Winter Cleaning Part III: Chocolate-Coffee-Rum Entremet

It feels like it has been a while that this blog doesn't get updated. A little update here, I was on a baking frenzy the week before Thanksgiving, mostly making tons of lemon tarts and multiple Ambroisie and some other baked goods for office fundraising benefiting Canned Food Drive. Then I was gone for a week visiting Mike's family for Thanksgiving and for his nephew's birthday. It felt a bit weird not running around trying to catch up with time, but I got used to it very easily and thus making the day so much longer than usual :). I was back last week and took a week of break from baking and I am back in the kitchen now, at least for the next two weeks before the next trip. In the meantime, trying to finish office work as much as I can before my Christmas break.

Apricot and Matcha Tiramisu

Today is probably the first time I felt that Fall is here. It was a cool crisp morning with a little sunshine when I went to work today. Leaves are falling and the wind would blow them everywhere. Ah, this makes me crave for warm soups and the warm smell of cinnamon and winter spices. Nothing much is happening lately, my routine has been work, go home, cook, watch a few episode of Futurama, then fell asleep on the last episode. I did manage to make a couple different desserts last weekend though.

Nathaniel's Birthday Part II: Roasted Banana and Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cake

 I just got back from a weekend trip for a friend's wedding, and now I come back with a flu. I guess it is the season and I always refuse to get a flu-shot because I am afraid that I will get sick from the shot. The weather has not been friendly either, it is still cold and pretty gloomy here in norcal, with some sunshine in the late afternoon. Fall is definitely setting in.

Nathaniel's 10th Birthday Part I and Winter Cleaning Part II

Weather has not been normal lately. It is that time of the year when the transition happens from Summer to Fall. The temperature has been going up and down lately. It was beautiful sunny 80s last week and it was cold and rainy 55 today and will stay that way for a few days.

Toby's 3rd Birthday Part II, Thomas The Tank Engine Birthday Cake

As I mentioned before, my nephews' and nieces' birthdays are generally celebrated twice, and Toby's birthday this year was no exception. We combined his big birthday celebration with his older brother's birthday, Nathaniel (their birthdays are exactly one week apart). I had to make two different cakes though for each one of them.

Winter Cleaning and Toby's 3rd Birthday Part 1, Raspberry Pistachio Mousse Cake

I have been very busy with cakes ever since I got back from my Asia trip. I might not have posted enough to show that but I have tons of backlogs to post.

July to October will always be my busy month every year though. It is when most of my family here have their birthdays on. It was my little nephew's birthday a few weeks ago and the thing with my nieces' and nephews' birthdays, they always get celebrated twice, one with the Sunday School friends, and the other one with the family and adult friends, making my baking schedule twice as busier.

Lemon Tart with White Chocolate Cream and Strawberries

Life has not changed much lately. The only one thing that seems to change with me, is my weight. Yup, I gained weight without noticing it until when I stepped on a scale two weeks ago, it has been a nightmare ever since. I am considerably petite and it has always been hard to find any clothing my size. Lately, I feel like my pants become tighter around the waist (I have to unbutton some of my pants when sitting down) and my upper arm looks as big as a baseball bat in pictures. It is time to finally put a regularity into my diet.


Hello. Despite my goal to update this blog more frequently, I just cant seem to do that. Like this week for example, I am buried in my kitchen space every single night of the week after work, and sometimes in the morning before work too. It has been hectic with cakes for my nieces, nephews, and many more. You will see what I am up to when the post is up. Everytime I got myself into one of these kinds of week, I always tell myself "no more. I need a break", but it doesn't seem to be working.

Chocolate Vanilla Coffee Entremet

Fall is here, I don't know where Summer goes. It seems just like yesterday when the warm weather is here. The temperature is now noticeably different here. It is getting dark sooner too. My portable heater is still on everyday and a wool jacket to keep me warm under the unbelievable cold AC in my office. It's been busy too, super busy. Somehow I find myself baking cake after cake every week too, from my nieces' and nephews' birthdays, all other family birthday, coworkers, celebrations here and there, bets, competition, farewell, you name it. Busy is good though., keeps myself occupied, though I am also longing for a long break just baking for myself :).

Assortment of Cheesecakes and White Chocolate Cheesecake

I've been on a cheesecake craze lately. I am again, on a mission to fatten up the man (after a failed attempt 1.5 years ago) and cheesecake is one of his favorite dessert, and the most calorie-dense too! Despite his picky-ness towards  food, when it comes to cheesecake, he is pretty flexible. Bread and cheese, are the top two food in his list, which is a bit odd considering his slim figure. He would eat 4 slices of cheesecake any day with no problem while still having cheese pizza or cheese quesadilla for his meal.

