Marika Shimamoto Doob
12 Fourth St.
San Francicso
(415) 348-1555

Biography »

Antoinette Bruno: What is your philosophy on pastry?
Marika Shimamoto Doob: My philosophy on pastry is that a plated dessert should first and foremost taste great, the presentation should be clean and the highest quality ingredients should be used. I enjoy creating desserts that I myself would enjoy eating and although I do not consider any of my desserts “over the top,” I try to make them interesting, playful and memorable.

AB: What restaurants have you worked in as a pastry chef?
MSD: The first job I obtained as a pastry chef was at the Waterfront Restaurant under Bruce Hill. I created desserts for two restaurants, one a Mediterranean café and the other an upscale California-Asian restaurant. From there I became the Pastry Chef at Hawthorne Lane Restaurant where, for five years, I honed my skills and created California-style desserts. In November 2004, I was asked to lead the team at the Fifth Floor Restaurant.

AB: Where did you get your pastry training?
MSD: I graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco although I was never enrolled in the Baking and Pastry program. Most of the pastry experience that I have has been self-taught.

AB: What are your favorite pastry or kitchen tools?
MSD: My favorite pastry tool in the kitchen is the silicon mat. I can’t imagine attempting to make tuile, sugar work, and decorations without it. Flexible silicon molds are great as well.

AB: What are your favorite ingredients?
MSD: The outstanding local produce (farm-fresh Olallieberries, red-flesh nectarines, and seedless Concord grapes to name a few) available here in the Bay Area make it easy to create great desserts. Balsamic vinegar, black peppercorns, vanilla and violet are among my favorite pairing ingredients. Other products that I enjoy using are feuilletine, cocoa nibs, colored cocoa butter, and luster dust.

AB: What are your favorite desserts?
MSD: Anything fruit based. Fresh strawberries smashed with sugar and cream.

AB: Who are your mentors / pastry heros?
MSD: I am inspired by the elite group of pastry chefs that compete and demonstrate their phenomenal skills and expertise at the World Pastry Forum. I want my desserts to display the same precision, creativity, energy, and love that are found in every showpiece at the competition.

AB: What are your top three tips for pastry success?
MSD: 1) Be consistent. 2) Pay attention to detail. 3) Know what the customer wants.


Marika Shimamoto Doob
FIFTH FLOOR | San Francisco

A native of San Diego, California, Marika grew up visiting her grandparents’ farm in the Imperial Valley. “I learned quickly that even the sweetest cantaloupes, figs and oranges from the grocery store lacked the complexity and flavor of those picked fresh from my grandparents’ farm,” she says. While attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco she simultaneously worked for chef Bruce Hill at San Francisco’s Waterfront Restaurant, ultimately running the entire pastry department. Next she was hired as pastry chef of Hawthorne Lane, working with owner David Gingrass and executive chef Bridget Batson. An ingrained respect for farm-fresh fruits and vegetables is at the heart of her creations at Fifth Floor, which Marika describes as modern desserts using classic techniques. They are intricately comprised of multiple components both complimentary and contrasting in flavor, texture, temperature and color.

Chocolate Velvet Mousse Cake with Brown Sugar Bananas
Pastry Chef Marika Shimamoto Doob of Fifth Floor – San Francisco, CA
Adapted by

Yield: 8 Servings


    Chocolate Cake:
  • 2 ½ ounces all-purpose flour
  • 2 ounces cake flour
  • ¾ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ ounces unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 5 ounces sugar
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup water
    Chocolate Mousse:
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 5 ounces butter
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 2 ounces sugar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Brown Sugar Bananas:
  • 4 large ripe bananas
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons dark rum


For Chocolate Cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 11½-inch by 16 ½-inch half sheet pan with vegetable spray and line with parchment paper. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa powder, and set aside. In electric mixer bowl, combine eggs and sugar. Whip on high speed until thick, about 8 minutes. Turn machine off and add mayonnaise and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed until incorporated. On low speed, alternately add dry ingredients (in 3 batches) with water (in 2 batches), beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Finish mixing by hand, making sure there are no lumps. Pour onto prepared sheet pan and spread evenly. Bake for 8 minutes, rotate and bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack until room temperature. Cut out 2-inch rounds or desired shape. Cover and keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

For Chocolate Mousse:
Whip cream to medium peaks and keep refrigerated. Melt chocolate and butter over a baine marie and keep warm. In an electric mixer bowl, whip yolks until thick. Meanwhile, add sugar to a small pot. Drizzle water over sugar to moisten. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and slowly drizzle syrup into egg yolks while mixing on medium speed. Remove bowl from mixer. Wash the whisk and set aside. Place bowl over a baine marie at a bare simmer. Whisk constantly until mixture is hot. Return bowl to electric mixer and mix on high speed for several minutes with clean whisk. Reduce speed to low and slowly drizzle in warm chocolate-butter mixture. Add salt and vanilla extract, and mix until incorporated, scraping down sides as necessary. Add ¼ cup of whipped cream to chocolate mixture and mix until smooth. Scrape. Repeat 2 more times. Once mixture is smooth, fold in remaining cream. Refrigerate until firm enough to pipe.

For Brown Sugar Bananas:
Cut bananas into ¼-inch slices. Place butter in shallow sauté pan and cook until golden brown. Add bananas and stir gently. Add brown sugar and rum to bananas and cook, stirring constantly until bananas are tender.

To Assemble and Serve:
Place cake round in center of plate and pipe mousse on top. Place another piece of cake on top of mousse. Pipe another layer of mousse and top with final piece of cake. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate sauce. Serve with bananas.

   Published: October 2005