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!(more…)
March 4th, 2015 · 20 Comments · Ice Cream, Recipes
May 9th, 2014 · 2 Comments · Ice Cream, Recipes
Hello! I'm excited to announce a collaboration between Dessert First and Alessi for the month of May: four recipes by me, photographed in some of Alessi's beautiful and distinctive pieces.
This partnership came about a couple months when I was invited to preview some of Alessi's newest pieces for spring and summer. I've long been a fan of Alessi's designs, which range from playful and whimsical to elegant and timeless.
After expressing my long-standing enthusiasm for Alessi's products, I was thrilled when the company asked if I'd like to pick out several items and feature them in my posts. Alessi has a long history of creative collaboration with not just designers but other creative artists. While they have commissioned recipes to go with their products, they don't have many dessert recipes. I was happy to step up and help fill in that gap.(more…)
August 13th, 2012 · 14 Comments · Ice Cream, Recipes
This post was meant to go up earlier last week, but disaster struck – we had a freezer malfunction at home and the ice cream I made all melted! Fortunately we were able to salvage most things, but it delayed photo-taking for a couple days. Not that melty ice cream can’t be just as delicious, but ice cream soup was not the imagery I was going for.
This duo of ice creams was inspired by one of my favorite summertime drinks, the Arnold Palmer. It took me an embarrassingly long time to learn what this drink was, and that it was not, as I thought, an alcoholic drink. I think whenever I had iced tea, I almost always thought there were already lemons in there, so I never thought you might need or want to mix it with lemonade, but surprise – I liked it! I imagine it might be partly because I’m the person who dumps a bunch of sugar in her iced tea (and yes, I know what sweet tea is!) so the extra sugar in most lemonades is the draw for me.
Apologies for not posting last week, as I was getting ready to teach a cookie class at Tante Marie’s and prepping for the 2012 SF Blogger Bake Sale announcement. As amends, I hope you enjoy the extra-abundance of photos in this post, where I share a few snapshots from my trip to Vietnam. While I was in Hong Kong over the holidays, we made a quick side trip to South Vietnam. It wasn’t nearly enough time to do this beautiful country justice, but I hope the following shots give you a little taste of my experience!
August 5th, 2011 · 9 Comments · Reviews, San Francisco, Sweet Spots, Sweet Spots
Typical menu board at Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous. Flavors change daily – another incentive to visit often.
By popular request and in an attempt to populate the “San Francisco” tab on my site, I’ve created a list of my favorite ice cream spots in San Francisco. Of course, I started this last week when it was bright, sunny, and warm (these three conditions are not always simultaneous in San Francisco), but naturally now it’s back to Fog City again. No matter – in SF ice cream consumption is rarely tied to the current weather but rather to the pure desire to have a cone filled with something sweet, frozen, and really, really delicious.
I’ve only listed ones that I’ve been to personally, as is only fair. However, as eating ice cream is one of my very favorite activities, and as there seems to be no shortage of ice cream shops both classic and artisan opening up in SF, rest assured this list will continue to be updated (with more photos, as well!) Feel free to give your own recommendations in the comments as well – there’s always room for more ice cream.