Brick Toast

Sometimes my recipes come from ideas that pop into my mind suddenly. Sometimes they are inspired by something I ate and want to re-create. Sometimes they arise out of frustration that a restaurant can’t seem to get right what should be very simple.

Can you guess what inspired the brick toast making?

Brick toast is a popular snack served at most Taiwanese Tapioca/Boba Tea Cafes. It’s pretty easy to make, but it’s actually quite hard to find a good version.

Recently, I had a very poor version at Tea Station and a version I thought was too buttery at Up 2 You Cafe, so I decided to make my own.

There’s quite a few variations you can make. Each one starts with a butter base. But you can make a sweet cream butter, a butter custard, condensed milk, honey butter, etc. You can also top with various sauces like chocolate or Nutella.

In August, a kickstarter campaign was started to raise enough funds to open a San Diego Public Market, a permanent market fixture along the lines of Pike Place Market in Seattle or the Ferry Building in San Francisco. The public support was overwhelming, and they more than surpassed the goal within just a few short weeks. (The goal had been to raise $92,244 and they raised $146,121.)

I’ve been reading various posts from food bloggers regarding the new public market but didn’t get a chance to visit until now.

I didn’t take a picture of the front of the warehouse because we went around back where there is a parking lot for the market, a definite plus. Inside, it’s quite spacious, with most of the fresh produce and protein vendors on one side and prepared food vendors on another side. There was cheerful music playing and a few food trucks too.

In terms of vendors, it was quite a bit smaller than some of the bigger farmers’ markets like Hillcrest or Little Italy.  I’m hoping it will continue to grow.

There were definitely a few stalls I had my eye on for next time, but we had just had a huge lunch so we weren’t in the mood for much shopping.

We did, however, want to stop off at Jenny Wenny Cakes. I’m a big fan of Jenny Wenny’s cakes and desserts. She’s a wonderful baker and I look forward to ordering cakes from her every year for birthdays and even had her do my wedding cake.

She recently started making macarons and offered to let me sample some since I eat so many French macarons.

While there, we of course couldn’t resist  browsing the rest of her goodies and purchased a few items. We also go to meet Jenny’s assistant, Kristen, who is so sweet!

Here’s what we ended up with:

Last month I took my favorite soft cookie recipe and added some chocolate and Nutella to it. They were soft, chocolatey, but the Nutella flavor got a little lost.

So I decided to try again and only put Nutella. Unfortunately, the Nutella flavor still ended up tasting really light. It’s frustrating baking with Nutella sometimes. The flavor often gets lost, especially in cookies.