Exploring the world through pastry (and other foods too)

Essays and recipes on what desserts teach us and how to live a sweeter life.

Shikha la Mode
Shikha Kaiwar
Members Public

Recipe: Nutella-Swirled Banana Bread

One of my golden rules of being a pastry cook is to never, ever be too good to make banana bread. No matter what level of baking you're at, you can always learn something from banana bread. It's a pastry that's stupefyingly easy, frustratingly difficult, and endlessly versatile. If you

Shikha Kaiwar
Members Public

Travel Guide: Andalucía, Spain

I was physically incapable of rushing in Spain. Maybe it was because we visited for two weeks, as the generous holiday policies of Europe allowed us to do. But mostly, it seemed due to the very nature of Andalucía, a region that after eight hundred (!) years of Moorish rule, seems

Shikha Kaiwar
Members Public

Fine dining isn’t at a crossroads because of Noma. We are.

Since the announcement of Noma closing, several articles have been written touting its accolades, innovation, and alleged toxic workplace. These discussions spawn nostalgia and clickbait headlines, but they aren’t focused on what I believe is the most important fact—Noma closing isn’t changing the food world that much.

Shikha Kaiwar
Members Public

Recipe: Nutella-rum galette des rois (or de reines)

I'd never made a galette de rois before because well, I'm not French nor religious. In California, these galettes were uncommon, and as of the last two years, 6th Jan has bleakly become the anniversary of the attempted coup of the American government. In Europe however, the 6th Jan retains

Shikha Kaiwar
Members Public

2023 ins and outs, and some newsletter updates

"Ins" and "outs" felt less serious that resolutions and more realistic. Or maybe I just want to be Gen Z—playful with language instead of succumbing to the millennial urge to take everything very seriously.

Shikha Kaiwar
Members Public

A recipe for puff pastry, and your life

Good pastry derives from a good recipe. Great pastry relies on a good recipe plus a cook's intuition on how to use that recipe. How do you know when the dough is mixed enough, wet enough, dry enough, supple enough? How do you really know when it's really ready?

Shikha Kaiwar
Members Public

Pumpkin Everything, Everywhere, All At Once

As a Californian, fall in London is strange. I come from a land without seasons and therefore without a sense of time. For my whole life, I relied on something else to signal that fall had begun, which doesn't exist in London—rows and rows of canned pumpkin.

Shikha Kaiwar
Members Public

Diwali, chai ganache, and questioning tradition

Every since I started hosting Diwali dinner parties, I wonder what all millennial children-of-immigrants wonder: Am I doing it right?

Shikha Kaiwar
Members Public

Does wedding food matter?

What happens if wedding food isn't an experience? What if the food is just that—food? Sustaining, necessary, straightforward food. What sort of memory do guests now have about a wedding...about our wedding?

Shikha Kaiwar
Members Public

Paris, again (and again, and again, and again)

Loving Paris isn’t special. Almost everybody loves this city because Jesus, look at it. It’s dreamy and goddamn delicious.

Shikha Kaiwar
Members Public

Finding flavour when you just can't get a break

I've been talking to many of my friends who create art—poetry, food, music, essays. They're all saying the same thing—that it's been really tough. Right when we feel a spark of creativity, the world pulls a bait-and-switch. A changing social media algorithm. A job loss or fear of

Shikha Kaiwar
Members Public

Y'all told me to watch "The Bear" so I did. Let’s talk about it.

Anyone who has worked in kitchens knows that this is not a pretty world, and this show brings that messy reality to the masses in an honest way. But a few things are missing that keep me from loving it.