Tag Archives: dessert

Banana Pudding

Made using this recipe from Alton Brown. I made the pudding and whipped the cream, but it occurs to me that as I’m on a cookie making spree I could’ve made the vanilla wafers too.

Banana Pudding

  • In small pot, whisk 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk into 3/4 cup sugar, 3 tbsp cornstarch, 1/4 tsp kosher salt. Whisk in 2 cups whole milk.
  • Stir over med-low heat for 5-10 minutes, until it thickens and bubbles around edges.
  • Whisk in 3 tbsp butter in pieces. Whisk in 1/2 tsp vanilla. Refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  • Layer pudding with 3 ripe bananas sliced, ~40 nilla wafers (about half box).
  • Whip 1 cup heavy cream with 2 tbsp sugar with frozen bowl and whisk until stiff peaks. Top with whipped cream. Garnish with crushed wafers.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The world loves its chocolate chip cookies, and that makes them immensely difficult to bake. By buying from bakeries built on the backbones of their basics, we consume so many magnificent cookies. Our palates and preferences become particular. Prickly. 

Consider the precise chemical nature of baking. This is why, more than any other baked good, you can find endless variations of CC cookies with fractional ingredients and precise timings. People recommend specific brands of ingredients, and bakeries sometimes get their chocolate chips custom made specifically for their cookies.

I’ve read lots of articles about the science of chocolate chip cookies, like by the Times/Jacques Torres and Serious Eats/Kenji Lopez-Alt and NPR, but I just started with  the Times’s recipe. It’s good. My roommate has snapchats to prove it.

This is the smallest batch that I can bake as it calls for one large egg (I can’t switch egg sizes lest it ruin my other recipes). All ingredients were from Trader Joe’s except for Domino’s sugar and Diamond Crystal salt.

NYT Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Cream 1.25 stick room-temp butter, 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp light brown sugar, 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sugar until very light.
  • Add 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla. Mix well.
  • Add 1.75 cup AP flour, 5/8 tsp baking soda, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp kosher salt. Mix until just combined. Stir in 1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate disks.
  • Spoon into ~18 golf-sized balls. Cover with plastic, refrigerate for 24-72 hours. No less.
  • Place onto parchment-lined baking tray. Sprinkle lightly with flaked sea salt.
  • Bake at 350 F for 17-20 minutes, until edges are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes, until it solidifies enough to eat warm.

By the way, this makes new recipe #52 for the year. Primary mission accomplished!!


Edit: 5/15 another version, this time from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of the Food Lab.

Kenji Chocolate Chip Cookies

    • Brown 1 stick butter by swirling constantly over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add 1 tbsp cold water. Chill in fridge for about 20 minutes.
    • Cream 1 egg, 3/8 cup sugar, 1 tsp vanilla until very light.
    • Add cooled brown butter and 3/8 cup dark brown sugar. Mix to just combine.
    • Combine 1 cup AP flour, 3/8 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp kosher salt, then add. Mix until almost combined.
    • Chop up 4 oz chocolate into half- to quarter-inch chunks. Add. Mix until just combined.
    • Refrigerate dough for 12-72 hours. Divide into ~16 1 tbsp roughly torn balls.
    • Bake at 325 F until edges are golden brown, about 13 to 16 minutes. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Let cool for 2 minutes.

Edit 5/27 yet another cookie, this time inspired by the massive scone-like cookies that Levain Bakery on West 74th sells. Recipe from modernhoney.com. Not for the faint of heart.

Levain-like Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • Beat 1 stick butter, cold and cut into cubes (scone-style), into 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar.
  • Add 1 egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla and mix fairly well.
  • Combine 1.5 cups AP flour (or sub half with cake flour), 1/2 tsp cornstarch, 3/4 tsp kosher salt, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/8 tsp baking soda. Add. Mix until almost combined.
  • Add 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup walnut quarters/pieces.
  • Divide into 6 giant balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.
  • Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes, until light brown. Don’t overbake. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Edit 6/4: working off this recipe, although the Nutella did not melt as expected. I think I was using an old jar where the top half with disproportionate palm oil had already been scooped off. Still yummy though.

Nutella-stuffed CC Cookies.

  • Beforehand, spoon out ~16 1 tsp dollops of refrigerated Nutella onto a sheet. Freeze.
  • Brown 1 stick butter by swirling constantly over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Add 1 tbsp cold water. Chill in fridge for about 20 minutes.
  • Cream 1 egg, 3/8 cup sugar, 3/4 tsp vanilla until very light.
  • Add cooled brown butter and 3/8 cup dark brown sugar. Mix to just combine.
  • Combine 1 cup + 2 tbsp AP flour, 3/8 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, then add. Mix until almost combined.
  • Mix in 1 cup chocolate chips until just combined. Refrigerate for 2-72 hours.
  • Spoon out about 1.5 tbsp dough. Roll into a ball. Flatten very thinly. Wrap around frozen nutella balls. Make sure nutella is not protruding. Gently flatten, edges of dough up, with palm onto cookie sheet. Chill again if needed.
  • Bake at 350 F until edges are golden brown, about 10 to 13 minutes. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Let cool.


When looking up how to make these, I learned that it’s the food that Doraemon, the squat blue anime cat, is always trying to eat. I used to ask my mom to buy these all of the time. Both recipes from justonecookbook.com (dorayaki, anko).

