Counting stars: a plated dessert

I actually came up with this concept when I was testing a dessert recipe for an upcoming pop-up in Dallas. Unfortunately, the test run didn’t necessarily go as planned, but I didn’t want to throw away the ingredients, so I shifted gears, and went with a rice pudding instead. What I love about rice pudding…

Sanctuary: a mirror glaze cake

When I was conceptualizing a dessert for “Sanctuary” by Utada Hikaru, I wanted to make something that represented the aesthetic of Kingdom Hearts, specifically the all-white aesthetic of Castle Oblivion and the tropical feeling of the Destiny Islands. I wanted a mirror glaze cake with a clean white exterior, blue and white-swirled interior to represent…

Matcha-coconut cookies

Continuing along with the dessert Instagram lives I have been doing with Shari, we decided to do cookies as our next demonstration. This is funny to me, just because we went with something as technical as working with yeast to something even less forgiving like a souffle to something a lot easier, being cookies. I…

Vegan coconut-sticky rice soufflé with mango creamsicle sauce

So this is the recipe I actually made on Instagram Live with Shari from my season on Masterchef. We were doing soufflé demo’s, and we each did a different flavor, hers being chocolate, while mine being this one. I didn’t want to go traditional to begin with, since I wanted to conserve eggs, and because…

Sakura blooming: vegan macaron ice cream sandwiches

So the idea to make a vegan macaron sandwich came up a long while back, I think in December 2019. But I never really got a chance to make them, mostly because I was too lazy to buy a can of chickpeas to make aquafaba. But recently, a bunch of stars sort of aligned, and…

Matcha-chocolate checkerboard cake

With St. Patrick’s Day being just around the corner, I had to get in as many green desserts as possible. And by green, I mean naturally green. None of that artificial food coloring, Incredible Hulk-looking nonsense. Truthfully, St. Patrick’s Day baking has always been one of my least favorite holidays to bake for. It mostly…

Pineapple upside down layer cake

So with all of the recipe-testing I have been doing, not going to lie, there’s been a LOT of leftover components here and there accumulating. One of such leftover items were the tea-smoked cherries from my earl grey-spumoni dessert. So I wanted to get rid of them bring them back in another dessert! Rummaging through…

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…