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Bonbini!





Last Build Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 01:10:38 +0000

 



Here in Seattle

Tue, 18 Apr 2017 16:26:00 +0000


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I'm moving!!!

Sat, 11 Feb 2017 20:13:00 +0000

Thank you everyone for your support. I'm moving to Seattle next month. Stay tuned by follow my facebook page Bonbini.

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photo cc : my agent's photographer 





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Merry Christmas everyone!

Fri, 25 Dec 2015 09:00:00 +0000


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Custom Cake

Sun, 06 Dec 2015 23:29:00 +0000



I had so much fun making this Elmo birthday cake for a 2-year old baby girl. While the cake looks simple, lots of work that goes into this cake. Even simple cake can take up to 8 hours. Custom cake can go beyond 40+ hours. All my custom cakes start at $150. Some people may think they are too expensive. Let me say that a cake designer job is a cross between a baker, an architect and an artist. There is so much math involved that most people do not realize. We spend so many hours of planning, shopping, baking, construction and decorating put into it that we are lucky to be breaking even hopefully. 

Custom cakes are edible works of art that require skill and artistry, and can take days or weeks to complete. When you buy a custom cake, you're paying for the baking experience. Truly, it is not just a cake, it is a labor of love--at least in my case. I pour myself into every cake that passes through my door. I beat myself up over every imperfection that the customer never sees. 

If you are looking for a cheap cakes, I am not the one for you. But if you are looking for quality and focused attention, I am here to make your day special. I hope this has given you some insight into why custom cakes cost so much and understand what you are getting for your money--quality and experience.


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thu, 26 Nov 2015 09:00:00 +0000

I am Thankful.




I made this pumpkin-caramel tart from this recipe, but use almond instead of hazelnut.


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Alfajores

Fri, 13 Nov 2015 00:40:00 +0000

While they have origins in Spain, these cookies are popular in South America. Alfajores are simple shortbread sandwich cookies filled with sweet caramelized milk (aka dulce de leche). There are many versions of Alfajores, but this recipe is from Chef Marisa Guiulfo's cookbook, the beloved icon of Peruvian gastronomy. The recipe calls for cornstarch, resulting in a melt-in-your-mouth confection. One of my favorite cookies.The original recipe comes in grams, but I convert grams to cups in case you don't have a scale. I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter and add some vanilla extract to the recipe.Ingredients:makes 40 (1.5" diameter)125 g (9 tbsp.) salted butter, softened 90 g (2/3 cup) powdered sugar, sifted4 yolks1 lemon zest1 tsp. vanilla extract140 g (2 cups) cornstarch70 g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour1 tsp. baking powderPreparation:1. In a mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and powdered sugar together until light and fluffy. 2. Add yolks, zest and extract. Beat until smooth on a medium speed. Scrape down the sides once.3. Sift cornstarch, purpose and baking powder together. On low speed, gradually add dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. 4. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap, shape it into a smooth disk, and wrap it tightly. Refrigerate for an hour.5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. 6. Between 2 sheets of parchment paper, roll the dough out into 1/8" thickness, using 1.5" cookie cutter to stamp out circles. Rerolling the dough as necessary until all of it is gone.7. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Freeze for 10 minutes.8. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies should remain pale on top. 9. Cool completely before filling them with dulce de leche. 10. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.[...]



Hello Fall!

Fri, 06 Nov 2015 02:06:00 +0000

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Buttercream Flower Cake 

If you've been waiting for me to add more classes to my calendar, I'm pleased to announce that I have 2 new classes that I'll be teaching in December. Check it out!

Buttercream Flower Cake will be on December 19th at 1 pm. You'll learn how to make and decorate cake with buttercream. Piping the flowers and put them onto the cake. Sign up now : Buttercream Flower Cake

Holiday Cookie Decorating will be on December 20th at 1 pm. You'll learn how to pipe and decorate the cookie with colorful royal icing. Sign up now : Holiday Cookie Decorating

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Holiday Cookie Decorating 






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Happy Halloween!

Sat, 31 Oct 2015 08:00:00 +0000



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Lace Macarons!

