Matcha-gjetost cookies

So I technically made these cookies when I was trying to use up leftover French buttercream. French buttercream is made by emulsifying egg yolks with simple syrup and butter to create this luxurious mousse-like cream. I usually use it in macarons as a filling, but I found that it could be re-purposed into shortbread dough…

Gluten free pumpkin cake roll

I literally came up with this recipe for my coworker, Holly. It was her last day at work, and she has a gluten allergy, so I wanted to make something that embraced the seasonality of it being fall, but also made 100% without gluten. I have never quite made a gluten-free chiffon cake before, so…

Brown butter and apple pancakes

These were literally inspired by the Dutch pear pancakes from Prune in New York City. Unlike the Dutch Baby pancakes, which is made from baking a loose batter at a high heat to create a giant fluffy pancake, these are more cake-like, and cooked with large visible slices of fruit in the batter. In the…

Chrysalis: a plated dessert

During my senior year of college, I made a plated dessert called “Sanagi” – sanagi is the Japanese word for chrysalis, or cocoon. The dessert itself was matcha pate choux with spun sugar, made to resemble a little caterpillar crawling into a cocoon, hence the name of the dessert. I wanted to do a more…

Cajeta Pecan Pie

I really only came up with this because I fell hardcore in love with cajeta, which is a caramelized goat’s milk. If you have never had it before, it is like a syrupy cousin to dulce de leche, made with slowly cooking down and stirring goat’s milk until it completely caramelizes, and there’s hints of…

Cafe de olla cake

When I was doing research on Latin cuisine, I came across an interesting beverage called cafe de olla. It is an earthy coffee drink with spices, namely cinnamon, anise, and clove, sometimes orange, in it that is normally served in a clay cup. It sounded like a lot of beautiful flavors, to be honest, and…

If I believe: a Mont Blanc

When I was doing a Google Hangout baking session with my friends, Ann and Sylvie, I was struggling hardcore with what to make. I really wanted to do a strawberry Mont Blanc, but I had these dates in my refrigerator that have been laying there for at least four weeks, and I also had a…

Imqaret with orange curd and honey mascarpone

So I have been studying a bunch of different Mediterranean desserts, mostly to help me broaden my range. Looking through Malta specifically, I came across a really curious dessert called imqaret(pronounced without the “q”). They’re basically these pastries stuffed with an orange blossom-date filling. Some use walnuts, others don’t. Most people fry them, but some…

Nectarine-orange blossom pie

So while I was in quarantine, I had been doing a lot of cookbook reading. And by that, I mean I was flipping through cookbooks and looking at the photos. I haven’t properly read a book since college and I don’t intend to start, even if coronavirus is going around. One of my favorite cookbooks is Everything…

Vegan baklava with pistachio ice cream

Baklava is one of my absolute favorite Middle Eastern desserts. Layers of flaky phyllo(or spelled filo as well, but same thing), with a toffee-like filling of caramelized nuts, and a delicious spiced syrup that soaks through everything and really brings it together. The really cool thing, for me anyways, about Middle Eastern desserts is the…

Miso apple pie sticky buns with Calpico cream

So the flavors of this dessert came about from a lot of random things coming together. While in quarantine, I have limited amounts of butter and flour, so I was conceptualizing something where I could combine concepts to not only be original, but to conserve my supplies while hitting on all of the cravings that…

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…

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…

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…

LAUSD Crumb Cake Doughnut Creams

These came about because I wanted to make something for my new coworker, Georgina. She was talking a lot about this coffee cake she had going to school in the LA Unified School District and I legitimately had no clue what she as talking about. So I looked it up and it was like a…

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,…

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…

Liz’s banana-chocolate tarte tatin

So this dessert goes out to a very special lady, Ms. Elizabeth Linn. She blew us all away during the tarte tatin challenge(the same one I’m probably never going to fully live down), when she made a banana tarte tatin with chocolate crème anglaise. I remember when we were planning our tarte tatins out, she…

Semolina-Tangerine Upside-down Cake

Honestly, this is one the simplest desserts I have ever made. In that it’s literally just a cake with cream. The only real pressure point here is maintaining the moisture in your tangerines, and even then, that ain’t rocket science. For the dessert, we have a semolina cake, tangerine syrup, a layer of tangerines, and…

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…