Molten Chocolate Cake with Pierre Herme's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

We are finally having some really hot weather here for the past week or so, and I am just talking about upper 80s. Sometimes it would reach 90s but probably only a few times. I've been waiting for this all along, this is when I start craving Jamba Juice, Ice Creams, and many more for sadly, this has been the coldest time for me this Summer. While it is soaring 88F outside, it is 60F inside the office! The AC in my hallway has been broken for a week now and the AC has been blasting like crazy. My hands and feet are cold and I am wearing a thick jacket just like in Winter. My neighbor is starting to get sick from the AC blowing straight on her head. My other neighbor showed up with 3 layers of sweater today, it is crazy. We've complained to the facility group but nothing has been done so far. I am planning to bring my portable heater tomorrow. I feel colder now than I am in Winter time.


It has been busy lately, not so much about work, but life in general. Work has been great, my boss has been really generous to me in many ways (he is the best boss ever!), no more long hours and weekend work. M is back in the States, it has been a month now, the longest period he's been here this year and hopefully will stay that way and we've been spending lots of time together. It is difficult to find a free weekend, they are pretty much booked for either wedding, graduation, art festival, more wedding, birthdays, gathering with friends, coworkers, many things. It is a good thing that we can celebrate many events in life. Weather has been perfect in many ways and when we have a weekend to spare, we've been doing long walks in the beautiful Standford campus every weekend, playing Wii games. Baking has been fun too (except that I wish I have more time for this) and many cakes have been made in the busy kitchen, and many more. I can't complain much.

Pierre Herme's Cheesecake

I cannot tell you how many cheesecakes and it's variation I have been baking during my baking life. I don't think I have one go-to recipe for cheesecake as all of them seem to be really good (it's hard to go wrong with cheesecake). If I have to pick one, it will probably the mascarpone cheesecake, but it is also neck to neck with Alain Ducasse's cheesecake. Needless to say, I am still very open in trying out great-looking cheesecake recipe when I see one, especially one that's from Pierre Herme's book, Pierre Herme Pastries.

Foret Noir

Or what we call Black Forest Cake. I made this cake a few months ago, one of the first cakes I made after I got back to the States. I've made my fair shares of black forest cake in the past, but they are all different. See this, this, this, and the first one I made in college (using canned maraschino cherries. Yikes!).

Key Lime Pie Bars

Tomorrow is Independence Day holiday. It sucks because it falls on the middle of the week this year, so no trip planned for this time. Besides, the weather is now a bit odd. I would expect mid 80s to low 90s by this time of the year but it has been staying around 75 F - 80 F, at the most. For some of you it might be the perfect weather, and it is, but I just want a few hot days and cool breeze at night. Here in northern California, no matter how warm the daytime is, you will most likely need a jacket at night.


The weather in San Jose has been scorching hot lately. I am not complaining really, in fact, I LOVE it! I began to open the window in my room when I sleep at night. My next door neighbor whom we share a fence with, has jasmine plant spreading along our side of the fence facing directly into my room and I love the smell. I just love this time of the year.

A Remake of Ambroisie

This is the latest cake I made. I decided to post this first instead of the previous ones because I had the pictures ready to go for this post.

So I was in my team's staff meeting a few weeks ago, and all of a sudden, I was wondering about my teammates birthday. To me, birthday is important and I would feel bad if someone had a birthday I didn't know about. The least I could do is to congratulate them. Well, after asking around, we all found out that there are 3 May's babies within less than a week from each other, it was my boss' and two of my teammates'. So I decided to make them a cake.

Passion Fruit and Raspberry Tart

Life has settled down to a routine lately since I came back. The bf has been overseas for more than a month, and I am not sure when he is coming back. So I've been using the extra time to bake and make desserts quite a bit. I miss traveling and wish I can do more of that this year, especially now that I still have a valid US entry visa for about 9 months left. Summer is here (or almost) and everyone seems to be in a traveling mode, and so do I. My next trip will be during memorial day weekend down to Louisiana to visit the bf's family and hopefully it won't get canceled last minute due to work (which has happened a lot before)

I Am Back

I looked at the date of my last post, it was December 1st, 2012. Five months. It has been that long.

I went to China for 4 month starting early December and I was back early April on business assignment. I was originally scheduled for two months but one thing lead to another and I was there for four months. I wouldn't say that it was all nice and smooth trip, in fact it was quite challenging due to not being able to speak the language (despite my appearance and being Chinese myself). I had culture shock and homesick for the first month I was there, but fortunately, everything seemed easier after.