of fun shapes. I guess that’s why I love origami so much. The transformation is exciting! For my pasta, I did…

Peanut milk panna cotta

The concept of this dessert came about when I was thinking about childhood favorites. Growing up in an immigrant family, we had this milk peanut soup dessert from a can that we would often enjoy during the summer. It was almost like a sweetened milk with these peeled and poached peanuts inside of it, which…

Snowball fight in the icebox: gingerbread icebox cake

Now I don’t really eat or make gingerbread men that often. Mostly because I was only raised with 50% of American traditions, being an immigrant, so gingerbread baking was not really something we did in our family. Highly ironic, given how much ginger we had at home, from fresh ginger root to powdered ginger to…

Semolina knafeh with glazed figs

I really wanted to make knafeh when I saw it in My Kitchen Rules, where Sonya and Hadil, two Jordanian women who were kicked off the show because they got into a fight with another team, prepared it for their instant restaurant. Knafeh is a Middle Eastern cheesecake essentially, soaked with a beautiful rose flavored…

Honey-peach pie

I literally only made this dessert because my mother decided to buy about 12 white peaches, and I had to use them all up somehow. A word of advise, if you’re making this dessert, serve it immediately, because white peaches oxidize and within a day, it’ll turn gross and brown. Or just use the yellow…

Miso butterscotch tarte tatin-financier

This was a hodgepodge of different French desserts, tied together with Japanese miso and Chinese ginger. Honestly, the inspiration came about from having a shit-ton of apples and pears in my fridge that I needed to get rid of, so I got creative with how I wanted to do that. I remember seeing a Korean…

Jump Up, Super Star!: a galaxy cake

I really just was inspired to make this dessert from when I was watching an episode of Sugar Rush on Netflix, which is this reality baking competition aka the things I used to learn how to cook from. Two somewhat snooty and bitchy, but funny contestants prepared this galaxy cake, where it was white on…

Apple-bee pollen cheesecake

When I made this cake originally, I made the mistake of using yogurt. Why is yogurt a mistake? Because it will leech out a ton of water (almost an endless supply of it to be frank) and make whatever is unfortunately underneath it a soggy mess. So while the original recipe calls for using yogurt…