Mini Vanilla French Madeleines

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A new cookbook is rocking the food world right now, written by the women behind The Cook’s Atelier in Beaune, Burgundy (France)! After perusing this gorgeous gastronome tome, I quickly found their Instagram and found myself signing up for their newsletter.

One week later, voilà! A newsletter + recipe for mini madeleines pop into my inbox. The recipe is savory, but I was in a pinch, didn’t have the necessary parmesan, and wanted to try out my new mini pans ASAP. I made my go-to recipe for regular madeleines, found ing—you guessed it—Patisserie Made Simple.

I’m planning on trying out the savory recipe soon (it features chives and parm, yum!), but for now, here’s the recipe for plain madeleines that I love. Bonus to minis? Pop-able like potato chips! May be a minus, depending on how you look at it.

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Mini madeline molds are only 1 to 1.5 inches wide…not much space! I found it easiest to scoop the batter into a plastic bag or piping bag and pipe the batter into the molds. You don’t need much! A teaspoon or less per cavity should do it.

Happy baking, friends! And if you make a different flavor, let me know! Looking for inspiration 🙂


Mini Madeleines

Recipe can be found in Patisserie Made Simple. Also check out The Boy Who Bakes: blog and Insta! I love Ed 🙂


Palmiers (On Trust)


For this week’s adventure in pastry, I decided to make palmiers. Pronounced PAL-me-yay.  But honestly, it wasn’t much of an adventure, because I used store-bough puff pastry. It’s been so warm and we have no air conditioning, so even if I had wanted to make my own, it was not happening.

I poured some sugar into a bag of lavender that I had lying around- lavender is one of my favorite flavors. It’s delicate, very floral, and can stand its own.

In making this pastry, I started thinking about trust. (I like to explain life by means of food.)

Puff pastry can be rather difficult to make. And in this instance, we’re the scattered lavender, but what we want to be is the dough.

I don’t have much time left in school, and it’s (really) freaking me out. Any notion of “what I want” is out the window. The most honest answer is “I don’t know.” Scattered lavender. No particular place to be. No particular place. As much as lavender is lovely, it needs a vehicle as it’s not too great straight off the bush.

This pastry is a perfect encapsulation of me—and perhaps people. Multi-faceted, many layers, fragile, finicky. But, I think that if we trust (in my case, God, but fill in your blank), that we will find it easier to stretch when life stretches us, because we are in very capable hands that are not our own.

Why should we trust these hands? Because only someone incredibly skilled can manage something like puff pastry. I know because I’ve tried, and it didn’t turn out very well. We are in very, very capable hands. And while we are fragile, we don’t have to break. We can be mended, stretched, puffed up.

However, we can only move from petals in the wind to something sturdier if we trust and allow our essence to be place there. With trust comes the confident expectation of good things. Not to say that our pastry will never tear nor will it ever have holes. But when we can trust; when we can be confident; when we can hope; we will find courage to take flight.

For the palmiers


1 sheet puff pastry, thawed according to directions

(up to) 1/4 cup sugar (you can use citrus zest, vanilla pods, etc. to impart some flavor)

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Roll out puff pastry on a floured surface, up to 14×9. Sprinkle with sugar (and anything else you fancy. These can be savory, too.) Roll one of the long sides like a cinnamon roll until it meets the center. Repeat for the other side.

Using a sharp knife (chef’s knife is fine), cut into 1/2 inch cookies and lay on a baking sheet. They do puff up, so leave some room, at least an inch. Place on parchment paper.

Bake for around 18 minutes or until nice and deep golden brown. Cookies should also be sufficiently puffed. Let cool for 20 minutes.

Berry Pavlova


I have spent the last two weeks as my mother’s main office minion, and therefore forwent Monday’s blog post. I beg forgiveness.

