“Now or never”: a plated dish

This dish was meant to be more of a compliment to my signature chocolate cake, “Shines forever”, hence the rhyming names. For this dish, it is a seared ribeye(aka the only steak I really can confidently cook), with beef fat-wilted kale, crispy kale chip, red wine-mushroom-beef reduction, and a homemade phyllo-duxelle tart, garnished with shaved…

L’eclipse: the blue cheesecake

While I was sick with bronchitis, all I could think about was what I would bake the moment I stopped coughing my throat out. I thought back to my old cupcake-making days from high school, where I remembered one of the very first desserts that I have ever thought of: a blue velvet cupcake with…

Citron Othello: black and white lemon mousse cake

The idea behind this cake came from a very unusual silicon mold I purchased from Amazon. I knew that just from the triangular prism shape of the final cake, that each slice would be a little tear drop-triangle-chestnut-looking thing. I thought it would be cute if I made some mousse cakes that were visual plays…

Chocolate-Tangerine Creamsicle Cake

I love chocolate cake. I cannot stress or repeat it enough. But one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes is my fluffy fudge cake, which is made using bloomed cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and meringue, just to give the cake a dense, fudge-y start and a light, airy finish. Because yes, some cakes can have…

Prickly pear-glazed salmon with shiitake egg noodles

This idea sounds like a weird one from the get-go. What business does the fruit from a cactus have with fish, mushrooms, and Italian-inspired pasta? Well, truth be told, almost nothing at all. I wanted to prepare a dish that takes my Californian upbringing, my Asian heritage, and my love of making fresh doughs and…

Mussels with Latin flavors

This dish was originally inspired by the Mediterranean, but forcibly took a detour into Mexico when I could not find the right kind of chorizo and just went with it from there. Going to school in Boston, you come to love shellfish and seafood. I love eating and cooking mussels, because they plump up in…

Blueberry dreams: a plated concept

This dessert came about when I was watching a shoujo anime, “Kobato” and I was inspired by a character named Ioryogi, being this outwardly cute blue dog creature, and his love of baumkuchen, a circular German layered cake that resembles the rings or layers of a tree. Normally, baumkuchen is made on a spit roast…

Black sesame oreos

Eating Oreos reminds me of whenever we would go to Taiwan; we would touch in the airport, typically in the middle of the night, and we would be hungry. The only places open nearby our apartment was a 7-11, so junk food was often what we ate to stave off our jet-lagged hunger. One memory…

Matcha-vanilla checkerboard cake

I love making checkerboard cakes. For TasteBUds, I actually prepared a chocolate-vanilla one inspired by Lady M. Since I love making them, I figured I would share a different recipe from that one, this one featuring matcha, and using chiffon cakes instead of genoise. While genoise are sturdier and can hold up to being cut…

Pumpkin-chocolate chip cheesecake

When I started as a baker, I always wanted to create this pumpkin-chocolate chip cheesecake recipe for Halloween. The colors naturally lent themselves to the color scheme of the holiday, and the flavors were not necessarily something you see often. I figured it would be a great way to celebrate trick or treating yourself for…

Samoa Cupcakes

Samoa, coconut dreams, whatever the hell they’re called, they’re arguably one of the most delicious Girl’s Scout Cookies of all time, unless you’re an evil bitch and hate coconut, chocolate, or caramel, in which case, go step in front of a bus. Since I had already prepared one dessert inspired by Girl’s Scout Cookies before,…

End-of-summer barbecued baby back pork ribs

I love ribs. Like a lot. Growing up, we would always got to a chain restaurant called “Chicago for Ribs”, and I just have fond memories of chowing down on a rack of baby back pork ribs, which were smothered in this smoky, sweet, pretty standard barbecue sauce. But I didn’t care if it was…

Thick Mint Bars

These were obviously inspired by the popular Girls Scout Cookie, the Thin Mint. A thin, dark chocolate cookie with a minty chocolate glaze. They’re delicious, to say the least. Since Girl Scout Cookies are not available year-round (while they do have knock-offs available, it’s just not the same), I figured I would try to recreate…

Red velvet-raspberry entremet

Now you cannot deny the beauty of a mirror glaze cake. You can try, but you are just kidding yourself. Since my last attempt at a mirror glaze cake, I have decided to have at it with another one, this time, a raspberry infused red velvet entremet. The design was actually inspired by my friend,…

S’mores gateau

I have done quite a few s’mores desserts in the past, but this one is different in that it is a cake-based dessert. I used graham crackers in place of 75% of the flour for the cake, and for the chocolate components, I did both a chocolate ganache and a chocolate panna cotta. I have…

Brown sugar corn cookies

To say I did not get inspired by Christina Tosi’s recipe would be a complete lie. But to say that these are her recipe, just copied out of her cookbook or website, with a couple of “creative additions”, that would also be a complete lie. This recipe mostly came about from a combination of loving…

Strawberry-blood orange risotto

Just a heads up, this is not a dessert. If you thought that I was going to make some kind of sweet rice porridge and call it a risotto, then YOU’RE WRONG. This risotto, but all definition, is savory. Yes, I’m using fruit in my rice, but that’s besides the point. For all of you…

Munti with tomato broth

I was inspired to make these last summer from a couple different things. Lamb munti, a Turkish dumpling, I learned how to make these from reading Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton. For the broth, I was inspired by a restaurant in Cerritos, California, called Omar’s Halal Chinese, where they do these hand pulled noodles with a smoky…

Banana (milk) pudding with misugaru wafers

This recipe is inspired by my dear friend, Ellie. She is one of the smartest, wisest, and funniest Korean Americans I have ever met, and she also makes a mean banana pudding. Seriously, she could put Magnolia Bakery out of business. However, Ellie recently moved to New York, aka the home of Magnolia Bakery, so…