Tofu ice cream with tofu water meringue

So this would not be the first tofu ice cream recipe I have made. However, it would be the first where I do not use coconut milk – that makes a huge difference in the actual flavor of the ice cream, as coconut milk, while it does contain the necessary fat to create creamy vegan…

Pearl in Hiding: a plated dish

So this was one of the five dishes I made for my “Namie” pop-up dinner during the summer for my friends from 4Foodie(special shoutout to Kate and Victoria for the amazing photos from this!). Originally, it was just going to be three dishes, but I extended it to five, and this was a super last-minute(two…

Head in the clouds: a plated dessert

The inspiration for this dessert came from me testing out a couple new techniques – using sago, which are little tapioca pearls, to make a strawberry flavored “caviar”, and using lychee juice to make a foam. I wanted to create this sort of ethereal, sea-meets-sky, summery sort of dessert, embracing fresh lychees, and pairing them…

Rainbow dango(suama)

So I was brainstorming different rainbow desserts for Pride this year, and I literally came up with the idea to do these when I was walking through my local Japanese grocery store(which I frequent a lot these days), and stumbled upon Fugetsu-Do‘s rainbow dango, also called suama. For those unfamiliar, Fugetsu-Do is a highly popular…

Sweet tofu panna cotta with chrysanthemum poached pear

I was mostly inspired by douhua, or sweet tofu soup, when I was conceptualizing this dessert. The idea of this silky sweet tofu that is swimming in a ginger-palm sugar-type of syrup just takes me back to Sundays at my local dim sum restaurant in Lomita(which sadly has since closed and been replaced by a…

Tsuki no Hikari wagashi

I really came up with this dessert because I was inspired by snow globes initially. I wanted to make this pretty snow globe wagashi situation, and that was what this would have been originally. But on the night I was making it, I looked up and saw a full moon peeking out of the clouds,…

Kabosu dango

So I had no idea what kabosu was until the end of 2020, when I was at a Japanese grocery store, and I found a bottle of kabosu juice. Looking at it, I thought it was like the Filipino citrus calamansi, based on the green exterior and bright yellow interior. But researching into it more,…

Plated devil’s food cake

I was playing around with a new silicone bar mold that I just bought, and that’s where this dessert came from. Well, that and me wanting to make a dessert that was inspired by chocolate and tofu. We have a chocolate cake with a tofu-chocolate mousse, soy caramel ganache, cocoa praline, and a tofu ice…

Almond-cherry-chocolate layer cake

Whenever summer rolls around, some of my favorite ingredients to work with include lychees, peaches, rhubarb, and cherries. I wanted to make a dessert that showcases fresh cherries, but I did not want to make another cherry tart, since I spent an entire summer making way too many of those. So instead, I went the…

“Worms and dirt”: a plated dessert

I mostly made this dessert because I was craving black rice pudding, and just felt like making it. So I made a take on it, being more like a custard. But I wanted to also make a conceptualized dessert out of it, and celebrate rice in general. So I thought about what else I could…

Sea salt ice cream popsicles

Now that I finally have proper popsicle molds, I can make the actual sea salt ice cream from Kingdom Hearts. I have done renditions on it in the past, but this time, I feel like this is as close to the ice cream as I can possibly get. Just to make these more interesting, I…

Eventide: a wagashi

I have been meaning to try making a mizugashi wagashi for a while. Mizugashi refers to clear water/translucent finish, which these desserts have. I really wanted to make one that was naturally colored, gluten-free, and vegan, just to embrace the beauty of nature, something that wagashi tries to embrace and capture. For mine, I used…

“Paopu” dole whip popsicles

In the lore of the Kingdom Hearts video game series, the fictional paopu fruit is a star-shaped fruit that is shared between people who want to be bonded together forever. To make that into a flavor, I knew starfruit was an obvious must, as it is the closest fruit in real life to a paopu…

Love yourself: a plated dessert

I feel like whenever I make a chocolate cake, I’ll always be remembered for the one I made on MasterChef. Which is fair, since it was a pretty iconic moment for the show(and my life), but it’s important for me to move on and make better things than that with every dish or dessert I…

Sakura-matcha affogato with homemade boba

I really only came up with this recipe because I was testing out some homemade boba recipes, and I also had to get rid of my leftover cherry blossom ice cream. Truthfully, this was a really simple dessert, at least for me, to make, just because the most labor-intensive thing was the ice cream. Making…

Devil’s food chocolate cupcakes with chocolate-cheesecake frosting

Whenever I think of the first cake I ever baked, I remember the vegan chocolate cupcakes I made in high school. Cupcakes were really where it all began for me, specifically, from binge-watching Cupcake Wars and practicing from the recipes from the show that would get posted online. Since chocolate cupcakes was where it all started,…

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…

A very berry (vegan) layer cake

Now I really wanted to make this cake for a couple of reasons. The first being, a lot of people have been complaining that Swiss meringue buttercream is hard. Personally, I don’t think that it’s hard, it’s more about knowing how to make it. To give a little explanation about meringues, we have three kinds….

Feelings of make-pretend: a plated dessert

I came up with this dessert half out of needing to get rid of my leftover vegan macaron components, and half because I just wanted to do something playful and elegant. With what I already had made, being the ice cream and the gelee, I was able to come up with a couple different ideas,…

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…