the Ariel Tart

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Hello… it’s me. I’ve been wondering why I’VEBEENSUCHABADBLOGGER. I have returned from my winter slumber! Just like methicillin resistant staph aureus, I’m not very easy to inhibit my proteins ain’t like all the other staph aureus…es….’

ok that was awful as you can see i don’t even understand infectious diseases well enough to formulate a joke

let’s try again…

It’s my friend Ariel’s birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY ARIEL!!), and I wanted to make something sunshine-y, like her personality. Hi Ariel, if you’re reading this, I know you said your favourite dessert is mille crepe cake and I want to make that happen but gurl that’s a lot of crepe flippin’…. I mean, I’ll flip a thousand crepes for you any time*

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Matcha Croissants

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I didn’t think I’d ever get around to it, but I’m finally able to cross off “croissants” on my baking goals list (!!!) along with “a plated dessert“, “dad’s birthday cake” and “wedding cake“. All that’s left is a Brooks Headley dessert, but I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready for a chocolate eggplant dessert…

I had to wait until the opportune moment– one (relatively free) rainy day for me to not mind staying home to babysit my dough, and when I happened to have good quality butter on hand. I was lucky enough to get my hands on some Kerrygold unsalted butter, so all the stars aligned one rainy day for me to take the plunge.

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black sesame cake (a story)

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Repetitiveness and discipline are the secrets of cake decorating. The art comes from the meticulous technique, the way it does for a dancer.
Ron Ben-Israel

I laughed the entire time I was making this cake. Laughed at myself.

So I had this vision in my head that I wanted to execute– a small, mini, tall cake with clean layers, and naked frosting. Because for the longest time, I’ve just been in love with the many naked cakes of the world. There’s less frosting (usually overly sweet, and just a nuisance), you have more layers in between your cake layers and show those off, plus it lends itself better to floral decorations, or just minimal decorating.

And I wanted to do it with black sesame, black tahini, and banana, with as little sugar/fat as I can get away with. For a higher flavour and nutritional payoff.

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Stir, stir, stir. Oh, the batter seems a bit too wet. That’s okay, I’ll just bake it a little longer. (Note: I have an irrational fear of over mixing, and over baking). Take it out of the oven– first thing I notice, the 2 cakes are of uneven height. That’s okay, I’ll just trim the taller one once they’re cooled.

I busy myself for a few hours, and now it’s slightly past midnight. I prefer to bake at night, and shoot the next morning. This can only happen on non-busy weekends. I usually don’t get a chance to shoot with natural light on a weekday– I’m up before it’s bright, and back as the sky is dimming.

The cakes have cooled, and I whip out my KitchenAid mixer to beat together my mascarpone frosting. Dad: “you know, if we lived in an apartment, you wouldn’t be able to do this”.

Yes, Dad. I’m lucky we have cool neighbours. I mean, they tolerated twelve years of my piano practicing. Who can be cooler than that? Continue reading →

Almond Mascarpone Loaf

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If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.
– Bruce Lee
I feel as though I’m overly aware of the (slow) pace and the mundane everyday-“going-ons” in my life, to the point where I scrutinize and analyze and think about where I want to be and where I should be (and why aren’t I there already?!). It may have to do with being in the social media age, and seeing people’s highlight reels flash in front of us daily. Actually, it probably has a lot to do with it– I scroll through, looking at snapshots of people’s lives and wonder how they got there, what steps they took, how they felt, and wonder if I have it in me to get to the same place. A double-edged sword. It’s motivating, but discouraging at the same time.
But also, I feel like I’m not really taking advantage of the gift that is “the present” (that was bad), carpe-ing those diems, doing hugely transformative things every day. And I think that’s also it– it’s like I expect myself to be able to reinvent and shape my life instantly into what I envision it to be, when it might be happening already (albeit slowly), or I might need to invest some more time in certain areas of my life.

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Paris Bakeries

Hello hello, I’m baaack! And this time FOR GOOD. As a personal goal, I resolve to update this blog at least every three weeks for the entire year. It’s going to happen 🙂
During the summertime, I went on a 8.5 week trip to Europe, first to volunteer, then just for travel. One of my last stops was Paris. What I couldn’t get used to was how many patisseries, boulangeries, brasseries, cafes, etc. on the streets. In every arrondissement. Food lover’s dream, I’m telling you. I never got around to eating at a Michelin star restaurant (the price of everything in Paris just killed me a bit), but I did drop a few euros here and there (ok, a lot of euros) at a few of these boulangeries/patisseries.
Also, what I found weird is that these have been around for a long time in Paris. But as a first-timer in the city, everything felt so novel and it seriously was my first time seeing so many great pastries.
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