So, when I actually rummaged around the fridge, wondering what I should make, I remembered that I had too many egg whites in a Plentea bottle, nearly forgotten from the time I had made Audrey’s chocolate cake and used 16 egg yolks. Not all of the whites survived because there were some broken yolks, but by the time I was finished experimenting I still had around 6-8. They remained hidden in the fridge until I remembered them, which is actually ok because old egg whites will whip up better.

I passed sophomore year under the tutelage of Fred, baking-boy extraordinaire, and picked up a thing or two hanging around him whilst he created his edible masterpieces. Mostly how to be creative and fun in the kitchen. So, this normally plain-Jane whipped out all the stops, as in, this project took me three days to complete. And, there’s rose water involved, just for kicks.


First, we’re going to make the meringue. Egg whites and sugar are whisked in a double boiler to pasteurize the eggs. This is swiss-style meringue. Italian meringue is made by pouring boiling sugar syrup into egg whites whilst simultaneously whipping them at high speed. I feel that swiss meringue is a bit safer. Everything is cooked, and then whipped. No splattering 300-degree syrup. Using a piping tip and bag, create meringue bowls. The size is up to you.

This recipe could easily be made in one afternoon. While the meringues are crisping in the oven, start on the coulis. Coulis is a plant sauce; fruit is usually used for dessert, vegetables for savory dishes. Our farmer friends sent us strawberries, and as the fruit was looking overly ripe, I decided to make strawberry coulis, but any berry will do. If you want the coulis to set a bit, add some gelatin, or agar agar if you prefer.

Finally, whip the cream—by hand if you’re brave—and add a teaspoon of rose water. Don’t be tempted to pour in more; rose water is, while floral and heady, exactly that. Too much, and it’ll probably smell like rotting roses. Yuck.


By this time the meringues should be high and dry. Try one. They are…ephemeral. Shatter the delicate shell, and it melts daintily in your mouth.

Choose a fun, swirly tip and transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag. Pipe generous swirls into the meringue bowls, topping with coulis and raspberries for decoration. Have some friends on had to help you eat the pavlova; I spent my afternoon frantically looking for takers. Cousin Ben will be saving the day.

Berry Pavlova


1 batch meringue

I based mine off of The Boy Who Bakes, doubling the proportions. You’ll have enough for little meringue cookies, too. Cut in half if you wish.

6 room-temperature egg whites (BUT! Always separate a cold egg to prevent the yolk from breaking)

Scant 2.5 (480g) cups sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 225˚F. It is important that the temperature is precise! Meringue is very delicate and finicky.
  2. Using a hand or standing mixer, whip egg whites on high speed. When soft peaks begin to form, gradually add the sugar and whip until glossy and stiff. If you can hold the bowl over your head without dumping meringue on yourself, it’s ready.
  3. Using a piping bag and tip, pipe the meringue onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. The bowls should be approximately 3” wide. Start piping from the center of the circle, making your way outwards, and then slowly build up on the last ring, creating a wall approximately 2” high, or whatever you prefer.
  4. Bake for 1-2 hours, allowing the meringues to crisp, and then turn off the oven and let the meringues sit in the oven, allowing them to completely dry out.

Fruit Coulis

350g berries

0.25 cup water

3 tbsp sugar, or to taste

up to 0.25 tsp gelatin, to set

  1. In a saucepan, heat berries, water, and sugar until fruit becomes extremely soft. Gently mash with a spoon, breaking up the fruit. All the liquid to cook down; it should have the viscosity of smoothie.
  2. Pour the coulis through a sieve to remove seeds and skin. Allow to cool. Store in the fridge.

Whipped Cream

2 cups very cold heavy whipping cream

1 teaspoon rose water

sifted powdered sugar to taste (optional, and I’d just go by the tablespoon)

  1. Using a standing mixer, hand mixer, or your actual hand/arm, whip cream and rose water until soft peaks form. Begin adding sugar, a tablespoon at a time, tasting along the way. Stop whipping when stiff peaks form. Go too far, and you’ll have rose-water butter.



