chocolate stout cupcakes

I gave the chocolate stout cake recipe from Bon Appetit another go. I made cupcakes instead of a layer cake, and instead of chocolate ganache frosting I made a cream cheese and kahlua frosting.

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Taiwan – Din Tai Fung

While we were in Taiwan, my family went to Din Tai Fung for xiao long bao (steam dumplings).

This friendly little dumpling head guy welcomes you to the restaurant.


You can see the dumplings being made at the front of the restaurant. It’s a seamless, high-throughput operation. Henry Ford would be proud.


Alongside the tray of soy sauce and vinegar are instructions on how to consume your dumplings (after preparing your dipping sauce in the correct ratio). Nice that they provide soup spoons at the table.


Spicy pickled cucumbers, artfully arranged.


Finally, the main event: xiao long bao. We ordered both the traditional pork dumplings as well as the pork and crabmeat dumplings. I like how they used a cloth to line the steamer basket, instead of cabbage leaves. Since the dumplings didn’t stick to the cloth they made it into our soup spoons intact, for maximum soupy goodness. YUM.