Valrhona Chocolate Cake, Mango Ginger Lime Jam, White Chocolate Lemongrass Frosting

[Translate] I’ve been a long time fan of eating and baking with Valrhona chocolate. This brand creates one of the world’s finest chocolate in the small village of Tain L’Hermitage, France since 1922. They are dedicated to creating unique, artisan quality chocolate with complex, balanced and consistent flavors. This mission of excellence continues as the gastronomic traditions of the renowned Rhone Valley find expression in every mouthwatering taste of Valrhona’s superb chocolate. Valrhona has created a range of unique and recognizable aromatic profiles by perfecting techniques for enhancing the flavor of rare cocoa beans, grown on land masterfully selected for..

Afternoon Delights at The Back Room at Park Hyatt New York

[Translate] The Park Hyatt New York is a stunning, modern, glamorous first five-star hotel. (I’m planning on my staycation here…) This hotel stands in the heart of Midtown on West 57th Street directly across from Carnegie Hall, the $400 million Park Hyatt is at the center of Manhattan’s newly-minted “billionaire’s row” just a block from Central Park. The 210-room hotel is tucked into the first 25 floors of the 90-story One57 condo tower, where penthouses have sold for over $90 million. At the lounge, The Living Room, There’s an endless supply of plush couches and chairs to sink into, as..

Easter 2015 Pastries from Ladurée

[Translate] Ready for Easter? If you are wondering what beautiful, luxurious sweets to serve for Easter brunch or dinner, the famed Parisian brand Ladurée is your best bet. They are currently offering an Easter (or more appropriately, spring) themed pastry called Pâquerette (seen at the header of this post; in French, pâquerette means daisy). This delicious, sweet-tart pastry filled and soaked in passion fruit and yuzu, layered with lemon and hazelnut flavored biscuit. The abstract daisy topper is made of thin chocolate and dotted with passion fruit and yuzu curd. Of course, there must be a seasonal macaron flavor from..

Pistachio, Yuzu, Chocolate Feuilletine Cake

[Translate] Chinese New Year (or what others would generalize this holiday, Lunar New Year) is coming up this Thursday and if you really want to make a dessert to impress your family and friends, this pistachio, yuzu, chocolate feuilletine cake, would be it. I chose these flavors centered on the pistachio. Even though pistachio is my favorite nut and flavor, in Chinese New Year traditions, this nut means happy nut and symbolizes happiness. Thankfully, my family isn’t staunchly stuck on tradition; I’ve incorporated a mix of Chinese tradition with French pastry technique for this dessert. (more…)

Afternoon Tea at The Jefferson (Washington, D.C.)

[Translate] We had afternoon tea at the posh landmark hotel, The Greenhouse at The Jefferson in Washington, D.C. The Jefferson is an historical luxury apartment building built in the Beaux Arts style by French architect Jules de Sibour. This building was converted to a hotel in the 1950s and eventually in 2007 with the current owners renovate the historic structure to a level worthy of its namesake – and its equally sophisticated present-day guests. The staff at The Greenhouse is gracious and professional. The details of the dining rooms is stunning from the thick velvet drapes, black and white tiles,..

Ladurée Tropical Themed Holiday Bûche & Macarons

[Translate] Ladurée‘s holiday theme is to transport you to a tropical, exotic place, away from the cold climes that one would associate for the high holidays. Some of their beautiful holiday pastries are the individual-sized Bûche Marie-Antoinette Rose-Framboise ($10) made of rose macaron biscuit, rose cream, raspberry jam, raspberries and lychees, and the Exotic Baba ($12), a baba soaked with rum and vanilla syrup filled with keffir lime and vanilla pastry chantilly cream and roasted pineapple. The rose-raspberry bûche is the Parisian house’s traditional flavor and it’s delicious. The Exotic Baba is striking and it does transport you to a..

The Sweet Spot at Shangri-La’s China World Hotel in Beijing, China

[Translate] Lobby of China World Shangri-La; Pastry display cases at Sweet Spot; Whole green tea mousse cake On one of our late afternoons in Beijing, we stopped by The Sweet Spot of Shangri-La’s China World Hotel. When entered the lobby of China World, it felt like we’ve just walked into a miniature Forbidden City. Filled with Ming and Qing era style artwork, the red and gold lobby gave us the impression of old school Chinese glamour. We were informed that the Sweet Spot is actually found at the hotel’s luxurious shopping and corporate offices that’s just beneath and connected to..

Four Seasons Beijing – Noir Or Mooncakes & Afternoon Tea

[Translate] Lobby Four Seasons Beijing is one of the luxurious hotels in the bustling capital of China that opened late 2012. It’s a little bit off the main tourist hubs but it’s close to the city’s business and embassies as well as the capital’s popular shopping and entertainment hub Sanlitun. Having tea and many different dishes at the Opus Lounge We start our afternoon having tea at the sleek Opus Lounge filled with impressive artwork inspired by striking Chinese landscapes. This lounge is a grand two-story space that offers Asian and Western specialties during their daily afternoon tea. We peered..

Maison Kayser 1535 Third Avenue

[Translate] The newest and fifth location of Maison Kayser opened a few weeks ago on the Upper East Side, not too far from its first location, a 120 seat café and an extended coffee bar. Arriving on that early Saturday morning, the retail section was bustling with activity from mostly locals who reside around the area picking up their morning coffee, a pastry and maybe a few loaves of bread. I went in to dine with a friend for brunch and tried out Master baker Yann Ledoux’s seasonal breads for the summer, like the delectable crusty, thin ficelles of black..