Winter: Makes & Bakes

Winter was a productive season full of new projects including beautiful and delicious plated desserts, gingerbread houses, pastillage pieces, and a culinary competition with the largest wedding cake I’ve made to date (blog coming soon).  All of which wouldn’t have been possible without the guidance, support, passion, and wisdom of my chef instructor Chef Brown.

This blog post is as much a tribute to my current works as it is to the great teaching ability of my mentor and role model Chef David Brown.


This past winter I made a number of plated desserts in my Patisserie class.  We made perfectly rolled green tea roulade cakes with yuzu whipped cream, baked chocolate mousse cakes that melted in your mouth, and fried lychee stuffed with marscapone cheese served with fresh lilikoi ice-cream (just to name a few) .  We made gelees, tempered chocolate by hand, and piped filigree designs.  I learned that cinnamon curbs tartness and that rose water is delicious when used in just the right amount.

By combining all of my favorite flavors I even created my own plated desert from start to finish.  My plate featured Indian inspired flavors and consisted of 11 elements including a lilikoi curd, crispy coconut japonaise, raspberry-rosewater meringue, coconut-cardamom ice cream, bruleed bananas, and roasted mango.

toni woo + foodtoni woo + food


For an unusually lavish rehearsal dinner, our class was turned into a wedding cake factory.  We made 15 decadent three tired buttercream wedding cakes.  The tiers consisted of a 4″, 6″, and 8″ cake.  This was the first time I even seen a 4″ cake in person and it was darn cute!  This rehearsal dinner was so lavish, that the top two tiers of the cake were just for show with only the largest bottom tier for eating.  Therefore the two top tiers were sadly tossed out.

buttercream wedding cake | toni woo + food buttercream wedding cake | toni woo + food


Truth be told, I’ve never made a proper gingerbread house beyond some graham crackers and an individual sized milk carton.  I had no idea how much fun it is!  The most work was in making the cardboard structure made with precisely planned angles and vents for steaming.  Thanks to an extremely sturdy 24-hour gingerbread recipe, a giant 80 quart mixer, and a roller machine I was able to design and build my first house in a matter of a few days.

Behold my first true gingerbread house!

gingerbread house | toni woo + foodgingerbread house | toni woo + foodgingerbread house | toni woo + foodgingerbread house | toni woo + food


2 thoughts on “Winter: Makes & Bakes

    1. Aww thanks Pixie! It’s amazing what a chef uniform can do for you, lol! I wish had more free time so I could try some of your recipes, they all look so good!

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