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,…

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…

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)…

Passionfruit cheesecake shumai

These dumplings came about from my excess of passionfruit(what a problem to have, clearly) as well as me wanting to try making a steamed cheesecake dumpling. So I figured, why not mix the passionfruit into the cheesecake and make something truly original? To be a little more fun, I decided to dye the shumai shells…

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,…

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,…

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…

Making my way: a plated dessert

As I do have a habit of naming my desserts after songs and lyrics, it is very easy to assume I named this one after “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton. And I don’t blame you if you think that, because that is a touching song and it reminds me of White Chicks, a movie that…

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…

Got me going’: a plated dessert

Back when I was thinking of signature dishes for MasterChef, this was one of the four that I came up with, being a back-up dessert to my chocolate cake. Normally, when you think of a signature dessert, you’d think like a cake, tart, cream puff, something where a dough or batter takes the center stage….

“Shines Forever”: my signature malted chocolate cake

This chocolate cake recipe is the very same chocolate cake that actually won me my white apron in season 10 of the American version of MasterChef! During the casting process, we had to submit four signature dishes that we could make in 45 minutes, and this was the one I had practiced the most (before…

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…

Dianthus: a plated dessert

I really love baking with pate choux. But I tend not to make it as often due to mirror glaze cakes and naked layer cakes and doughnut creams all looking a lot prettier, so unfortunately, cream puffs do tend to take the back burner to my list of go-to desserts. That being said, when I…

Blackberry-almond Arnold Palmer cake

This was a cake I made with my dad in mind, for his birthday. He loves to golf, so the Arnold Palmer is a caddy shack reference. He loves my lemon curd cakes, to the point where he has actually eaten a cake I made before I even finished decorating or photographing it before, so…

Blossom cake: elderflower, lemon, and bee pollen

The flavors for this dessert are inspired by two things: my current boss, as it was her birthday when I made this, and the British royal wedding cake for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. My boss, who I shall leave anonymous, just out of respect for her privacy, is a very kind, loving person, who…

Gateau Opera

So Gateau Opera is one of those desserts that I have read a lot about, but never really bothered to try making on my own. I have made the sponge, jaconde, before, and obviously, I have made ganache before. But the other filling, which is a coffee infused French buttercream, not so much. For those…

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…

Pistachio-lemon-blueberry layer cake

This cake sort of was the result of utilizing leftover/surplus ingredients in our house. It was made for a family gathering, and because we had a TON of lemons in our house that we needed to get rid of, this cake kind of was a huge no-brainer. I love making olive oil and lemon cakes,…

Super simple strawberry-phyllo mille feuille

Not everything I make has to be super complex or difficult. With this dessert, I tried my best to edit it down to just three things: crispy caramelized phyllo dough, Bismarck cream, and balsamic macerated strawberries. What? It’s simple by my standards. I mean, look at it! No mirror glaze, tempered chocolate, none of those bells…