Category Archives: Sweet Treats

Lemon Edamame Cake

Lemon Edamame Cakes

Edamame Cake

This was one of the recipes I developed when I was the pastry chef at Yoshi’s in San Francisco. I had always loved the combination of lemons, strawberry and basil.  As I began to play with Japanese ingredients, I was surprised to discover that nori (seaweed) and edamame soy beans, paired beautifully with the bright flavors of citrus and berries.

(Lemon Edamame Cake – serves 10)


6 ounces Plugra butter (soft)

12 ounces sugar

Zest of 1 regular lemon

Zest of 1 Meyer lemon

5 eggs (room temp)

10 ounces pastry flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup crème fraiche

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup candied edamame

1/3 cup Turbinado sugar


In a kitchen aid on medium speed paddle the butter, sugar, and citrus zest for several minutes, until the butter is light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing for a minute before adding each egg.

In a separate bowl combine and thoroughly mix all of the dry ingredients.

Combine the buttermilk, crème fraiche and edamame and gently heat, just enough to take the chill off.

Add half of the dry mix into the butter, blend, then add half of the wets.  Repeat with the remaining, then add the lemon juice.  Spray  half dome molds, or a muffin pan, and fill each with about 1/3 cup of the batter . Top with turbinado sugar and bake in a 350 oven for 10  minutes.

Lemon Seaweed Meringues


3 egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon powder

1/2 cup finely ground nori


Slowly combine the whites and sugar to create a meringue.  Whip to a firm peak.  When you are at a medium peak add the lemon powder.  Place in a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe long meringue sticks.  Sprinkle with the ground up nori.  Bake for 2 hours in a 200 oven.

To serve the dessert, place the cake, and nori stick on the plate with some lemon olive oil, strawberry sauce, finely diced fresh strawberries and basil chiffonade.

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Pumpkin Flan

Pumpkin Flan

Pumpkin Flan


Flan is my favorite custard, and this one is perfect for the fall season, when I can use my leftover Halloween pumpkins to make this dessert.

Pumpkin Flan

(serves 6)


3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup milk

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

1/8 vanilla bean

1/2 cup and 1 1/2 cups sugar

1 whole egg

1 egg yolk

1 cup pumpkin puree, preferably from freshly roasted Sugar Pie Pumpkins

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ginger

pinch of  nutmeg


Combine the milk, 1/2 cup sugar, cream, cinnamon stick and star anise bring to a boil, and steep for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a small pot with 1/2 cup of water.  Wash down the sides of the pot to remove any sugar crystals.  Cook over medium high heat until the mixture caramelizes.  Divide the sugar evenly between  6 – 4 ounce ramekins, and set aside.

Bring the milk mixture back to a boil and whisk it into a bowl with the pumpkin, eggs, and spices.  Strain the mixture through a chinois or fine mesh strainer.  Pour the mixture into the ramekins. Bake in a water bath in 335 oven.  Fill the hotel pan with enough water so that the water comes up 1/3-1/2 way up the flan ramekin.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the flan is set.

Serve with whipped cream, pomegranate seeds and pepitas.

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Rocky Road

Rocky Road

Rocky Road

This fun and playful dessert was inspired by my favorite childhood ice cream, Rocky Road. It turns the simple combination of chocolate, marshmallow and nuts into a whimsical and unusual plated dessert, with toasted rice, soy caramel and even curry powder. Chocolate lovers always rave about this one.

To prepare the Rocky Road follow the recipe for the chocolate tort, cutting the torte into smaller disks, about 2 to 3 inches in diameter. Top with malted chocolate ice cream and garnish with melted chocolate, toasted marshmallows, soy caramel (see recipe below) and candied curried peanuts with toasted rice (see recipe below)



2 cups Rice Crispies cereal,  toasted for 8-10 minutes in a 350F oven

2 1/2 cups roasted salted peanuts

1 1/4 cup sugar


Combine the toasted rice crispies and peanuts.  In a medium sized pot, combine the sugar with about 1/3 cup water, just enough to moisten the sugar. Add the curry powder and cook to thread stage, about 240F.  Toss in the nut mixture, stirring vigorously  until the mixture begins to thicken and re-crystallize.  Cook for an additional minute, until slightly toasted.  Spread onto a sil pat or aluminum foil and cool.  Store in an airtight container for up to a week.



2 1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup corn syrup

1 cup heavy cream  (room temp)

2/3 cup artisanal soy sauce, such as Marushinhonke  (room temp)


In a pot combine the first three ingredients and slowly bring to a boil, wash down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush to remove any sugar crystals.  Cook the sugar mixture over medium high heat until it caramelizes. Once you have a medium amber caramel slowly whisk in the cream and then the soy sauce.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

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Chocolate Torte

Chocolate Torte

Chocolate Torte

A torte, not to be confused with a tort, which is a civil wrong or law, is a cake made primarily with eggs, sugar, and ground nuts instead of flour. Some variations may include bread crumbs, or, as in this case, some flour. The word torte comes from the German word Torte, which was derived from the Italian word torta, which was used to describe a round cake. While I like to bake my torte in a sheet pan, I then cut it into individual rounds to keep with tradition!


Makes ½ sheet pan
2 lb. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 lb. butter, unsalted
6 cups sugar
10 eggs
1tablespoon vanilla extract
2cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder


Over a bain combine and melt butter and chocolate.
Keep hot.
Combine the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt, set aside.
In a Kitchen Aid on high speed, whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla for several minutes, until thick and pale.
Turn the speed down to low and pour the hot butter and chocolate mixture into the eggs.
Mix until partially combined.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
Mix for a minute or two, if you under mix, the batter will separate and break.
Spread onto sheet pan that has been sprayed and lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until done. You want them to still be fudgy when removed.
These freeze very well. Cater wrap and when ready to use remove from freezer and bring to room temp. Cut with a circle cutter to desired size.


1 1/2 cups crème fraiche
2 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine all of the ingredients, whisk together

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