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…

Curious little penguins: a haupia pie

I really was inspired by all of the cute baby penguin videos I’ve been seeing on Instagram lately, and I just felt like they were a perfect inspiration for a cute dessert. I knew that using butterfly pea tea would work to effect the color of the ocean, while I could use kohakutou(Japanese rock candy)…

“Light as air” layer cake

This dessert was actually for a family friend, Isabel, to celebrate her birthday. Isabel is my father’s friend’s daughter, and she’s a real down to earth person. When I was asking her what kinds of flavors she liked, she told me delicate and light, so I wanted to go with lemon, white chocolate, coconut, and…

Prince of the Sea Angels: a plated dish

So even though I was eliminated in top 10, I actually did have dishes in mind for the finale. The amount of thought you saw put into the crab lantern dish, trust me, a lot more were put into these. So while it is a shame I could not make these dishes for the judges,…

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…

Vegan Oreo cake with vegan Swiss meringue buttercream

This dessert was a simple one, but it’s a simple win as well! To hear the phrase “vegan Swiss meringue buttercream” already gets me excited, because meringue buttercreams were one of the reasons why I had to stop baking vegan, as I thought that they were impossible to do! But with the help of aquafaba(canned…

My matcha dreamscape: a green tea-coconut layer cake

So before the cake replication challenge during MasterChef’s Sweet Week, we actually did get hints that we would be making a layer cake! So thinking we could make our own, I went ahead and thought up of a matcha and coconut layer cake. For the inspiration, I just imagined my trips to Taiwan and Japan,…

“Moon Crying”: a plated dish

Back when I was thinking of signature dishes for MasterChef, I wanted to make sure I covered my bases, so I had this dish in my back pocket in the event I had to make a fish dish. I named it Moon Crying, again after a Koda Kumi song, because she’s by far my favorite…

Thai tea-coconut cheesecake

The combination of Thai tea and coconut milk is an absolute no-brainer. I had made a similar dessert to this about a year ago, actually. But for this rendition, I really wanted to make something a bit more presentable (and with the cross section not resembling a hot dog), so I kind of figured that…

Forest of de-lights: a layer cake

I really wanted to make a cake similar to a Black Forest cake, but when I was rummaging through my pantry, I realized that I just had a ton of bananas lying around. So I looked through my other ingredients, and also saw coconut. From there, I was just thinking about maybe doing something inspired…

Starry Wish: black sesame-coconut-tangerine petit gateaus

I was thinking of a way to utilize the many tangerines we had at home (fun fact, when you are family friends with citrus farmers in Southern California, you have a fuck-ton of citrus that you get to cook with). From that, I thought, why not go with an Asian inspired dessert? And not because…

Stormy seas, clear skies tart

This was loosely inspired by a smoothie bowl aesthetic, but I wanted to that take and make a pie out of it. I don’t know. That’s just how I was feeling. There was something about round things being placed into swirly things that looks really cool. So I went ahead and made a purple ube…

Vegan chocolate-raspberry cupcakes

I was going on a Cupcake Wars binge on YouTube the other day and I was watching arguably the best episode in the series, the Tournament of Roses episode. It featured four returning winners competing again, including the very baker who inspired me to bake, Chloe Coscarelli. Seeing her gorgeous vegan creations again made me…

Ube-Kaya and Pepita-Pumpkin Pie Cookies

I love doing cookies during the fall and winter, mostly because it reminds me of my dear friend Amanda. When we were still in charge of a food publication together during college, she had the cutest and most brilliant idea to do a cookie swap for our holiday event. Seeing a variety of cookies, it…

Waiting for the rain: a plated concept

The inspiration for this dessert came from Maaya Sakamoto’s song, “Waiting for the Rain”. It was a song I first listened to my senior year when I was going through some serious shit. Maybe not the best thing to listen to, because it was a beautiful, but sad song. The lyrics really stood out to…

Perfectly blue macarons

So it turns out that the majority of the time I have been making macarons, I have been measuring out my ingredients incorrectly. Whenever it was supposed to be 3/4 cups almond flour and icing sugar, I would do 1 cup. Which definitely would explain why mine would come out so overtly browned, lumpy, dry,…

Ube Buko Pie

The idea for this dessert came about because I wanted to create something similar to a Chess Pie, a Southern pie that is baked with a buttermilk custard, but I did not want to do something too predictable. So I looked into different kinds of pies that were similar to Chess Pie, and came across…

Blue skies, blue water mirror glaze cake

The inspiration for this cake was from a song by the same name. Go figure, that’s like half the shit I post here, and I love it because my music is so “out there” and not mainstream that you all would not know that unless I told you in the first place. Bitches. As you…

Naked German chocolate cake

I just love chocolate cake. And this chocolate cake, no exceptions. I layered devil’s food cake with salted caramel-pecan milk bavarian, coconut-chocolate cremeux, and coconut-pecan macarons to make for a fun, delicious, and semi-interactive eating experience. For the pecan milk 1/2 cup pecans 1 cup water Bring pecans and water to a simmer for 15…

Blue dreams doughnut cream

When I was thinking about a summery dessert, I was inspired by both sea salt ice cream from Kingdom Hearts and salted coconut-butterfly tea lattes. There is just something about that blue-white contrast that really reminds me of sunny skies and blue seas. The name “blue dreams” came from a song of the same name….