June 11, 2015

The Fabulous Flavors of Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream

Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream
2790 Harrison Street, San Francisco (415) 550-6971
When I was little, like most kids, summer was my favorite time of year. Not that I didn't love school, but how can you compare to the season of swimming, sunshine and ice cream!? From a very young age, I learned that hot days meant trips to Baskin-Robbins, the ice cream shop famous for its assortment of flavors. I always chose the most fun and colorful flavors, such as Oreo Cookie, Pink Bubblegum and Rainbow Sherbet.

Baskin-Robbins may have invented the concept of fun flavors, but many other ice cream shops have adopted this trend and have come up with their own fanciful varieties. This concept has been taken to the next level by Humphry Slocombe, one of San Francisco's finest artisan ice cream makers located in the Mission district. As you'd expect from a place with such an unusual name, Humphry Slocombe is all about creativity— which shines through in its unique selection of flavors. 

May 30, 2015

The Perfect Seasonal Dessert: Strawberry Tart {3-Step Recipe}

In the repertoire of French pâtisserie, the tarte aux fraises is considered a basic dessert. In fact, this was one of the first recipes taught in my Cordon Bleu pâtisserie diploma course in Paris. Yet sometimes the simplest of preparations are the very best. This is especially true of strawberry tart if made in season when the fruit is at peak ripeness. In France during May and June, beautiful berry tarts are displayed in the windows of pâtisserie boutiques, often enticing passersby to enter the shop. 

May 15, 2015

Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in San Francisco!

In honor of National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day (May 15th), I have decided to spotlight my favorite chocolate chip cookies in San Francisco. Anthony's Cookies in the Mission District makes wonderful cookies that truly taste homemade. That's because the cookies are baked fresh every day from the finest local organic ingredients. 

May 9, 2015

Blueberry Coffee Cake with Streusel {Step by Step Recipe}

When it comes to getting a gift for Mother's Day, most presents are so insufficient! How do you thank your mom for bringing you into the world and for 18 or more years of care-taking? A prepackaged floral bouquet isn't enough and perfume or chocolates aren't right either. The solution: Create your own gift. Homemade baked goods have that extra element of thoughtfulness, because you've taken the time to make it yourself from scratch.

This recipe for blueberry coffee cake is perfect for brunch or breakfast in bed. The moist, dense cake is packed with blueberries and layered with crunchy cinnamon-flavored walnut streusel. The top layer of streusel gets especially crispy. So yummy! 

April 30, 2015

Artisan Par Excellence: Barlovento Chocolates in Oakland, CA

Barlovento Chocolates (638 2nd Street, Oakland) 

Have you ever dreamed of quitting your day job and seeking an occupation filled with pure joy? Take inspiration from the story of Peter Brydon, master chocolatier of Barlovento Chocolates. After 28 years in the printing business, he decided on a whim to become a chocolate maker! 

April 10, 2015

Passover Hazelnut Cake {Joyce Goldstein Recipe}

I first sampled this hazelnut cake several years ago at Perbacco Restaurant's Passover Dinner. Joyce Goldstein worked with Chef Staffan Terje of Perbacco to create a menu based on recipes from her Cucina Ebraica cookbook. I remember enjoying the entire meal (Joyce Goldstein is such a fabulous chef), but I especially loved this cake... so much that I've since made it myself many times. 

April 4, 2015

Cute Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting {Step by Step Recipe}

I have a confession: I am a Cute Overload addict. A childhood love of Hello Kitty has never left me, and my "grown-up" home is adorned with quaint little tchotchkes (tastefully appointed). So it should not be surprising that Easter confections are among my favorite sweets—they celebrate cuteness! Adorable bunny-shaped chocolates, pastel-decorated cupcakes and cookies featuring baby animals look perfectly appropriate this time of year.

To create these cupcakes, I used two classic recipes: a simple vanilla cake and Swiss meringue buttercream for the frosting. I made mini cupcakes for added cuteness factor, but larger cupcakes are probably easier to decorate.