Category Archives: Bakeries

Chocolates, Cakes & Pizza — Who Needs More?

Brazilian brigadeiros to indulge in.

Brazilian brigadeiros to indulge in. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Brazilian Chocolates

Watching World Cup may have gotten you riled up with all the action on the field. Me? It just got me hungry, thinking about all the specialty foods associated with each of the countries competing.

So when a sample box of brigadeiros arrived last week in my mailbox, it was perfect timing. San Francisco’s Tiny B specializes in these traditional Brazilian sweets, bite-sized chocolates made with condensed milk and flavorings. They’re like little balls of fudge rolled around nuts or sprinkles. And they are plenty addictive.

My sample contained some of Tiny B’s classic flavors. I have to say I am partial to dark chocolate, so the dark chocolate sprinkles one was probably my favorite because it let the intensity of the dark chocolate shine through.

A box of four is $12. You can customize it by choosing your exact flavors, too.

Bluestem Brasserie Lets You Have Your Cake

If you’ve ever had the legendary Honolulu Hangover cake at Bluestem Brasserie in San Francisco, you know how incredible it is. If you’ve never had it, well, now here’s your chance.

 

The unforgettable Honolulu Hangover. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

The unforgettable Honolulu Hangover. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

The restaurant has brought it back and will offer it through Labor Day as part of its special “Cake Only” dessert menu.

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Crepe Cake Perfection at Anton SV Patisserie

Anton SV Patisserie's tiramisu crepe cake.

Anton SV Patisserie’s tiramisu crepe cake.

 

It is a different kind of Silicon Valley engineering feat.

Slathering delicate crepes with a luscious cream filling, then placing them perfectly level, perfectly straight, one on top of the other until the stack rises a majestic 20 layers or higher in complete precision.

Anthony Tam not only possesses the skills to do this, but the business acumen to have turned this into a delectable phenomenon.

The former supply chain manager at a Fremont tech firm started his Anton SV Patisserie just over two years ago out of a Milpitas commercial kitchen.

Anthony Tam traded tech for cakes.

Anthony Tam traded tech for cakes.

Now, his handmade $88 crepe cakes have become a sensation, gracing special events at some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies. He now even offers delivery of whole cakes to select Bay Area cities. The crepe cakes also can be enjoyed for about $10 a slice at six cafes in the South Bay and San Francisco.

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Now’s The Time For Crostata Di Marmalata

Apricot squared -- with apricot jam and fresh apricots.

Apricot squared — with apricot jam and fresh apricots.

 

Last week at the farmers market, when I spied baskets of ripe apricots with the intense orange-red glow of a tropical sunset, I couldn’t contain myself.

Then, I just had to bake.

These beauties were destined for “Crostata Di Marmalata,” an easy apricot jam-filled tart that I took the liberties of blinging out by decorating it with halves of these early stone fruit.

The recipe is from master baker Jim Lahey’s newest book, “The Sullivan Street Bakery Cookbook” (W.W. Norton, 2017), of which I received a review copy.

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You probably know Lahey for the phenomenon he created with his revolutionary no-knead bread recipe a decade ago. Lahey, who opened his Sullivan Street Bakery in New York in 1994, is known far and wide for his way with bread, made with wild yeast he hand-cultivated in Italy.

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Of Moms — And Cranberry Roly Poly

The personality of moms encapsulated  in a baked treat.

The personality of moms encapsulated in a baked treat.

 

It’s been an unbelievable 11 years now since my Mom passed away. I still think about her nearly every day, too.

I’m sure all daughters brag about their mother being incredibly kind, thoughtful and gracious. But mine definitely was.

Still, there were moments that she offered up an opinion that I could have done without at the time, but now leaves me in stitches in hindsight.

When I was a teenager, I once came slinking into the kitchen, feeling thoroughly self-conscious after looking in the mirror that morning, only to have my Mom proclaim loudly, “You know you have a big pimple THERE.” Uh, yes, I do know, Mom. Thanks A LOT, A WHOLE LOT.

There was the time in my 20s when I came home for a visit, and the first thing my Mom said was, “Those pants make you look fat.” Oh, great.

And of course there was the long ago time that I brought a boyfriend over for her to meet, whom I thought she would adore, only to have her tell me afterward, “I don’t like him. He doesn’t put you first.” But Mom, you just don’t know him well enough yet

She may have been blunt, as only an Asian mom can be. But darned if she wasn’t right in every one of those cases — and so many more.

If she were still here this Mother’s Day, I would bake her these “Cranberry Roly Poly” treats. Because she always loved to see the joy I got from cooking and baking. Because cranberries offer up both sweetness and tartness. Because every mother-daughter relationship has moments of both those extremes. And because if you’re lucky, as I was, they will balance each other out in the end, leaving you both with an honest and respectful love.

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On Kids’ Cooking, Feel-Good Desserts and the Future of Literacy

Kids can learn how to decorate their own cookies and cupcakes. (Photo courtesy of The Village Bakery)

Kids can learn how to decorate their own cookies and cupcakes. (Photo courtesy of The Village Bakery)

Kids’ Cupcake and Cookie Decorating Class

The little ones will be in sugar heaven at this “Kids Cupcake and Cookie Decorating Class,” 2 p.m. April 28 at The Village Bakery in Woodside.

Executive Pastry Chef Janina O’Leary will guide kids through this hands-on class that will take them through glazing, frosting, piping and sprinkling.

The kids will take home their sweet creations, as well as a surprise gift from O’Leary.

The class is designed for kids 5 years and older. Kids are asked to arrive at 1:45 p.m. Parents can hang out there or drop off the little ones, then make a reservation to dine at the Village Bakery dining room next door.

Tickets to the class are $45.

Tapestry Suppers Presents An Afternoon with Sam Shem

Tapestry Suppers, which celebrates the myriad of immigrant cuisines in Silicon Valley, will host an intimate gathering, “Dream of the Other,” 12:30 p.m. April 28 in Palo Alto.

The brainchild of South Bay photographer Danielle Tsi, Tapestry Suppers brings people together to share authentic food and stories from all over the globe.

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