Category Archives: Bakeries

Prepare to Devour Kinako Brown Butter Shortbread

Buttery, toasting tasting kinako shortbread cookies.

Buttery, toasting tasting kinako shortbread cookies.

 

Vancouver, BC has always captivated me. It reminds me so much of San Francisco with its compact size, distinct neighborhoods, cultural diversity, and great eats. Plus, let’s face it — it’s way cleaner than The City By the Bay, and the exchange rate is usually quite favorable to visitors from the States.

I mean, what’s not to like?

Get to know this wonderful city even more in “Vancouver Eats: Signature Recipes from the City’s Best Restaurants” (Figure 1, 2018) by Vancouver food writer Joanne Sasvari, of which I received a review copy.

The cookbook includes 80 recipes that are sure to whet your appetite, from “AnnaLena Chicken Skins” (dipped in chocolate, no less) from AnnaLeana restaurant named for Chef-Owner Michael Robbins’ grandmother, and “Poached Lamb Shoulder with Butternut Squash-Ricotta Gnocchi” from The Dirty Apron Cooking School to “Morel Mushroom and Stinging Nettle Tart with Brie” from Forage and “Vikram’s Bone-In Goat Curry” by celebrated Chef-Restaurateur Vikram Vij’s new My Shanti.

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Since I’ve been on a kick baking and cooking with Japanese soy flour, I had to try my hand at “Kinako Brown Butter Shortbread.” The recipe is from Betty Hung, owner and head baker of Beaucoup Bakery, a Parisian-inspired patisserie.

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Indulge in Sweets — Three Ways

Take a taste of the three new flavors of Sante Nuts. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Take a taste of the three new flavors of Sante Nuts. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Santé Nuts New Candied Flavors

The South Bay’s maker of gourmet nuts, Santé Nuts, has debuted three new flavors: Chocolate Almonds, Pumpkin Spice Pecans, and Bourbon Pecans.

The family-owned company was started by single mom Sara Tidhar, who parlayed her home-made recipes for candied and spiced nuts into a booming business. Her son and daughter now both work in the company, too.

I had a chance to try samples recently. What I especially love about all these nuts is that they maintain a pronounced crunchiness even with their coatings.

The Chocolate Almonds are a nice change of pace from the usual hard-shelled, candy-coated chocolate almonds. Rather than a shell of chocolate, these almonds get a coating of sugared crackling cocoa powder. That means the flavor of the almonds still sings through loud and clear without getting overtaken by the cocoa that adds a nice deep dark chocolate accent. There’s also a touch of salt that adds perfect balance.

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The Big Unveil

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Voila! Finally, the big reveal: Presenting the cover of my forthcoming cookbook, “East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries” (Figure 1 Publishing).

I couldn’t be more excited to show off details of my newest cookbook, due out on Sept. 10, which will feature 41 of the best restaurants and bakeries in the East Bay.

To whet your appetite, that’s the paella from La Marcha Tapas Bar in Berkeley, and the lamb larb from Belcampo in Oakland’s Jack London Square prominent on the cover. The photos are all by the incredibly talented photographer Eva Kolenko.

What else will you find inside?

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It’s Not Easy Being Green (Cake)

Blink twice -- because this cake is indeed green.

Blink twice — because this cake is indeed green.

 

The first thing my husband said when he spied this cake cooling on the kitchen counter was: “WTH!?!”

Yes, this is cake.

With mint.

And parsley. Loads of it.

All of which gets minced until it resembles churned up grass clippings. Then, it’s folded into a batter that ends up looking quite a lot like pesto.

Meet “Parsley Cake” from Katy Peetz, former pastry chef of Roberta’s in Brooklyn.

It’s from the cookbook, “Food52 Genius Desserts: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Bake (Food52 Works)” (Ten Speed Press, 2018) by Kristen Miglore, creative director at Food52.

The batter goes into a rimmed baking sheet so it bakes quickly.

The batter goes into a rimmed baking sheet so it bakes quickly.

When I first spied this recipe, I knew I had to make it in time for St. Patrick’s Day. I mean, a cake the vivid color of moss clinging to an ancient castle couldn’t be more perfect for that holiday, could it?

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Making Manresa Bread’s Terrific Tahini Cookies

Nutty, elegant tahini cookies.

Nutty, elegant tahini cookies.

 

Nothing beats the high of discovering a favorite new treat at a bakery or restaurant.

And nothing stings like the blow of finding out the establishment has decided to take it off the menu.

We’ve all been there, right?

When Food Gal reader Kristy W. discovered that her favorite tahini cookies had been yanked from the bakery case at the new Manresa Bread in Campbell, she was beside herself.

So what did she do? She asked yours truly if I could somehow get the recipe.

Well, Kristy, your wish is my command.

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