Bourbon Miso Pecan Brownies (Gluten Free, Butter Free)

[Translate] I love fudgy brownies. But I’ve been wondering over the years as I’ve been baking these rich, fudgy squares does it really require the half pound of butter in that batch, even if I do melt a substantial amount of chocolate? After some naval gazing and an opportunity to collaborate with Four Roses Bourbon, I had an eureka moment. I know it sounds insane to not bake with butter (and I do love my butter) but for the sake of curiosity and experimentation, you can have a fudge-y, dense brownie. Partially inspired by the macaron cookie, you can create..

New Year’s Eve Eve Dinner at Gramercy Tavern

[Translate] As long as you might have learned by now, my dear readers, Gramercy Tavern is my perennial favorite restaurant in New York City. Besides the fact it’s consistently a 1* Michelin restaurant and firmly believes in serving seasonal food philosophy and as local as possible, the food (both sweet and savory) is incredibly delicious, service was approachable yet professional, and it feels rustically refined here. We went to there for the eve of New Year’s Eve just to celebrate without the crazy hubbub of crowds. Except that was the Platonic ideal. Many diners packed in but it makes for..

Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee – It’s More Than Gelato Here (Washington, D.C.)

[Translate] Near our hotel in Dupont Circle when we were in Washington, D.C., one of our mornings for breakfast was at Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee. This particular location feels cozy like entering a friend’s living room and the local artwork some wit. (Dolcezza has five locations and a factory about 10 minutes outside of town and each location has its own look/personality.) Dolcezza’s philosophy is to support local farmers and make exquisite gelato. Dolcezza serves artisanal gelato produced in small hand-made batches every morning, using the best available ingredients: local fruits, herbs, eggs, cheese, milk and cream. Combining old-world methods..

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..

Thanksgiving Sweets and Breads from Breads Bakery

[Translate] For people who wants dessert and excellent loaves bread on the Thanksgiving table Breads Bakery should be one of your options. This Thanksgiving, Breads debuted the chocolate babka pie ($35). If you had ever came across their magnificent chocolate babka, they essentially shaped this into a pie pan. I could make an excuse not to have the standard pumpkin or apple pie just because this babka is sweet and incredibly delicious. The seeded challah wreath is a great alternative to dinner or Parker rolls since it has this nuanced sweetness and the heavily seeded (poppy, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower)..

Maison Kayser Opens in the Upper West Side

[Translate] If you have been reading this site long enough, I am fans of Maison Kayser. I am excited that this amazing international, French-based patisserie and café brand finally opens in the Upper West Side. The new location is at 2161 Broadway on the corner of 76th Street. It’s dangerously close to Fairway that I would extend my grocery shopping trip and carry a larger haul with their delicious, organic, artisanal loaves of bread and pastries. This new location is beautiful that my recent Saturday morning, the morning light filtering through the large windows just cast a gorgeous shadow on..

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..

Farine Bakery – A Piece of France in Shanghai, China

[Translate] Farine Bakery – Exterior and Interiors Farine Bakery is an upscale French bakery owned by French chef Franck Pecol in the Xuhui District of Shanghai. This bakery is a godsend for any Western expat in Shanghai who craves excellently made artisan bread and pastries. The staff could crank out solid cups of espresso-based drinks, especially for this New Yorker spoiled by the Third Wave movement. All of their dairy and flour is organic and imported from France. The light and open space features a glass counter down one side, a small coffee bar and a handful of bar stools..

Brunch with the Girls at Boulud Sud

[Translate] Exterior and part of the interior of Boulud Sud This past Labor Day weekend, I had brunch with my girl friends at Boulud Sud. As you might know, I am a fan of this restaurant when lunch with my mother and my friends are familiar with the Boulud brand but ate at this particular restaurant for the first time. Heck, even one of them lives close by one particular dessert (I’ll inform you soon which) convert her here to be a regular. Large format spicy Moroccan hummus, hummus, taramosalata, babaganoush and various flatbreads and dill potato chips for our..