One of the highlights of my visit to Hong Kong was a long-awaited reunion with one of my favorite patisseries: Pierre Hermé. While the macaron craze seems to have leveled out in the US, it’s going strong in Hong Kong. Ladureé and La Maison du Chocolat, among others, have already opened branches in Hong Kong, but Pierre Hermé remained tantalizingly out of reach. For the last few years all I had was my visit to Paris and a class in New York to sustain me. I was over the moon when I learned that Hermé was finally opening shop in Hong Kong, as it’s so much more accessible to me than Paris or Japan. His first store opened in the IFC mall in Central in May 2013; his second store quickly followed in Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, in November, right before I arrived.
January 15th, 2014 · 11 Comments · Sweet Spots, Travel
January 8th, 2014 · 7 Comments · Fruit, Pastry, Recipes
Happy 2014! I hope you all had a great holiday and are staying warm and cozy wherever you are. Now that the business of 2013 is done, I’m looking ahead to this year and a fresh set of to-dos.
January 20th, 2012 · 19 Comments · Pastry, Recipes, Tarts, Travel
It’s almost New Year again – Chinese New Year! The Year of the Dragon starts on Monday, Jan 23. Just in time for me to share some (mostly food-related) snapshots of my trip to Hong Kong.
December 19th, 2011 · 5 Comments · Travel
Hello from Hong Kong! If it seems like I was just here…it’s kind of true. I usually make a trip here every other year, but family events mean that I’ll have made two trips here in 2011. I’m certainly not going to complain about twice the opportunities to eat egg custard tarts, xiao long bao, dim sum, and, well, just about everything else. The eating never really stops here.
I’m also making a short jaunt to Vietnam for the next few days, so the posting schedule will unfortunately be delayed. If you want to keep abreast of what I’m doing, I’ll be updating my Twitter and Instagram feeds when I can. And I’ll check in when I return to HK on Christmas, so hopefully they’ll still be a Christmas post on Dessert First this year!
Hope all of your holidays are going well and your kitchens are full of the scents of baking and the sounds of laughter!
My first trip to Hong Kong that I remember happened when I was in fourth grade. (My very first time to Hong Kong, I was only a few months old, and therefore have no memories of that trip – a shame, as my maternal grandmother passed away shortly afterwards). When I went again as a fourth-grader, my mother took my sister and I down to the twisty streets of Yau Ma Tei and stopped at a streetside cart where a elderly man was spooning batter into what looked like a handheld waffle maker held over a charcoal grill. In a few seconds he turned out a golden, bubbly sheet into a paper cone and handed it to me.
This was my introduction to eggettes, a classic Hong Kong street food. Like most street food, they taste best seconds after they’ve been handed to you by the vendor. Crisp on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, it’s like bubble wrap made of cake, and pulling off the individual “eggs” affords a satisfaction akin to popping the little bubbles on bubble wrap. The Chinese name, daan jai or gai daan jai, literally translates to “little eggs”, which is what the treat resembles, although somewhere along the way someone came up with the much catchier name “eggettes.” Eggettes became one of my and my sisters’ favorite things to eat in Hong Kong, and every time we’ve returned, we keep one eye open for a eggette stall every time we step outside.
February 14th, 2011 · No Comments · Cakes, Chocolate, Personal, Recipes
Happy Valentine's Day to all! If you're just here for cake, at the end of this post you'll find a recipe for an absolutely addictive gianduja mousse cake. A rendition of flourless chocolate cake made even more irresistable by the addition of fresh toasted hazelnut paste to the batter. This is defnitely a one-slice-is-all-you-need dessert; the cake, which is surprisingly light and delicate out of the oven, firms into a more decadent, trufflelike texture in the refrigerator. Either way, it's a perfect combination of two of my favorite flavors.
If you're here for some Hong Kong photos, scroll on!(more…)