Bradley ChenComment

Matcha Coconut Tiramisu | The Essentials: Good People

Bradley ChenComment
Matcha Coconut Tiramisu | The Essentials: Good People

Matcha Coconut Tiramisu | The Essentials: Good People

July 25, 2018


Good People

Every day I wake up and ask myself, who will I meet today and how will I affect them? I don't mean to brag when I say this, but I think I know quite a lot of people. When I think of the my essential network, I think of the people who I would consider to be "good" are those who would be willing to do me something (and vice versa.) While having an extensive network and knowing several people can be a benefit, there are also some drawbacks.

A few years back, my mom and I had a heart-to-heart and she mentioned that one of my elementary school teachers noticed that while I was friends with almost everyone in the class, I didn't seem to develop any close relationships with a particular classmate. While this may not seem like too big of a deal, I began to realize mid-way through high school that the same still held true. I was flitting between groups of friends like a ghost, trying to find some sense of place. 

The Essentials: Good People

I think it was after that realization that I really began to understand what it takes to invest in a true friendship. It wasn't simply about who I would sit with during lunch or who I would be able to hangout with just because they happened to be free. I gradually realized that true friendships are built the notion that there is a mutual sense of trust in one another; that you can count on them at any point in your life.

Today, while I still belong in many friend groups and get along with most of my classmates, there are a couple relationships that I truly treasure. Some of these people I met in the classroom, some of these people I met in the workplace, and some of these people have known me longer than I've known myself. I grew up thinking that my presence alone was enough to draw others to me (and vice versa), but maintaining friendships is much more than that.

I'll be sharing my thoughts on the key aspects of building and maintaining relationships on any level, whether personal or professional. Sure, the way you handle the situation may depend on the atmosphere or the people, but the fundamentals are the same. 

Building Blocks

Reach out. Honestly, just reach out. Whether you need help with an assignment, a shoulder to cry on, or even for career development opportunities. You might be surprised as to how much people care about your time and efforts. Unless you approach someone with hostile or negative intents, reaching out will do you no harm. It's all about moving forward, not looking back.

The Essentials: Good People

I've mentioned this before, but if you are prepared to reach out more, then also be prepared to accept rejection and embrace it. At the same time, never feel the need to attach yourself worth to a rejection. Society is complicated and it may not be because of you that things don't go as you wish. But just accept it and move on. 

Bridging the Gap

Once you've developed a foundation with someone, treasure it. Relationships should form naturally, never try to connect with someone for the sake of connecting with them. People aren't stupid and will catch on pretty quick. 

The Essentials: Good People

I've lost a lot of connections from when I was young just from staying disconnected. These are relationships that I'm trying to rebuild, but it's hard to do so when they might not even remember who you are. So stay relevant. If they aren't someone you contact on a daily basis, make sure to let them know you're thinking about them. Write them that Facebook birthday post. Give them an update on your status from time to time. People will appreciate it more than you might think. 

The Bake

This week's bake is special because I enlisted the help of one of the good persons in my life that I consider ESSENTIAL. I've always wanted to do a matcha tiramisu, but still wanted to put that Brad & Butter twist on the recipe, and thus decided to add the coconut cream and toasted coconut. I personally love the flavor of matcha, especially in desserts, for its subtle earthy flavors. For this dish, I got creative and built the tiramisu in a bowl made from coconut. Although you can't see the cross section, I think the idea paid off. 






Ingredients (makes 2 bowls) 

For the Ladyfingers *

  • 1 cup (minus 2 tbsp.) of all-purpose flour

  • 2 tbsp. of cornstarch

  • 3 eggs

  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar

For the Matcha Soak

  • 1 tbsp. of matcha powder

  • 3/4 cup of hot water

For the Mascarpone Cream

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of mascarpone cream
  • 2 tbsp. of rice wine
  • 1 cup of coconut cream, chilled

To garnish

  • Matcha Powder
  • Toasted Coconut


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs and sugar and whisk over the pot of water until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is at least tripled in volume.

  2. Sift in the flour and cornstarch. Fold carefully into the egg mixture until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.

  3. Pipe the batter at a 45 degree angle against the parchment lined baking sheet, lifting the bag straight up to finish each ladyfinger. Each ladyfinger should be approximately 5-6cm. 

  4. Sift powdered sugar onto the piped ladyfingers and bake in a preheated 175C/360F for approximately 10-12 minutes, o until lightly browned on the outside. 

Matcha Soak

  1. Combine the ingredients and whisk until smooth.

  2. Set aside to cool.

Mascarpone Cream

  1. Whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and rice wine over a bain-marie (as with the ladyfingers before) until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 160F.
  2. Whisk in the mascarpone cream into the egg mixture until smooth. 
  3. Whip the chilled coconut cream to stiff peaks and fold carefully into the egg mixture. 
  4. Chill in the fridge until ready to assemble.


  1. Dip the ladyfingers into the matcha soak for one or two seconds and layer on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top.

  2. Pour a quarter of the mascarpone cream into each dish and spread with a spatula until flat. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top.

  3. Repeat this process and level off the mascarpone cream against the rim of the dish with a spatula. 
  4. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hour.
  5. Sift matcha powder on top of the finished tiramisu before serving.

  6. Enjoy!

* Feel free to substitute these with store-bought ladyfingers