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Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Orchid and Pearl

Orchid and Pearl

Cake is not just dessert. Cake is a nostalgic treat of joy. Cake celebrates childhood, family, and fertility. An anniversary, a birth, a marriage (and sometimes divorce), they’re all special occasions that we celebrate with cake. My early attempts at baking cake were abysmal and Duncan Hines strawberry frosting rescued an under-baked cake, sagging under the weight of its rawness, on more occasions than I’m willing to admit. Still, I loved baking cakes because I created a joyful experience, limited only by my imagination, and it’s still the reason why I bake today.

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Unbalanced and under~seasoned desserts:  A sweet dessert is not always a good dessert. Sweet is a taste, not a flavor, that sometimes needs to be balanced with salt or acid if one is expected to keep eating… and enjoying.

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Raindrop Cake

Raindrop Cake (Tim Ireland)

I don’t see the appeal of the “Raindrop Cake”.  Pretty presentation aside, the dessert tastes like barely sweetened spring water. It is pleasantly refreshing, but I take umbrage with calling it a ‘cake’. (And that $8 price tag.) When I reminisce about the best cake I ever ate, a tepid watery blob that jiggles like a breast implant does not come to mind. How did such a misnomer come to be?

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…. No, I Don’t Make Crappy Desserts (or vegan desserts, for that matter)

“You’re lactose intolerant?!  How are your desserts any good if you can’t eat them?”

My job interview ended abruptly, yet again. Discouraged and disheartened, I’ve kept my condition under wraps for years. But worn down by a parade of cheesy, creamy family meals that resigned me to eating crackers for dinner, and the paradox of my dietary regimen and chosen métier was questioned again: “Exactly, how are you a pastry chef and you can’t eat dairy?” Let me explain.

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Pastry Trends 2016

Food trends are a funny phenomenon. While some trends seem spectacularly silly in retrospect (hello, bone broth and paleo diets!), other trends, like organic food, morph into staples of our culinary conversation and help us connect to the food world at large. Food trends can fundamentally change the way we eat. I couldn’t buy coconut and corn flour at the supermarket if gluten-free foods hadn’t been one of the top food trends of recent years. Unfortunately, food trends are not tied to taste.  I’ve suffered through the proliferation of overpriced, dry cupcakes and Cronut wannabes simply because they were well, trendy.

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theres-always-room-for-pie---INFOGRAPHIC

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