La Pâtisserie des Dominique-Levin | Sin Ming

Yes, I got in on the baking trend.

It all began one mid-spring’s evening when a struggling writer in his mid-twenties decided to bake what’s left of his younger brother’s Betty Crocker cake mix. The scribe’s kin had previously used the concoction to bake a simple sponge all in the name of puppy love. Inspired by his brother, he too, decided to try his hand at baking.

The unemployed vagrant borrowed influences from his gastronomical journeys, Nigella, Rachel Khoo and the Great British Bake-Off (isn’t John Whaite the cutest thing ever?), and began fashioning something beyond a regular sponge. Using ingredients found in an everyday household, the confection began transforming into a peanut butter and banana cake with a nutella glazing, all using a mere toaster oven. With the cake tasting surprisingly better than his wildest imaginations, the budding amateur chef can officially add “baker” to his resume.

And so, this simple confection gave birth to La Patisserie des Dominique-Levin, or simply Dominique-Levin. The eponymous name was inspired by the food connoisseur’s trip to Paris, where he noted that the city’s top pastry boutiques were named simply after their founders, i.e. Laduree, Lanotre, Pierre Herme, Fauchon. The aspiring dough puncher hopes to create an experience unlike any other: a virtual boutique lined with a kaleidoscope of colorful macarons, luscious sinful sweet treats and the idea that you don’t need complex and expensive ingredients to create great desserts worthy of the gods.

Everybody’s into baking these days, and quite frankly, I’m okay with cake mixes, not because I use them but I truly think that these off-the-shelf products allows us to get the tedious part out-of-the-way, and focus on the creative aspect of it all. After all, how many of us have the time or the space for the oven to truly get into the spirit of baking from scratch?

In my case, the mix allowed me to save time, because I decided to layer the cake, which is very time-consuming (I wanted the cake to be very chocolatety) before finishing it with more nutella.

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