bittersweetbaker

Archive for 2013|Yearly archive page

Chartreuse Panna Cotta with Chocolate Mousse

In Chocolate, Uncategorized on November 27, 2013 at 5:16 pm

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I’m honored to be guest posting at Jana’s blog Zuckerbaeckerei once again this year as part of her blog’s advent calendar. My post will be available at her blog, in German, on December 10th.

After some deliberation about what to make for this post, I decided on Chartreuse Panna Cottas with a chocolate mousse. It is a dessert that has already graced our dinner table numerous times this year, and though it may sound deceivingly elaborate, it is actually quite simple to make.

Chartreuse has a unique flavor. It is a slightly spicy liqueur with herbal undertones, and upon tasting it, no obvious flavor combinations come to mind. It was my father who discovered, at the start of this year, how harmoniously its flavor melds with chocolate. When paired together, each flavor is no longer distinct —the warm roundness of the chocolate flavor blends with the savory element of the Chartreuse to form a base over which the liqueur’s herbal tinges dance. It’s an exotic-tasting combination. Read the rest of this entry »

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Braided Pesto Bread

In Yeast Breads on November 4, 2013 at 8:36 pm
From Summer 2013

My mother jokingly refers to herself as “The Dishwasher.” With my love of baking and my younger sister’s newfound love of cooking, washing dishes is the only kitchen chore left over. But my mother likes her new position, likes that her two children have developed such an intimate relationship with food.

It seems that just two months ago, my sister, C-, would venture into the kitchen only when in search of a handful of nuts or a spoonful of peanut butter—quests that were strictly snack-driven. But now, mere weeks after watching her first episode of Master Chef, she’s become as able and agile as I could ever wish to be. Read the rest of this entry »

Pink Lemonade Bars (Communist Tart)

In Brownies and Bars, Fruits, Tarts/Pies on August 21, 2013 at 1:01 pm
From Summer 2013

When my father suggested writing a guest post after having watched “The Manchurian Candidate” with me,  I thought he was kidding. But a few days later, the first draft of his post lay in my inbox. In a discussion of the politics of fear, he wittily ties my raspberry lemon bars to an insult (“communist tart”) heard in the movie. 

When I was little, pink lemonade was believed to be a rare and exotic flavor. It was my favorite Jolly Rancher flavor, worth its double of green apple or watermelon. Precisely how pink lemonade differed from yellow lemonade seemed never to be a point of discussion. Perhaps we assumed the lemons were pink as pink grapefruit are pink. Read the rest of this entry »

Vanilla Bean Crème Caramel

In Custards on August 7, 2013 at 9:25 pm
From Summer 2013

At the end of last year, I jumped at the opportunity to work at the summer camp my school was running. Though I had initially been set on teaching English, the empty slots in the younger classes meant that my friend and I would spend time with the 4-5 year olds.

It was remarkable how many distinct personalities I encountered that first day. Some were interested only in play, trekking off to the hula-hoops and colorful scarves the minute they laid their eyes on them. Others immediately took to holding my hand and asking me questions. They wanted to know where I was from, why there weren’t any pink scarves, and what was my name, again? Most had personalities so defined that I could imagine them years older, at my age. Read the rest of this entry »

Cardamom Affogato

In Ice cream on July 23, 2013 at 8:13 pm
From Summer 2013

I’ve been composing posts in my head since the beginning of February. The first was one to celebrate my blogoversary, now long past. Another was about my experience at the international music festival I finally placed into in March. The next related the stress the International Baccalaureate wreaks on its candidates, expressed my sadness at the closure of another school year, and come summer vacation, confided my tendency to fall swiftly in love with new cities. The topics seemed endless.

In my head, the words come naturally, the sentences flow. But now, as I’m finally attempting to write for my blog after months of writing in my mind, I’m struggling. The formality of sitting down with the intention of writing a post stamps out all ideas. And it certainly doesn’t help my writing rut when I haven’t baked anything worth sharing in months. Read the rest of this entry »

Matcha Shortbread

In Cookies on January 6, 2013 at 3:39 pm
From Drop Box

In mid-November, I traveled to Nepal with school. I’d never expected to ever visit the country, but when my school announced it as the annual travel destination for the 11th grade, I signed up immediately.

It’s been more than a month since we’ve come back, but some mornings, I still wake up smelling Nepal.

It’s the kind of heavy scent that buries itself deep inside my memory, but feels so fresh and real that I’m found confusing my imagination for the doubt that it’s still clinging to my hair, like a memory that refuses to be washed out. It’s musky and a little sour. On the first days in Nepal, I mistook it for the redolence of an exotic spice, but now I’m near certain it’s the mingled smell of cow dung, rotting fruit, and sandy dust. It’s rather charming in it’s own way. I even find myself missing it every once in a while, wishing to be transported back to the day of our flight, when the entire trip was still before us. Read the rest of this entry »