Mother’s Day Ginger Mango Tart

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For Mother’s Day, I’ve always baked something and wrote a card for my mom, which I realize is very predictable, and considering the fact that I bake all the time and my parents are always eating what I’ve baked– it may not seem that special. So I wanted to take my mom out for high tea (she’s always been intrigued by it, especially after seeing pictures on social media), or treat her to a massage at a nice spa. Also very predictable, but my mom’s the type of person who doesn’t treat herself that often, so I knew the new experience should be fun for her.

In the end, not much happened because my mom ended up working most of the Sunday and Monday. So instead, I was planning to do a mini high tea at home– I was thinking earl gray madeleines with citrus glaze, matcha scones, a mini jasmine tea cake with honey… which, I realized, with 3.5 hours until she returned home, that it would be a time crunch, factoring in all the dishwashing. So this tart was conceptualized: a sweet tart shell, a rich ginger pastry cream, ripe mango slices, and some berries.   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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Ube-Swirl Hokkaido Milk Bread

Guess what guys.
I faced my demons. I baked yeasted bread, not quick bread. After my yeast failure two years ago, I’ve became satisfied with making loaves and loaves of banana bread. I was banana-bread obsessed for a good year (until I finally cracked the code!). But that will be a future post.

If you have a good mixer, putting together this bread will be a breeze. There is a preliminary step of making the tangzhong, a roux made from flour and water heated to 65°C. It makes the bread magically tender, soft and asian-bakery-like.

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