They’re so prototypically Japanese (fluffy castella plus red bean!) and self-contained portable snacks. I made them as party favors for the doctors who are helping on my research project.


  • Whisk 4 eggs, 2/3 (140g) cup sugar, ~1.5 tbsp honey until fluffy.
  • Sift in 1.25 (160g) cup AP flour, 1 tsp baking powder. Rest for 15 minutes covered in refrigerator.
  • Stir in 1/4 cup milk. (increased to make less viscous)
  • In lightly oiled non-stick pans on low heat, pour 3 tbsp batter to make 3” pancakes. Flip when it starts to bubble, about 2 minutes. Remove when sides aren’t runny, about 1 minute.
  • Make sandwiches with ~2 tbsp chunky red bean paste (anko), making middle thicker.
  • Batter makes 12-14 pancakes and needs ~16 oz (1 can) of anko. While working, adjust pan so pancake is straight above the fire; periodically wipe spatula with oil; cover done pancakes with damp towel. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1-7 days.


  • Soak 1 cup adzuki beans overnight (8-12 hours).
  • Drain. In big pot, add water to 1-2 inches above beans. Bring to boil, then take off heat and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
  • Drain. Add water to just above beans. Simmer for 1+ hour, periodically skimming and replacing evaporated water. Done when beans burst easily when squeezed.
  • Drain. On medium heat, add 3/4 cup sugar in 3 batches while stirring/mashing. 5 minutes before end, add 1/4 tsp salt. About 20-30 minutes total. Add water to reach desired consistency.
  • Let cool in container.

Japanese baking

Okay, extending this post.

The fluffy cheesecake has been making (jiggly) waves across social media thanks to BuzzFeed Tasty. 

For my first iteration, I took justonecookbook’s recipe and halved it for a 6″ pan. It came out less fluffy and more tart than I expected. My friend then offered me a tried and true recipe to use for next time. Will be updated after next trial.

Japanese Souffle Cheesecake

  • Prepare 6-in cake pan, lined with parchment paper on bottom and at least 4” on sides.
  • Over double boiler, melt 150g (5.3 oz) cream cheese, 2 tbsp butter, 100 ml (.42 cups) heavy cream
  • Whisk in 3 egg yolks slowly.
  • Sift in 4.5 tbsp cake flour (approx. 4 tbsp all-purpose flour, .5 tbsp cornstarch)
  • Zest in half lemon, add 2 tbsp lemon juice.
  • Refrigerate.
  • Whip 3 egg whites, cold, until opaque and bubbly (2 minutes). Slowly add 100g (~1/2 cup) sugar, then beat at high speed until soft peaks form.
  • Fold meringue into batter gently in thirds.
  • In water bath, bake at 320 F for 70-75 minutes, then 300 F for 10 minutes, until top is golden brown.
  • Dust with confectioner’s sugar, serve with strawberries.


With the leftover cream and borrowed cake pan and mixer, I couldn’t help whipping up (literally) another Japanese style pastry. They love their fluffy things. Recipe from washoku.guide.

Except it didn’t turn out that fluffy. Boo.

Matcha Sponge Cake

  • Line 6” springform pan with parchment paper.
  • In clean bowl, whip 2 egg whites while gradually adding 80g (~3/8 cup) sugar. Whip meringue to stiff peaks.
  • Mix in 2 egg yolks.
  • Sift in 66g cake flour (~1/2 cup AP flour, 1 tbsp cornstarch) plus 6g (~1 tbsp) matcha. Then fold in.
  • Melt 20g (1.5 tbsp) butter into 33ml (2tbsp + 1 tsp) milk. Slowly stir into batter.
  • Pour batter into mold. Eliminate bubbles, smooth surface.
  • Bake 30-35 minutes at 170 C (340 F)
  • Cool on rack, then refrigerate for a day.
  • Slice horizontally and fill with (matcha) whipped cream. Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Matcha Whipped Cream

  • Freeze metal bowl and metal whisk for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup heavy cream over 1 tbsp sugar, 1/2 tsp matcha. Whip to stiff peaks.


Castella (Japanese honey cake)

I may import the recipe here to better categorize it.

Taiwanese Nougat

This is really easy to make provided that your mom mails pre-portioned ingredients and sends video instructions via text. Hehe.

Taiwanese Nougat

  • Melt some marshmallows, a knob of butter, a bit white chocolate chips.
  • Take off heat. Fold in some milk powder, tons of nuts, a few dried fruits.
  • On parchment paper, slam/roll/shape. Cool 3 hours. 
  • Cut. Optionally dry out overnight.

If you want the actual proportions, ask!


Originally we sourced a recipe for healthier scones from womensday.com which called for sour cream, except I didn’t have sour cream, so now I just make it with yogurt anyway.

It’s all in cutting the butter, and I take a shortcut by basically mincing the butter before dumping it into the powder.

Rosemary Cranberry Scones

  • 2 cups flour, ¼ cup sugar, 1 tbsp baking powder, ½ tsp salt. Whisk.
  • 6 tbsp cold butter. Cut up with knives into little chunks and incorporate into powder.
  • ¾ cup craisins, 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped. Mix in. (or 1 cup chocolate chips)
  • 1 egg, ⅔ cup yogurt, 1 tsp vanilla extract. Whisk, then add. Don’t overbeat.
  • On floured surface, shape into 1-inch thick round. Cut into 8 slices.
  • 425 F, 12-14 minutes, until golden brown.