  1. Place whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with the tip of your choice. I used an Ateco 807.
  2. Pipe generous swirls of whipped cream into the meringue bowls. Drizzle with coulis and top with raspberries.
  3. Serve immediately, or, if you must, store in the fridge for a few hours.


Maialino’s Olive Oil Cake & Coconut-Lime Sorbet


This summer I have eaten many life-changing foods. Lamb chops, panna cotta, olive oil and balsamic, coconut lime sorbet… I must say, working in a cooking store really does open your eyes to all the food possibilities.

On the weekends, sometimes we’ll do a demo, and one of these weekends happened to be an ice cream demo! Can I get a HOORAY! ? And, as the title of this post suggests, the demo involved coconut lime sorbet. At first, I was skeptical. You would not be surprised to know that my favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla. Plane Jane, and I like it that way. But, as I am wont to do when I am in charge of a demo, I tasted it.

The bright, tart, citrus of the lime beautifully complimented (and was also mellowed by) the subtle, light, sweet coconut milk. The pairing worked, and I was surprised. Usually, if I want to be “adventurous,” I go for a fruit sorbet or chocolate ice cream. No toppings, no mix ins, and of course, no funky flavors. Ever. But, gosh darn, one taste of this sorbet and I was hooked! It took an obscene amount of self control to not eat all the samples. I feel like I should receive a medal or something for restraining myself.

A couple days later, I made Padre buy me some limes at the grocery store, and off I went to re-create the recipe. I used a little more cream than I ought to have, so it’s not essentially a sorbet, more like an ice cream.


What I discovered was that the cream really mellows out the lime, which I did not like. The recipe I present now cuts the amount of cream in half. But really, the cream is just there to help with the texture, not the flavor. Coconut milk and lime juice alone make for somewhat of an icy texture, so the cream smooths it out. At most, you should only require a fourth of a cup.

As far as the olive oil cake is concerned, about a year or two ago I was pursing Food52 and stumbled across a recipe for Maialino NYC’s olive oil cake. It was one of the site’s most popular recipes, next to the one for chocolate cake, which remains my go-to recipe, despite the number of blogs that I read the number of cookbooks I have amassed. The olive oil cake has been on my “to make” list for a while, and after being introduced to some mighty fine olive oils at the cooking store, I took the plunge, bought a bottle, and whipped up (in one bowl, no less), this cake.

If you do not like the taste of olive oil, you’d be better off with the sorbet alone, although you needn’t be a connoisseur to appreciate the cake. Savor the light fruitiness of the oil, and tight, soft crumb, and the delicate crust. Food52 describes the cake as almost pudding-like, and they’re about right. Try it, even if you feel skeptical. And if you do like it, don’t be Padre, who cut himself a hunk and crammed it in his mouth. That is not the proper way to enjoy such a dainty, delicate dessert.

Paired together, the cake and sorbet make a good match. I would, however, highly recommend adding the lime zest to the sorbet (I skipped this to save myself from washing another utensil) and scaling back on the cream. The coconut milk and olive oil combined really can overpower the lime. I admit, the strength of the olive oil and its ability to mask other flavors surprised me, as it is generally unassuming if you aren’t looking for it.


Here is the cake recipe. Instead of 1.25 cups of milk, you could substitute for 1 cup of creme fraîche. I did this because that is what I had on hand.

Coconut-Lime Sorbet

2.5 cups coconut milk

0.5 cup cream

0.25 cups lime juice

2 tbsp lime zest

1 cup sugar

  1. Make sure to freeze the ice cream bowl the night before, per manufacture’s instructions.
  2. Zest limes and place in a large bowl. Microwave limes in 10-second increments until slightly warm. Using the palm of your hand, roll limes on a hard surface to release the juice. Juice the limes and add juice to the bowl.
  3. Add cream, coconut milk, and sugar. Whisk to thoroughly combine. Pour into an ice cream maker and freeze per manufacture’s instructions. Approximately 20-30 minutes.
  4. Eat or freeze immediately.

