Caramel, Lavender, and Fleur de Sel Lollipops

March 11th, 2015 · 24 Comments · Candy, Lollipop Love, Recipes

Caramel Lavender Fleur de Sel Lollipops
 

Dear readers,

I'm so happy to announce that my newest cookbook, Lollipop Love: Sweet Indulgence with Chocolate, Caramel, and Sugar, is about to be published! I've spent so much of the last couple years dreaming about, researching, and testing out lollipops, so I'm very glad to finally be able to share it all with you!

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Black Sesame Ice Cream with White Miso Caramel

March 4th, 2015 · 20 Comments · Ice Cream, Recipes

black sesame miso ice cream overhead
 

I'm continuing my streak of Asian desserts by looking back at one of my favorite Asian flavors: black sesame. It's still kind of a niche flavor over here but in Hong Kong (or Japan) it's a near-staple of any bakery menu. Interestingly, while both white and black sesame seeds are common in Asia, I almost always see black sesame seeds used for sweets. I'm not sure why; maybe it's because the sooty hues the seeds impart to the finished products, from an inky black for pure sesame paste to a smoky charcoal grey for cakes, are so distinctive. You know right away when you see that dusky color that it's sesame flavor, just like green means matcha and purple means taro. So efficient!

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Homemade Halloween: Making “Twix” Bars

October 22nd, 2014 · 41 Comments · Candy, Photography, Recipes, San Francisco

Homemade Twix bars stack
 

With Halloween coming up next week. I'm finishing all my preparations, which mostly involve putting together Isabelle's costume and moving all the pumpkins in the house back to their designated places, after she's moved them all again for the twentieth time. Apparently pumpkins are way more fun than her regular toys - who knew?

I've stocked up on candy for trick or treaters, but I couldn't resist going into kitchen to make some sweets from scratch. This year, it's a homemade rendition of one of my favorite candies from childhood - the Twix bar.

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Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream and Apples

October 14th, 2014 · 55 Comments · Cakes, Recipes

Apple Salted Caramel Chocolate cake closeup
 

Indian summer continues on in full swelter here in the bay area. It's honestly the hottest it's been here for the last six months: the mornings start out promisingly grey and overcast, and then by mid-morning it's just cloudless sky and shimmering heat. Not-so-little-Isabelle is growing out of her summer t-shirts and shorts, clothes I thought I could safely pack away by now but instead I'm desperately hoping will still fit until cooler weather finally arrives.

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A Tribute to the Queen of the Daring Bakers

November 15th, 2013 · 13 Comments · Personal, Recipes, Tarts

Chocolate Caramel Tart 2
The Chocolate Caramel Tart, from Daring Bakers August 2007

I've been busy for weeks with pre-trip madness, but on Tuesday I got a sudden, sad reminder of how fragile and precious life is. Lisa, the blogger behind La Mia Cucina and one of the founders of the Daring Bakers, unexpectedly passed away, leaving behind a community of baking bloggers that she helped create.

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In Time for Halloween: Pumpkin Spice Caramel Lollipops

October 22nd, 2013 · 2 Comments · Candy, Recipes

pumpkin spice caramel lollipop

I’m not really a pumpkin spice latte fan. But I do like big mugs of hot, comforting drinks to sip slowly while watching autumnlight dwindle. And a long-handled stirrer to twirl pensively (I’m an inveterate fiddler). So it suddenly dawned on me last week: why not make an edible stirrer? One that might produce a pumpkin-pie-spiced coffee to my liking?

Autumn is for caramel: that cozy golden hue fits the season perfectly. I’ve been cooking a lot of sugar lately, so I’m surprised I didn’t think of spiced, Halloween-appropriate candy sooner.

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