Wed, 28 Oct 2015 16:56:00 +0000






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Mexico

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 23:07:00 +0000

Just 4 hour flight from home, I was in the country that's been getting a bad travel rap. Mexico City was always one of the cities I wanted to go. I was fascinated by the culture, architecture and food.The first thing I want to say is that Mexico is not as dangerous as you think. It's a beautiful, rich, magnetic, colorful and unique country. The people I met in Mexico were all friendly and generous. They love music. They love color. They love food and they love to watch sport. In my traveling experience, some places have luxury accommodations, some have good food, some have good weather, some have art or history.  To me, what makes Mexico unique is that it has all those elements combined in one place. This time I traveled with my husband. We spent most of our time in Mexico City and a couple days in Teotihuacán and Taxco.Hitting those Mexico City's hot spots by metro was a fun part for me. I got to see the city as a local. The metro system in Mexico City has to be the best way to travel within the city with very little money (5 pesos = 30 cents). Metro is no more dangerous than any big city subway. The metro trains are pretty much exactly what you'd expect to find in any American or European city, except they aren't air conditioned. My husband and I got on and off metro every day while we were there and we never felt unsafe. We spent our last day on Hop-on Hop-off Bus just to make sure that we covered all the hot spots in the city (which we did already on the first 2 days of our arrival). If you decide to go on the hop-on hop-off bus, don't buy ticket from a tour because it will cost you double. You can buy ticket on the bus. Just make sure you know where to get on the bus. They have 21 stops.Getting around in most parts of Mexico couldn’t be easier. They have a great bus system with many classes of service available to fit everyone needs. Again, we didn't go with the tour. By doing it on our own, we saved a ton of money, a little bit of time and regain complete control of our trip. Basically, we went to the north station for Teotihuacán and south station for Taxco. We bought all the tickets at the station, but you can also buy ticket online here Online Bus Ticket. Not all the destinations can be purchase ticket online, for Teotihuacán you have to buy ticket at the north station--look for Autobuses Teotihuacan which is one of the last desks at the end of the terminal. Just look for the blue pyramid on the sign.The bus we took to Taxco was really fancy. They provided snacks and a permanent drink station in the back of the bus with hot water for tea and coffee. There were only 3 seats across which almost lie flat, similar to business class airline seats. They also have restroom on the bus. I gotta tell you I was very impressed by this 3 hours one-way inexpensive service we paid for 240 pesos ($15).This trip, I decided to leave the real camera at home and put the iphone in my pocket. Everyone knows that iphone has a great camera. But how close am I to throwing away my dedicated photography setup? The truth is iphone is a ton of fun to use as a camera, and I've taken some of my favorite photos with it. It's more than adequate for regular snapshots when out and about during the day. But when I need more creative control, iphone can't beat the real thing. So guess what, I'll be carrying my heavy duty camera for my next trip!As I mentioned, all photos for this trip are taken by iphone. You can view more photos here : Mexico Trip[...]



Europe trip 2015 : part 3

Thu, 01 Oct 2015 01:12:00 +0000


It's been a month since my last post. I really need to finish this post now, otherwise it'll drag me longer and I won't be able to write about it because I have 2 more trips coming up!

There're always things to do, no mater how many times I visit Paris. This time I stayed in a different neighborhood so that I can experience a new angle of French local and see a whole new part of this beautiful city. Because I've hit all the highlights the first two times I was there, I focused more on what makes Paris one of the world's best cities. Of course, architecture, art, fashion and food. Paris offers the best of all.


I spent 3 days in Paris, then about a week in the South of France and then back to Dijon for a few days. Traveling to the South in August wasn't a good idea. It was a busiest month there, packed with both international and local tourists, who flock to the French coastlines during the summer months to soak up the sun. However, I managed to have some fun and eat well.

I kept telling myself that I need to learn French because I know that I'll go back there again. I found that French people are more friendly if you speak their language. They are more inviting and willing to continue the conversation. The whole trip I was rely on my sister to translate everything for me. It was frustrated that I can't communicate with people, but at the same time I was so proud of my sister. She's improved her French a lot in the past 5 years.

If you'd like to see more photos from this trip, you can click France2015.(image)



Europe trip 2015 : part 2

Tue, 25 Aug 2015 17:32:00 +0000


Getting back from Europe was enjoyable, especially when my plan works out the way I wanted it. As I mentioned that I was doing a solo trip in England for the first time, it turned out to be interesting. Without any distraction, I became a better version of myself. I made decision faster and learned to rely on myself more. It was a great experience.

I was in England for 3 days as part of a 3-week trip to Europe. I spent 2 days in London and a full day trip to Bath and Stonehenge. The first thing I did when I arrived in London was having an afternoon tea before I went on a bike tour. Although it was my first time in London, I found that going around the city was very easy. Once I figured out the tube map and bought an oyster card, I was pretty much can roam around the city.

