Cardamom fennel mini cupcakes, mango buttercream, candied fennel.
Recipe by Roopa at Raspberry Eggplant, Oct. 2007.
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.