Saturday, May 6, 2017

Best Ever Cupcakes

True to its name - these really are the best.

24 cupcakes

- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1.5 cups flour (if you're fancy sub in 1/2 cup cake flour)
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (sour cream or buttermilk* may be substituted)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Place the first 7 (dry) ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  • Mix in the butter on low speed, until the mixture resembles moist crumbs.
  • Stir in the eggs,one at a time, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula after each addition. Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl to be sure all the ingredients are well-combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes, to aerate the batter and build the cake’s structure.
  • Fill lined cupcake wells just over half full (approx. 1/4 cup of batter).
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
  • Cool completely before frosting.


- 5 egg whites (do not use store-bought pasteurized whites! - need fresh)
- 1.25c sugar
- 3 sticks of butter - let it soften up just a little bit (ideally just under room temp) outside the fridge. Cut them into small-ish cubes.
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- pinch salt
optional: 9 oz of melted bittersweet or unsweetened chocolate

*to make sure the egg whites whip up, make sure your equipment is clean from any grease/fats - helpful to wipe it down with lemon juice if you're not sure it's totally clean
- Put your stand mixer's bowl over a pot of simmering water on the stovetop. Put in your egg whites and sugar, and whisk them until they've reached a temperature of 160 degrees (you can use a candy thermometer, or just test with your finger to the point that they feel pretty warm/hot).
- Put the bowl back on the stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to whip them for about 10 minutes
- Get ready to add your butter - switch out the whisk attachment for the paddle.
- Once the bowl doesn't feel at all warm anymore (should be completely room temp) you can start adding the butter cubes a few at a time, while the paddle whips at low speed. The frosting should get fluffier and look delicious (if it starts to look curdled just keep whipping it for longer, or at worst refrigerate it for a bit and try again.) Increase speed to medium/high.
- Add vanilla and salt, and now you can start slowly mixing in the caramel sauce as well. The beautiful thing about this kind of buttercream is that it should really keep its texture and glossiness with all different kinds of flavor additions - even fruit juices.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Liliko'i Butter

Passionfruit "liliko'i" butter

This is a beloved recipe from two wonderful ladies in Maui (Makawao!) who used to make and sell this. We would have it shipped to us, until they told us that they had stopped making it. Fortunately, they gave us the hint of adapting a well-known lemon curd recipe for passionfruit, and voila, lilikoi butter! Finding fresh passionfruit is almost impossible outside of Maui, and cheap Goya brand purees lack flavor, but fortunately a few restaurant supply companies sell it (Perfect Puree of Napa Valley - to buy individually you have to go in person!). 

3 eggs
1/2 cup passionfruit puree
1/2 cup sugar
6 tbsp butter cut into chunks

Whisk eggs, then whisk in passionfruit and sugar. Add butter. Whisk over low heat, scraping sides and corners of pot until butter thickens and simmering slightly. Whisk constantly, or eggs will start to cook! Remove from stovetop and scrape through a fine strainer a few times. Refrigerate and use within a week.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Candied Sweet Potatoes


KEEP IN MIND: all of these amounts can be changed, you can add more or less as needed, it’s hard to mess these up!

4 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing
6-8 medium yams or sweet potatoes, peeled
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon butter.
Cut each of the yams into cubes or wedges.
Lay them out in the prepared baking dish in an even layer.
Melt the butter (in a small saucepan over medium heat, or in the microwave.)
Stir the brown sugar into the butter and allow to dissolve. Then add syrup and mix.
Pour the glaze over the yams and sprinkle with a little nutmeg.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for about 45 minutes or until the yams are tender when pierced with a fork but they still hold their shape.
Maybe 10-15 minutes before they are done, take yams out of oven and top with a layer of marshmallows. Put back in oven and they should get golden and toasted.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Bill's caesar dressing

Lemon juice (about a whole lemon)
Dijon mustard
Garlic (2 cloves pressed)
Mix all that together then pour in Olive oil slowly while mixing
Add Parmesan cheese grated and anchovy paste

Monday, December 22, 2014

chocolate pillow cake

We used to call this the Mayonnaise Cake, but that sounded unappealing, so we switched the name to Chocolate Pillow Cake.

1 c. mayo
1 c. cold water
1 c. sugar

Sift in:
2 tsp baking soda
2 c. flour
4 tbsp cocoa
dash of salt

Add 1 tsp vanilla

8x8 pan, bake at 350 for minimum 45 min. (more likely 50/55)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Salted Caramel Brownies

- 2 sticks (1/2 lb) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces (~1 cup) and 6 ounces semisweet choc chips, separated
- 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 3 large eggs
- 1.5 tbsp instant coffee (like nescafe)
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
- .5 cup + 2 tbsp flour, separated
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- .5 tsp kosher salt
- 5 to 6 ounces good caramel sauce (ex Fran's)
- 2-3 tsp flaked sea salt

- Preheat oven to 350, butter 9x12 pan
- Melt butter, 1 c. choc chips, 3 ounces unsweetened choc in microwave on low, allow to cool 15 min
- in large bowl gently mix eggs, coffee, vanilla, sugar
- Stir cooled choc mixture into egg mixture, cool again to room temp
- Sift together 1/2 c flour, baking powder, kosher salt and add to chocolate mixture
- Mix chocolate chips with remaining 2 tbsp flour, add to mixture, spread in pan
- Bake for 35min until toothpick is clean
- Immediately warm caramel sauce until pourable, stir, drizzle over brownies and sprinkle sea salt

Sunday, June 22, 2014

New York Times chocolate chip cookies

My latest obsession is the chocolate chip cookie. I've come across 2 places (Crisp in Sonoma, Munchery in SF) that made astoundingly big, delicious sea salt chocolate chip cookies. Everyone has their personal preference, but mine is the hint of crunchiness on the outside, soft and thick in the middle. I haven't tried this recipe yet but I've done some borderline crazy internet research and it sounds like this one may be the winner.

Full recipe:
2 cups minus 2 tbsp cake flour
1 2/3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tbsp white sugar
2 large eggs - room temp
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 pounds chocolate chips or chunks
Sea salt for sprinkling on top

Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt in bowl - whisk well
Using stand mixer with paddle, cream butter and sugars 3-5 minutes
Add eggs one at a time, scrape/mix after each, add vanilla, reduce speed to low
Add dry ingredients slowly
Add chocolate chips/chunks, mix momentarily
Wrap dough in plastic wrap, refrigerate at least 24 hours - ideally 48 (maximum 72)
Preheat oven to 350, allow dough to soften slightly, use parchment paper and scoop 1/3 cup size balls of dough onto sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, bake around 15-20 minutes
Cool on wire racks

Half recipe:
1 cup minus 1 tbsp cake flour
~ 1c (a little less) bread flour
2/3 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cups light brown sugar
.5 cup plus 1 tbsp white sugar
1 large egg - room temp
1 tsp vanilla
.75 pounds chocolate chips or chunks
Sea salt for sprinkling on top