Audrey Hepburn’s Chocolate Cake

Update 7/9: Seized chocolate will indeed cause a dry cake. New texture is mousse-y, almost creamy, but not ganache creamy.

Today Haley and I had our quintessential meet-up, which consisted of the usual: Watching an Audrey Hepburn movie and baking something sweet! We decided, after deliberating, to try Audrey’s chocolate cake recipe, in honor of our our second friendiversary and in commemoration of our first official hangout. The hangout, you may have guessed, involved baking (cream puffs by Joy the Baker!) and and Audrey movie. Roman Holiday was my first Audrey film, and I haven’t looked back. So thanks, Haley! It’s always fun with you 🙂


The recipe for this cake comes from Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen, written by her son, Luca Dotti. It’s equal parts memoir and recipe book, in which Dotti combines anecdotes from his mother’s life with a beloved dish that held significant memories of the time. This cake in particular evoked memories of the liberation of Holland after WWII. According to Dotti, chocolate was one of the first things his mother ate after a long period of starvation. Chocolate and condensed milk brought by the brand-new United Nations.


Just some notes before you start-

You absolutely must combine the cream and chocolate together before melting the chocolate. Otherwise, the chocolate will seize, and the chocolate will become grainy. To simplify the processes, I would heat the cream and then pour it over the chocolate to melt it. It’s easier than melting everything over a bain-marie or double-boiler.

There may or may not have been too much meringue in the recipe. I will be revisiting this with new results. Egg whites give structure to baked goods, and the cake came out a bit dry as opposed to creamy, so I suspect that, if the seized chocolate was not the problem, then the egg whites were.

Finally, you can serve this cake with whipped cream or ice cream. Really, you could serve it with whatever you fancy. I went with a simple Philadelphia-style vanilla ice cream: Cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla. If your torte come out dry like mine, the topping will add a little moisture and cut the intensity of the chocolate.


Audrey Hepburn’s Chocolate Cake

(From Audrey at Home: Memories of My Mother’s Kitchen by Luca Dotti)


11 ounces (300g) unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped

0.25 cup whole milk (I substituted cream)

1 stick/0.5 cup (120g) unsalted butter

8 eggs, separated

1 cup (200g) sugar

3 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon powdered sugar

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F.
  2. Heat cream until just below a simmer. Place chocolate in a bowl. Pour cream over and let sit for 3 minutes. Gently whisk to create a ganache. Add butter and whisk until combined. Whisk in egg yolks.
  3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add all the sugar and beat on medium-high speed until still and glossy.
  4. Place 1 cup of the beaten egg whites (meringue) into the chocolate mixture and use a spatula to fold gently. This will lighten the batter. Continue adding in 1-cup increments until all the egg whites are combined.
  5. Buter and flour a 10- or 12- (25- or 28- cm) inch pan (I used a springform pan). Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Turn off oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Then remove from pan and cool for 10 minutes. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream.

Ice Cream

This ice cream is very soft and melts quickly. Eat immediately after serving.

1.5 cups cream

1.5 cups whole milk or half-and-half

1 cup (200g) sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon kosher salt

  1. Freeze your ice cream bowl overnight.
  2. Heat cream and milk/half-and-half until just warm. Whisk in sugar and salt to dissolve.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Pour into ice cream bowl and churn for 30 minutes. Transfer to container and freeze for at least 1 hour. Serve.




Polenta with Roasted Asparagus, Prosciutto, and Eggs

Last year I raved about Huckleberry, Zoe Nathan’s little gem in Santa Monica. I finally bought the book. Glorious, I say. Glorious. On this episode of #domesticwithdad, we decided to make her recipe for polenta with roasted asparagus, prosciutto, and fried eggs. Need I say it again? Glorious.


I am a super-fan of roasting vegetables. Salt, pepper, and maybe a seasoning or two if you’re feeling fancy. It’s a nice alternative to sautéing vegetables or heaven forbid, boiling them. Grilling is also an option … if you have a grill.

