Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The mixing bowl: Keavy MacPherson Landreth

Keavy MacPherson Landreth makes mini cupcakes, but she's going big. Way big. All you have to do is taste one of her Strawberries & Crème or Black & White cupcakes, any flavor for that matter, to know I speak the truth.

Growing up, my favorite sweet was:
This flourless chocolate cake drizzled with raspberry sauce from Cucina Cucina in Seattle. My parents would take me every couple weeks (I loved it because I could draw on the tables), and my favorite part was always dessert. I would order it every time, and (at less than 60 pounds), devour the whole thing without even blinking.

My favorite sweet now is:

This Caramel Nut Tart I make from time to time that is absolutely killer. Think walnuts, almond cream and caramel baked together in a flaky pie crust. Mmmm. It's amazing.

My personal Kumquat favorite:

Chocolate Pistachio, definitely.

What I love about Brooklyn Flea is:

The people I've met there.

Truffles or pralines:
As much of a chocolate freak as I am, truffles have always been something I could take or leave, so I'm going to have to go with Pralines. Chocolate, nuts, and caramel...psshh, no competition.

White, milk or dark:

Oh how I love them all, but the king of chocolate has to be dark.

Caramel, ganache or cream:
Can I put them all together to create a caramel ganache and call it a day?

The perfect pairing:
A crostini topped with olive oil, goat cheese and caramelized rhubarb, accompanied by a glass of crisp white wine is my idea of a lovely summer evening.

Kitchen essentials:
A large coffee maker and KitchenAid. After that, I'm down for improvisation.

Style essentials:
On me? Racer back tank tops in the summer, and a good fitting, slightly worn hoodie in the winter. On cupcakes? Simple, yet elegant frosting design, good use of its natural colors.

Pastry chefs I admire:

All the ones here in Brooklyn who have gone through, or are going through, a similar process as me to start their own business. Whimsy & Spice, One Girl Cookies, Mast Brothers Chocolate, Amai Tea & Bake House, etc.

I'm most inspired when:

I'm hanging out with the people mentioned in the above question.

How much is too much?

When you over-spice a recipe. A hint of cinnamon or nutmeg can make a recipe a winner. But if it's all you can taste, you've ruined the dessert. Piling candy on top of a dessert ruins it for me as well. Get those gummy bears, M&M's and sprinkles away from my ice cream — they just don't belong.

Favorite movie snack:

Homemade popcorn, made with just olive oil and salt.... I could eat it for dinner.

Guilty pleasure:

Diet Coke. Once a week I head over to the tiny pizza place around the corner from me and get the biggest fountain diet coke they have. I know it's full of chemicals, but something about it is so comforting I can't seem to give it up.

Other favorites:

Music to bake to: Ratatat & Girl Talk, Diner in Brooklyn, painting & dancing for the mirror, Harry Potter, Food & Wine Magazine, Arrested Development.

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