We first met chef Ivan Marquez more than five years ago at his pastry shop, Short Cake. Ivan’s resume includes stints as pastry chef inside the famed kitchens of the French Laundry, Bouchon, Spago, Providence and The London and Broken Spanish.

As a seasoned chef, Ivan knows exactly what we want to taste. The day we met, we tried his perfectly balanced (yet beyond rich) chocolate torte and masterfully constructed, flawless croissant, each bite unfolding slowly, revealing the time-honored traditions of French pastry. No one knows how to use butter and sugar quite like Ivan, so when we were given the opportunity to indulge in his masterpieces, we were so game.

Whether you’re a seasoned baker or trying your hand for the first time, Ivan’s Miso Plum Tart is an incredibly satisfying recipe to make at home. Just be sure you’ve got a good kitchen scale as all measurements are shown inn grams.

First, a short interview with one of California’s top pastry chefs…

what have you learned in all these world-class kitchens? 

IM: I’ve taken away so much from every place I’ve worked. The most impressive thing to me at The French Laundry was the farm across the street; I’ve never seen anything like it. At Spago, Sherry’s drive inspired me daily. At Providence, Adrian opened my eyes to a new way of cooking. Carl at Gordon Ramsay at The London pushed me everyday to create something new and urged me to think out of the box. Bouchon taught me about standards, precision and excelling as a chef.

What keeps you inspired?

IM: I would say it’s the challenge. I love the challenge. You constantly have to work with the changing of the seasons and what’s available that’s fresh and seasonal. I like to do things that push the envelope. I always want to exceed and make things better and inspire the people around me.

favorite pastry to make and why?  

IM: My favorite pastry to make is just a plain croissant. I love the whole process from start to finish, especially the laminating. It’s very therapeutic and keeps me focused on the task at hand. You have to be extremely meticulous with the temperature of your butter because croissant dough isn’t forgiving. I love seeing the layering of the butter and the dough, it’s so labor intensive but the end result is always so rewarding.

Craziest dessert you’ve ever made?

IM: I made this pre-dessert once at Bouchon in Beverly Hills. It was a take on a pad Thai. It was made with water noodles, toasted peanuts, cilantro purée, lime juice, salt, coconut sorbet on top of the noodles with a lime “air,” micro-cilantro, and peanut putter powder around the dish. It tasted just like pad Thai, but a sweeter version.

How did you get your start?

Ivan Marquez: When I was a senior in high school I attended a C-CAP culinary competition where I met Sherry Yard. We connected and she decided to take me under her wing to develop and learn professionally at Spago. This essentially launched my career as a baker and pastry chef. I worked at Spago for a year and a half and then moved to Yountville to join the Bouchon Bakery team as a Boulanger. From there I’ve worked at Providence, Gordon Ramsay at The London, Bouchon Beverly Hills, and then The French Laundry.

Short Cake’s Miso Frangipane Plum Tart


For the pate sucree:
810g butter
337g powder sugar (sifted)
2 vanilla bean pods, scraped
zest of 1 orange and lemon
270g eggs (room temp)
1350g all purpose flour

For the almond cream:
1000g butter
1000g sugar
1000g eggs (room temp)
1000g almond meal

For the pastry cream:
2000g milk
250g sugar
4 vanilla bean pods scraped
200g cornstarch
250g sugar
480g yolks
200g soft butter

For the miso frangipane:
50g miso
250g pastry cream
250g almond cream


For the pate sucree:

Cream the butter with the powder sugar, vanilla beans, lemon and orange zest. Add the eggs 2 at a time, scraping the bowl in between addition.

Add the flour and pulse the mixer until the flour is incorporated but not over mixed. Portion the dough to 600g packets. Chill over night. Temper the dough to room temp then roll between 2 pieces of parchment, chill and line the tart shell. Par bake the shell.

For the almond cream:

Cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs 2 at a time, scraping the bowl in between addition. Add the almond cream until incorporated.

For the pastry cream:

Bring the milk, sugar and vanilla beans to a scald.Whisk the cornstarch, sugar and yolks together. Temper the milk into the yolk mixture and pour back into the pot. Cook over a medium heat  while continuously whisking.

Cook the base until it thickens and reaches a pudding consistency. Transfer the base to a mixing bowl and whisk until slightly cool. Add the butter and continue to whisk until completely cooled.

For the miso frangipane:

Mix all the ingredients together. Pour into the par baked shell. Shingle thinly sliced plums on top, sprinkled a light layer of granulated sugar and baked at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

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