Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ice Cream and Biscotti

2010 was fantastic.

Most significantly, food blogging really became than just a hobby for me; it became an integral part of my life. I usually tell people that I started blogging because of my time in Paris during the summer of 2009 (which is true), but as I reflect upon my blog, I realized that I was never really serious about it until a few months after.

Near the beginning of 2010, I attended The Gold Standard. It felt like my official introduction to the food and wine culture in L.A. It was my first time attending a food event, and every little bite felt like an informal "hello!" from the restaurants Jonathan Gold called his favorites.

During spring break, I had my first meal at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Taiwan, after which I really became more aware of the beauty in the plating of food. It was the first time I'd witnessed such precision in what goes on a plate, and I was completely awestruck the entire meal.

Around the same time, by some cosmic chance, I was invited to a FoodDigger preview dinner at Ludobites 4.0. It was my first "real life" interaction with other food bloggers, and I was finally able to begin putting faces and blog names together.

After that, it snowballed, and I'm sincerely grateful to have found so many new foodie friends. It really is a joy to eat with people who enjoy food as much as I do. I began eating out much more often with food bloggers including a dessert tasting at the now-closed Sona with Tsz and a Hatchi dinner at Breadbar with Helen.

I then spent the summer in Spain where I consumed a ridiculous amount of tapas and sangria and had an unforgettable molecular gastronomy experience at Comerç 24. The summer continued to Bordeaux to attend a wedding at a wine château before my final stop in Paris. Perhaps the culmination of my gluttonous year was my stay in Paris with my mom. The Michelin star restaurants we ate at--including Le Jules Verne, Le Cinq, L'Arpège, and L'Astrance--remain unblogged because how to write about their magnificence still escapes me.

As a new school year started, I moved out of the dorms at UCLA and into a new apartment with the best roommates a girl could ask for. I finally had my own kitchen, and I can't even begin to explain the difference that made. I also started a food writing internship at Los Angeles Magazine with Lesley in the Dine department. It has been immensely rewarding in more ways than one, and I definitely hope to continue with it this year.

2010 also marks the year I finally mastered the macaron.

But enough about 2010. I want to talk about 2011 and my exciting new gig at Scoops Westside. This is perhaps the biggest step I've made so far towards my dream of opening up my own patisserie someday, and it's all thanks to "The Ice Cream Man."

Scoops Westside
3400 Overland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
tel: 323-405-7055

As many of you may know, Matt of Mattatouille recently opened up Scoops Westside, the second location of an ice cream shop with exciting flavors such as Pistachio Jasmine, Guiness Chocolate, and Maple Black Truffle. On top of that, he offers Intelligentsia drip coffee and loose leaf tea. It is the best coffee I've had to this day. Within the short time that Scoops Westside has been open, the place has not only become an after school introduction of exotic flavors to little kids who think they only like plain vanilla ice cream, but also a laid back hangout for the foodie community of L.A.

So when Matt asked me if I'd like to bake some of my biscotti for him to sell at Scoops, I thought I'd misheard him. I had brought him some as a treat, but never in my wildest dreams did I think he'd like them enough as to want to sell them in his shop. That night, I was so excited I couldn't sleep. The next day, I showed up with at Scoops with a fresh batch of Orange Almond Biscotti for sale. Please stop by and try some with your ice cream or coffee!

And here is the recipe for that biscotti. I think it's the best biscotti recipe I've ever used.

Orange Almond Biscotti
makes about 40

3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange liqueur (I used Cointreau)
1 tablespoon orange zest (make sure it's a really fragrant orange--it makes all the difference)
1 cup (8 oz) sliced almonds

1 large egg white


1. Preheat oven to 350°F

2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a bowl. In another bowl, mix sugar, melted butter, 3 eggs, vanilla extract, orange liqueur and zest together with a wire whisk.

3. Add the flour mixture into the wet mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just blended. Mix in sliced almonds.

4. Divide the dough into two, and using floured hands, shape each piece into 13 1/2 inch long by 2 1/2 inch wide logs. Transfer both logs to a silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.

5. Brush the tops and sides of the logs with egg white.

6. Bake the logs for 25-30 mins or until golden brown.

7. Let the logs cool completely, about 25 minutes. Once cool, cut the logs diagonally into 1/2 inch slices using a serrated knife.

8. Transfer the slices back onto the baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for another 6-8 minutes.

9. Transfer the slices onto a rack and let cool completely.

10. Enjoy with a cup of Intelligentsia coffee :)


So as 2011 begins, I am infinitely optimistic about my love affair with food. With a fresh header at the top of my blog, and a new DSLR at my side, 2011 is bound to be just as fantastic as 2010.


  1. That's awesome!!! Yay for an exciting start to 2011 :-)

  2. Canon 550D/Rebel T2i...I'm still trying to learn how to use it!

  3. Love the new header, and congrats on the Scoops partnership!

    Another reason to finally get my ass over if I needed one.

  4. your infinite optimism about 2011 and food is definitely contagious. also loving the new header!

  5. hey christina!! if you make your macarons to sell there as well, i will freakin' book butt over to scoops westside...even if scoops on heliotrope is just a hop and a skip away from me. congrats on your new gig!

  6. Thanks everyone :)

    @bagnatic you'll be the first to know if macarons end up at Scoops ;)

  7. very cool!! i can't wait to try Scoops and your biscotti when i get back to LA. i second the vote on macarons to sell at Scoops! :)