The recipe isn’t difficult, but team #domesticwithdad needs to work on its time-management skills. A few tips based on our test-run:

  • Sprinkle the cornmeal into the water a tablespoon at a time. Yeah. You read that right. Tablespoon at a time. Trust me, it definitely beats mashing out all the lumps after your cornmeal seizes. Yuck.
  • Blanch your asparagus! We forgot … and our asparagus were a little too soft. Blanching will stop the asparagus from cooking and keep them firm.
  • Please don’t scramble the eggs. Fry the eggs. Over easy is good, over medium, still good. Over … hard? At your own risk.


You may be wondering, what’s the difference between grits and polenta? What even are grits?!

Please don’t ask what grits are. Southern food staple. I’ll leave it that. Go try some and report back.

According to one of my favorite cooking sites, grits and polenta are made with different types of corn, which also yield different textures. I prefer polenta, which has a firmer (and therefore better) texture, over grits, which are softer or mushier. Also note that grits are (as aforementioned) Southern, and polenta is an Italian dish.


Also, please use prosciutto … don’t sub for bacon; it’s not the same. Prosciutto, like the lamb chop, has been one of the more formative foods on my foodie journey. Eat it. Like it.


Polenta with Roasted Asparagus, Prosciutto, and Eggs (from Zoe Nathan’s book, Huckleberry)

2 bunches asparagus, trimmed

8-12 slices prosciutto

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 tsp

1 cup (160g) cornmeal

4 tbs (55g) butter

1/2 cup (50g) grated Parmesan

4 eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 500˚F. Roast prosciutto until crispy, 10-15 minutes.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil and add salt. Set aside a bowl of ice water. Cook asparagus until tender (should not be super squishy/soft). Blanch asparagus  for 2-3 minutes to stop cooking. Important if you do not want squishy asparagus in the final product.
  3. Place asparagus on pan lined with parchment or foil. Drizzle with (good!) olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for approximately 15 minutes, until browned.
  4. In a saucepan, bring water, garlic, and salt to a boil. Gradually whisk the cornmeal into the water. I recommend 1 tablespoon at a time. Otherwise, your polenta will horribly lumpy.
  5. Fry eggs. Over easy or medium, but please don’t scramble or cook the yolk through.
  6. Toss (or plate nicely) everything into a bowl, top with parmesan, and serve.

Happy cooking, friends!


Sesame-Mozzarella-Cilantro Salad


I have a friend (hi, Fred!) who can look in his refrigerator, size up his ingredients, and make something on the fly. It’s an amazing skill, and even more impressive to watch him in action. I wish I had the same ease and confidence in the kitchen.

In an effort to clean out the fridge, I found myself pulling a Fred, as I looked at the odds and ends. Spinach, cilantro, fresh mozzarella, green onions, mandarin oranges … Honestly, I was a little skeptical as to how this would all play out, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well everything played together. The main star is definitely the cilantro, with the spinach solely providing fluff and nutrition(?). The mozzarella mellows the cilantro’s sharpness, and I like fruit in my salad to give a contrast to whatever savory components I’ve thrown in.


I believe that salads are to taste, and I also believe that recipes should be done by weight. However, this I made this salad on the fly, so I measured nothing. I confess. Here’s the basic ingredients you need, but it’s on you to figure out the proportions in which you would like everything.

-Sesame-Mozzarella Cilantro Salad-



Fresh Mozzarella

Sesame-Ginger Dressing and/or Sesame Oil

Mandarin Oranges (drained)

Crispy onions

  1. Using your hands, gently rip cilantro into large chunks. Add cilantro and spinach to a large salad bowl.
  2. Cut mozzarella into bite-size pieces. Drain mandarin oranges. Add both to bowl. Top with crispy onions and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of dressing and/or oil.
  3. Cover with another bowl and shake to coat.
  4. EAT.
  5. Feel like Fred. AKA feel like a genius in the kitchen.


Happy cooking, friends!