Spending a day in Bath and Stonehenge was amazing. I got to see the ancient Roman bath and discovered the iconic prehistoric stone formation of Stonehenge. The unique thing about this trip was I can get up close and personal with the stones. That was really awesome.


As always, these are some tips I want to share when traveling to London.
- Pack light.
- Always keep a light jacket and an umbrella in your bag.
- Buy an oyster card and navigating the Tube.
- Most hotel provide free wifi.
-  Pret A Manger is your friend. This sandwich chain throughout London has free wifi, as well as yummy, cheap, on-the-go food and drink.
- Always carry 50 pence with you at all time for a public restroom.
- Be prepare for poor customer service because the customer is not always right.
- Look both ways when crossing the street. Traffic comes from the right.
- London is not cheap!


If you'd like to see more photos, click England2015.



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Europe trip 2015 : part 1

Wed, 05 Aug 2015 02:57:00 +0000

I didn't plan it, but it happens to be that I travel to Paris every 5 years. This is my third time and I felt like I knew Paris a little better. For this trip, I decided to check out London and some interesting sites nearby for a few days alone before I meet with my sister and check out all the new patisseries in Paris for a few days. Then I'll be heading south with my sister and brother-in-law for a few weeks.Just so you know I'm blogging about this trip in a hotel room at 3 AM in the morning because I couldn't go back to sleep on my first night. Knocked my knuckles on the bed and hope I don't get  a jet lag since I'll have a bike ride in London this afternoon. I want to blog about this so that I remember next time how easy to get from CDG airport to Paris. It only took me 25 minutes from the airport to Gare du Nord by RER B, and cost 10 euro one way trip. One thing though, you should have some euros ahead of time from your bank to pay for transportation and meals the first day without having to deal with getting money while slightly jet lag. Most ticket machines take coins or smart-chip credit cards. If your credit card is from the US, most likely it won't work. However, I was lucky it took my credit card. I won't use it again though--who knows I won't be able to get my card out of the ticket machine next time.My flight came in at Terminal 2A, so I walked all the way to the right after I got my luggage. It took me 15 minutes to walk to RER B station, then another 25 minutes to get to Paris. It wasn't bad at all when you compare with a shuttle that will cost you about 30 euros and 90 minutes to get to the city. If you only have one luggage, use the train. Talk about luggage, mine was about 21 kilos so the staff told me to get some thing out so that it could stay under 21 kilos. The limit is 20 kilos. Make sure you have an extra bag in case this happens. To learn more about how to get from the airport to Paris, these links will give you more information and details. CDG Terminal 1 to ParisCDG Terminal 2 to ParisIt's about 5 am now, and I only have 2-3 hours to sleep before getting ready for  a trip to London by Eurostar. This is my first time ever that I'm traveling alone by myself. The idea of traveling solo has always fascinated me. What does it feel like to travel alone?[...]



Happy 4th of July!

Sat, 04 Jul 2015 08:00:00 +0000




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Have A Cake!

Tue, 21 Apr 2015 23:09:00 +0000



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Happy Easter!

Sun, 05 Apr 2015 08:00:00 +0000



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Road Trip 2015

Sun, 01 Mar 2015 09:00:00 +0000

Yes, we did it again. Road trip has become a family vacation tradition. We covered 5 states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Louisiana) in 12 days this time.Roughly 5,000 miles round-trip from our home in San Francisco to Joshua Tree National Park, Chiricahua National Monument, a run to the Mexican border in El Paso, a small town Fort Davis, Big Bend National Park, still hugging Mexican border along the Rio Grande, up through Austin and New Orleans, then drove back home through Dallas and Flagstaff. Simply remarkable. I honestly can't say enough. I'll just let the Pictures tell the story (and yes, there are many).The highlight of this trip was Big Bend National Park. I really enjoyed 5 miles hiking at the Window Trail. It was a moderate hike down towards the fantastic view at the end (picture below). It was freezing cold when we were there, so we decided to sleep in the back of our van instead of sleep in a tent.Here are some tips for this trip.- It's a first come, first served campsite for Jumbo Rock Campground at Joshua Tree National Park. Plan ahead and avoid long weekend holidays because it is always full during holidays.- You can make a reservation online for Bonita Canyon Campground at Chiricahua National Monument here.- Check out Brak Thru, the place you can leave your dog for a couple days while you're exploring Big Bend National Park.- Stone Village Tourist Camp is a good motel to stay overnight if you happen to be at Fort Davis.- Make a reservation online for Chisos Basin Campground here.- It's a first come, first served campsite for Cottonwood Campground at Big Bend National Park.- In Austin, we left Moby (our Weimaraner) at Happy Mailman Dog Daycare for a few hours so that we can walk around town a bit.- Motel 6 is a great place to stay when you travel with a dog. Pet friendly and great staff. You won't get an extra charge for your dog.- Snooze in tepee motel. The office opens between 4:00-0:00 pm. You must call to make a reservation. Wigwam Village Motel 6Check out my Road Trip 2014.[...]



