{SF}TCHO Milk Chocolate Chip Brown Butter Cookies

July 2nd, 2013 · 13 Comments · Chocolate, Cookies, Recipes, San Francisco, Sweet Spots

milk chocolate chip cookies

Ok! Recipe post, finally. I’ve been trying to get this up for a while! A TCHO chocolate-dipped ice cream cone last weekend gave me the final push to get these photos processed and up. I recently got a box of some of TCHO’s latest offerings, including their milk chocolate baking discs and Mokaccino chocolate bar. I’ve loved TCHO’s dark chocolates for a long time (Fruity is my favorite) and I’ve been after them to come up with their own milk chocolate.


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{SF} Baker + Banker: Dessert All Day Long

June 29th, 2013 · 4 Comments · San Francisco, Sweet Spots

baker banker

For those of you waiting for a recipe post, don’t worry – I have one coming up on Monday!

There’s no lack of fantastic restaurants and bakeries in San Francisco, but Baker + Banker stands out as a fantastic restaurant and bakery. Run by husband and wife team Jeff Banker and Lori Baker, Jeff handles the savory side while Lori oversees the pastry.  Although I’d enjoyed a fabulous meal at the restaurant a couple years back, the bakery was closed so I didn’t get a chance to sample the baked goods. (The bakery opens in the morning and closes at 5, shortly before the restaurant side opens for dinner service.) I finally got the chance a few weeks ago to stop by and try some of their updates on classic American bakery treats. Below, some of my favorites:


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{SF} Sweet Alchemy: Michael Recchiuti’s Chocolate Lab

June 17th, 2013 · 2 Comments · San Francisco, Sweet Spots

choco lab erlenmeyer

A dessert cafe is probably the last place you would expect to see an Erlenmeyer flask, but it’s quite apropos at Michael Recchiuti’s Chocolate Lab. Recchiuti has already cemented his place as one of San Francisco’s premier chocolatiers, and he’s decided to go back to his restaurant roots with the opening of Chocolate Lab, a sweet (and savory) cafe located in the Dogpatch, near his commercial kitchen space.

The laboratory theme fits Michael’s curious, inventive nature perfectly – he is constantly experimenting with different sweet ideas and envisioned Chocolate Lab as a place to showcase different concepts. On our last visit there we didn’t have a chance to sample the savory side of the menu, but we made sure we had room for as many of the desserts as possible:


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{SF} The Return of Charles Chocolates

May 23rd, 2013 · 3 Comments · Chocolate, Reviews, San Francisco, Sweet Spots

charles chocolates display

San Francisco is currently going through a chocolate renaissance – new artisan chocolate makers and chocolatiers are popping up at every food festival and in every neighborhood. One of these chocolatiers, though, is actually a Bay Area classic making a welcome return – Charles Chocolates.


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Another Year, Another Birthday: Mango Passion Fruit Cake

May 8th, 2013 · 29 Comments · Cakes, Recipes, San Francisco, Sweet Spots

Mango Passion Fruit Cake

This last weekend was my birthday, and I have to say it was one of my most memorable ones, despite the fact that I practically forgot about it until it was upon me. I had a lot of other things on my plate like Isabelle’s red egg and ginger party, and getting ready to go back to work. However, my family didn’t forget, including Isabelle! She slept through the night for the first time, the night before my birthday – almost 9 hours! I woke up on my birthday morning both refreshed and very confused as to why I felt so refreshed.


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A Request for My Readers {Updated}

December 28th, 2012 · 3 Comments · San Francisco

photo from SFBI

Update on 12/29/12:

We did it! With over 3000 signatures, the state was convinced to allow SFBI to remain open while the license renewal application is being processed. Thank you so much for all your support – it made the difference!

You can go to the petition site to read the thank you note from SFBI director Michel Suas.

Thank you again from me, and from SFBI. You’ve helped keep a great pastry school up and running!



Hello dear readers,

I was working on my next post when I received this message from SFBI, one of the pastry schools in the Bay Area that I have attended and highly recommend. It appears SFBI has been in the process of renewing its license to operate, but is being held up by red tape. The state of California is forcing SFBI to cease operations until the review process is complete – a move that could shutter SFBI permanently.

I think SFBI is a wonderful and invaluable institution in the Bay Area – the instructors there are talented and knowledgeable, and classes fantastic. I’ve written glowingly about my experience there, and it is one of the two places I recommend to people when they write to me about advice on pastry school.

I’m hoping that you, as fellow bakers and lovers of pastry, can help out by signing this petition to allow SFBI to continue to operate while their application is under review. It would be a huge loss to the Bay Area and to pastry students if this school were to shut down permanently.

See below the letter from the staff of SFBI asking for help, and sign the petition by December 31st to show your support. If you read the comments on the petition page, you’ll see just how beloved SFBI is and how much they’ve done to teach aspiring bakers about the art of pastry. And spread the word if you can!

Thanks for your support! Make saving SFBI one of the last things you do to show your love of pastry before this year ends!



Hello friends of SFBI far and wide,

we hope this letter finds you well this holiday season. As some of you may
be aware from an email sent yesterday by our boss and founder Michel Suas,
SFBI was ordered to cease all operations as of last Friday by California’s
Bureau of Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE). Although we have indeed
submitted all the proper documentation, forms and associated fees to renew
our license to operate, the state has ordered us to shut down while they
process our application. We have been informed that this process of review
can take 2-3 months or even more. Sadly, we will be unable to survive the
financial strain such a period would impose upon our very small
*Clearly this is a grave situation with great urgency, one for which we are
reaching out to you for your support. That is why we the staff, the SFBI
Family, are reaching out to you in the hope that we may be able to convince
the BPPE to allow us to remain open while our application is pending review.
*Faced with little recourse, we immediately decided to initiate a petition
on Change.org, which you can view and sign by clicking
We invite you all to sign the petition, which we plan to submit on this
fast-approaching Monday, December 31st, New Year’s Eve.**

We the team here at the school did not learn of this until yesterday, as
Michel did not want to dampen our personal holiday celebrations in the past
few days with this heartbreaking news. We are now facing the very real and
shocking possibility of closing our doors in just a few days, and close to
30 people losing their jobs at the drop of a hat. Some of us have been here
several years, some of us are interns who have recently graduated and are
starting our baking careers. The common thread we all share is our love of
baking and the passion to share that skill and knowledge with people like
you from around the country and globe.

We hope to continue serving the artisan baking community for many years yet
to come, but right now we are asking for your help. *What has SFBI meant to
you, or to a loved one who has attended classes here? How will the artisan
baking industry and movement suffer if SFBI must shut its doors? We
encourage you to send us your statements of support via this email. **Please
do note that the SFBI website and email may soon have to go offline per the
order to cease all operations, so this email address as well as **
michel@tmbbaking.com* <michel@tmbbaking.com>* are for now the best points
of contact.* We also offer our heartfelt thanks to the many who have
already reached out to us in the last 24 hours since receiving the news.

Thank you once again for your support now and throughout the years. Once
again, the petition can be viewed by clicking the above link, or by pasting
this URL into your browser:

Yours very truly,

Miyuki, Mac, Juliette, Frank, Kate, Laura, Alysia and the rest of The SFBI

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