Chocolate-chestnut-matcha entremet

I was mostly inspired to make this because I wanted to make a really woody and vibrant-green dessert. Mostly because with St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I had to get together as many green, Irish, beer, or gold-themed dessert ideas together as possible. So this would be one of them. For my components, we have…

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,…

Black sesame purin dorayaki

Dorayaki were one of the first wagashi I ever really came to adore. Mostly because being raised in America, I love pancakes, and dorayaki just being a pancake sandwich, was super appealing to me! I wanted to make a special dorayaki and I actually had this idea for over a year, but never was able…

Apple butter daifuku

I made these a while ago when I went apple picking and cider pressing with some friends! I wanted to use the apples and cider in a fun or creative way, and that’s when the idea to make daifuku, or stuffed mochi came from. Typically, daifuku is stuffed with red bean paste, but in my…

Tsuki no Usagi tartlets

I always loved the myth of Tsuki no Usagi, or the moon rabbit. The idea that there is a rabbit on the moon, making mochi, just sounded like really cool to me, and I would take that rabbit over the Easter bunny or the Trix Rabbit any day! I wanted to take Japanese wagashi and…

Yo-Yo- Tsuri: a plated dessert

When I was conceptualizing this dessert, I was mostly just focusing on what things come to mind when I think of the summer. In this case, I remembered Omasturi(お祭) which is a festival in Japan where they celebrate the village gods(御神輿) with games and other celebrations. One such game was where you fish for water…

Fireflies in the night: a plated dessert

So when I first acquired pandan-buko extract, I had to play around with it a ton, since I had very little familiarity with it. Upon testing it with dango, I found out that it turns things green because of how strong of a green coloring that extract had. So I wanted to capitalize on that,…

Kinako chiffon sandwiches with black rice cream and mochi

These were really just my take on a dorayaki sandwich. I wanted to do something wagashi-inspired, and I also wanted to try baking chiffon cake in circles, like a whoopie pie, so that’s how this dessert came about! I used kinako, a toasted soy bean powder, to flavor the actual chiffon cake itself, while 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…

Marimo truffles

I love how the Japanese manage to make everything cute. From clione (basically sea slugs, but they’re called sea angels), to daruma (those giant red and white dolls with the crazy eyes and mustaches), to marimo (little aquatic moss balls that some children even keep as pets). Marimo are super adorable, just because they’re perfectly…

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,…

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…

Flexibility, love, and trust: a plated dessert

I took inspiration from a couple things when I was conceptualizing this dessert. The first was wanting to use tofu and kinako(toasted soy bean flour) in a dessert, just to do a soy-forward concept. The second was the lyrics of the song from Steven Universe, “Here Comes a Thought”. I feel like you need flexibility…

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)…

sweet escape: a plated dessert

This is a bit of a throwback, since this dessert I made when my friends, Bri and David, were visiting during the 4th of July! I dubbed the dessert “sweet escape” as a reference to that! We were preparing dishes for Bri and I’s first pop-up, and while we had already decided on what dessert…

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….

Cherry blossom orgel: a sakura tart

This was my first time working with salted sakura blossoms. And let me tell you, they are saltier than me when I am told that I have to work overtime when I was an accountant. I wanted to cook with these to celebrate the cherry blossom viewing season, but I did not realize that they…

koi no tsubomi: elderflower-citrus anmitsu

This was a dessert inspired by Koda Kumi’s song of the same name; the meaning of it in Japanese literally translates to blossoms of love. When I first heard the song, it was from the Driving Hits 7 soundtrack, so it was remixed and sounded really foreboding and intense. I didn’t quite like it. But…

Matcha jade layer cake

The idea of this dessert came from wanting to create a layer cake that was visually reminiscent of a garden. I wound up with a dessert that had the gradient of a jade stone, which is still not bad, so pleasant surprises, you know? When it comes to using matcha, getting it to the right…