Slightly Sophisticated PB & J Cake, #DessertChallenge

Sheryl, The Lady Behind the Curtain, peeked out to whisper the theme of June’s dessert challenge that was to be kept secret until today. I leaned in and heard strawberries and raspberries. Hmm, fruits that are rife on French influenced Japanese tarts. The berries are always artistically displayed and almost always on white flour and sugar laden pastries.

The strawberries and raspberries I employed for the task of the challenge were placed on a slightly healthier foundation. I love white refined sugar but to benefit the well-being of family and friends, I opted for...

Tokyo Pretzel Caramel Macchiato Cupcake, #Dessert Challenge

A cosmopolitan crisscross of tradition and modern twists on foreign imports; Tokyo is the ultimate destination for the creative and curious. Next to a traditional ramen noodle shop, a Starbucks coffee is served. But don’t ask for decaf. The driven and diligent population drinks only the caffeinated java. (Herbal teas, however, have become en vogue.) In Starbucks Tokyo, you will find Sakura White Chocolate Coffee. (The Japanese do know how to take a good thing and improve it.) But you can also order the same Caramel Macchiato you order at home.

To celebrate the caramel coffee drink, which is popular on both sides of the Pacific, I created the Tokyo Pretzel Caramel Macchiato Cupcake. Coincidentally (wink, wink) the creation coincides with the lovely Lady Behind the Curtain, Sheryl’s Dessert Challenge to food bloggers to invent a sweet with caramel and pretzels.