unapologetically spicy smores brownies

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with a flash and bang, summer is gone. it wasn’t even a gradual transition, no gentle fade-out-of-summer-fade-into-fall. no. mother nature is unmerciful sometimes and i swear, once it struck midnight on september 1st, 2016, there was a distinct chill in the air again. a sharpness that only comes in autumn. clouded skies. early sunsets. emails in our inboxes about PSLs. (shut up starbucks im not ready yet).

i’ve mentioned it before, but i like to find meaning in everything. be it a chance event, interaction(s) with someone, a scene you see as you’re driving, a photo you’ve taken. making the insignificant significant. yes it can be dangerous, but it’s human nature. sometimes it’s out of necessity, sometimes it’s just for fun, and sometimes you’re just bored and it’s an exercise for the mind.

in this case… these brownies have a few meanings.

  • one.) they capture the essence of summer. smores is a quintessential campfire treat, and the cayenne pepper is the fire that forever burns.
  • two.) it represents the complexity of  life and the “there’s more than meets the eye” situations… brownies are so, so indulgent, but if you look closely, there are chia seeds. the metaphorical good in every situation. it just depends on your perspective.
  • three.) i’ve always been intrigued by Mexican mole sauce and the pairing between chocolate and chili (and cinnamon!) and wanted to work it into my baking.
  • four.) maybe i just really wanted to make people eat something disgusting but make them think i intended it to taste good.

kidding about the last one. you guys know my sense of humour.

or am i.

i saw this post on ladyandpups where she puts grated white cheddar on top of a sponge cake, and while i’m all for crazy combinations (peanut butter & fried egg sandwich with a dash of soy sauce is srsly AMAZING) sometimes i wonder if sometimes chefs randomly pairs two different ingredients, perhaps with a random generator, then proceeds to hipsterfy it through a myriad of different techniques, obscure sourcing of ingredients, abstract plating, coming up with a meaning behind it… and then SERVES IT TO US and we patrons are like YES MHM AHH THIS TASTES VERY GOOD HOW INNOVATIVE FIVE STARS FOR YOU.

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matcha strawberry cream puffs

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HELLO FOLKS of the internet. where has july gone?! the days all rolled into one and suddenly it’s august and we’re left with only. 3. weeks. left of summer. tragic.

the thought of matcha cream puffs was pinned in the back of my brain from one of those random videos that show up on your fb feed. and it’s one of those rare times that they’re actually relevant to you… like a short clip of nothing but a close-up of someone’s hands bursting open matcha cream puffs, shot in different angles, to show all its luscious glory.

so despite there being plenty of other things on my “to bake” list, such as brooks headley’s chocolate & eggplant dessert,  and many flavour combinations brainstormed: earl grey tea caramelized white chocolate, lavender & apricot, pistachio & raspberry– i somehow always fall back onto matcha.

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nutella-stuffed matcha oatmeal cookies

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hello hello!

it’s been too long. the paradox of time is that it can fly by, yet my carrot cake post seemed like an eternity ago, not 3 months. but the good news is, over the course of the next few weeks i will be posting lots and lots of travel-related foodie posts in various European cities :))))

for now, i present you this cookie.

the title is not an entirely accurate name of the cookie… i have issues with brevity. a truer name would be nutella-stuffed matcha oatmeal cookies with raspberries with a slightly smores-y feel due to the addition of marshmallows & graham crackers 

but i can’t imagine that catching on.

this creation came about because of something i’ve never done before–making a stuffed cookie. i also had this idea in my head of wanting something well balanced in flavours (sweet and bitter and tart), balanced in textures (creamy, crunchy, gooey, soft & chewy), plus something that i would want to eat and wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else. oh, and something that’s not super-duper decadent (hence the addition of oats) so you wouldn’t feel too guilty.

so this cookie was born!

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Vanilla Bean Taro Paris-Brest

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Tada, it’s a Paris-Brest (“a Paris what?”), just in time for the magical February 29th! A Paris-Brest is traditionally made with choux pastry and praline cream, and was created to honour the Paris-Brest-Paris bike race… it’s circular to represent the bike wheel.

I think it gives you a bit more freedom in terms of how you want to present it compared to regular cream puffs, just because its shape inherently gives you more surface area to work with. Conceptually I was going for a chestnut-taro Paris-Brest, but I’d never tried using canned chestnut puree before and was disappointed to find that its texture was like, well, chestnut meat / cat food, haha. So I did a quick switcharoo to a vanilla bean pastry cream and homemade taro paste.

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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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