So there's a bit of baked-good-backlog.

Cardamom fennel mini cupcakes, mango buttercream, candied fennel.

I brought these to a garden party hosted by the owners of Dozen Bakeshop, for whom I currently work (selling, not baking). To the anonymous dining room voice who complimented their "fake vanilla flavor" while I was refilling in the next room: 1, you might attend to your corrupted palate, as there was a whopping quarter-teaspoon of vanilla in a batter that produced 46 cakes; 2, I use the good shit, not the watery imitation. So cool it.

 Incredible meyer lemon sticky rolls, prior to frosting with cream cheese glaze. Adapted from blog-favorite the kitchn.

 Sour cream chocolate cake, cream cheese buttercream (Italian), coconut. Adapted from various recipes within Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cake.

 Triple chocolate tart.
 Adapted from Gourmet, Sept. 2008.

This was bananas. The crust base is Newman's chocolate letter cookies, then a truffle-like bittersweet filling and a thin, shiny glaze. I added just a pinch of cayenne to the filling, subbed Frangelico for water in the glaze, topped with some Aguni salt I bought way back when at the South Bend farmers market, and paired with fresh almond-scented whipped cream and raspberries.

Baking in the summer months in an un-air-conditioned kitchen with sealed windows: never easy. Sometimes people misinterpret my working in a bakery as access to better facilities, but this modest laboratory is actually where the magic happens -- meet our kitchen:

Counter. Note the indispensable lamp. Canisters and framed chart of world revolutions thrifted in Fairfax and Wintergreen, Virginia, respectively.

Brave little stove. Cast iron skillet, Le Creuset dutch oven. Above fridge: food processor, many cupcake molds, and my beloved cake spaceship -- you think it's crazy to spend $30 on cake transportation, until you're trying to stabilize two dozen birthday cupcakes on the bus.

And finally, my baby, the red stand mixer. A most cherished gift. 
And I'm just realizing you can see me in it, weird.

So concludes the tour. It's not much, but it works.


S.S. said...

Lovely. I especially adore the cardamom fennel mini cupcakes (mango buttercream?!) with the candied fennel. Perfect... What an interesting combination. And I'm intrigued by your red stand mixer, I've never seen such a thing -- never really explored the world of baking pastries, cupcakes, and other delectable sweets... Thanks for sharing (^^)

bitchesgetstitches said...

the chocolate tart = orgasmic. not exaggerating.

V. said...

Sarah, thank you! I used to be intimidated by the stand mixer but am now completely dependent.

ST: I know. Can't wait to make another.

Christian said...

Beautiful stuff! Candied fennel sounds genius. I like that you're experimenting with all sorts of baking - yeast, chocolate, cupcakes, etc. Each has their own specific complexities to learn. Good work!

V. said...

Christian, thank you so much! Please holler if ever you're in Pittsburgh, I would love to talk shop/swap cake.

bitchesgetstitches said...

when are you making another chocolate tart.
just asking.
no pressure.