Be Mine!

Sat, 14 Feb 2015 09:00:00 +0000



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Naked Cake

Mon, 02 Feb 2015 03:01:00 +0000

with fresh fruit...



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Lake Tahoe

Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:35:00 +0000



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Naked Cake...

Sat, 24 Jan 2015 22:03:00 +0000

with fresh flower...


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Savory Breakfast Muffins...

Thu, 22 Jan 2015 21:35:00 +0000

with quail egg...I'm sure you've seen The Rebel Within muffin before, the most popular muffin at Craftsman & Wolves in San Francisco. I'm taking their idea to make these bacon cheddar muffins. I prefer hard boiled eggs, so I cooked the quail eggs for 2.5 minutes in boiling water. If you like soft boiled eggs, cook them for 1.5 minutes. Stop the cooking process by shocking them in an ice water immediately.If you use chicken eggs, find your perfect egg from this article How to boil an egg. You want to cook the eggs, peel them and keep them refrigerate before you start making a batter. When your batter is ready, spoon the batter into the mold, then put the cold boiled egg in the middle. This way you don't over cook the yolk in case you prefer a runny yolk. These muffins are everything you could possibly want for breakfast. They taste great and easy to make. Don't like bacon, use turkey or ham instead. Don't like chive, rosemary or parsley will work. Make too many, no worry. They keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, just warm them up in microwave for 30 seconds.. Ingredients:makes 12 muffins- 1 cup all-purpose flour- 3/4 cup yellow corn meal- 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder- 2 tbsp. sugar- 1 tsp. salt- 1/8 tsp. black pepper--------------------------------------------- 3 eggs, room temperature- 1 cup buttermilk, room temperature- 1/2 cup canola oil- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled- 3 tbsp. maple syrup- 2 tbsp. sour cream--------------------------------------------- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese- 1/2 cup cooked bacon, chopped- 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped--------------------------------------------- 12 cooked quail eggs, cold- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheesePreparation:1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.2. Sift all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, set aside.3. Whisk all wet ingredients together in a large bowl.4. Mix dry into wet, just until incorporated.5. Fold in cheeses, bacon and chives.6. Spoon the batter into prepared mold, put the egg in the middle. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.[...]



Happy New Year 2015!

Thu, 01 Jan 2015 08:01:00 +0000




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Galette des Rois

Fri, 26 Dec 2014 09:00:00 +0000


Galette des Rois, one of my favorite French pastries. It is made of two puff pastry sheets and filled with frangipane. 

Ingredients:

- 2 sheets puff pastry, 
- 1 cup almond flour or almond meal
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp. Disaronno Amaretto or Rum (optional)



Preparation:

1. Roll out puff pastry, cut into 9" round.
2. Combine the rest of ingredients in a food processor until it comes to a smooth paste. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Spread the filling onto the first sheet, then cover with the second sheet. Seal them together with water. 
4. Brush the top with egg wash (a mix of 1 yolk and 1 tsp. heavy cream or milk), careful not to go on the sides.
5. With the point of a knife, make any kind of design on top.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.



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Merry Christmas!

Thu, 25 Dec 2014 22:18:00 +0000


Ingredients:

Mud Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 cups unsalted butter
- 2 cups dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp. ground coffee
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Peppermint Milk Chocolate Ganache:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk chocolate
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract

Preparations:

Mud Cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour the pan.
2. Sift all dry ingredients. Set aside.
3. Combine butter, chocolate, coffee and water in the mixing bowl. Melt together over a bain-maire until butter and chocolate are melted.
4. Using a whisk attachment, transfer the mixing bowl to a standard mixer. Add buttermilk and sugar, mix on medium speed until sugar has dissolved.
5. Add all dry and mix until just combined.
6. Add eggs, one at a time. mix until just combined.
7. Add extract, continue mixing for 10 seconds.
8. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for an hour or until the tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.
9. Cool in pan for 30 minutes, then de-pan.
10. Let the cake cool completely before put the icing on.

Peppermint Milk Chocolate Ganache:
1. Bring cream to a boil.
2. Remove from heat, whisk in chocolate.
3. Whisk in extract.






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