Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The mixing bowl: Amy Scherber

Not only do I feel an affinity for Amy Scherber because of our shared name—which is also the name of her bakery, which is the first reason I went years ago, but now I just go for the great, big baked goods—but also because she builds her travel itineraries around finding the best sweets in town.

Growing up, my favorite sweet was:
Lemon meringue pie

My favorite sweet now is:
A fabulous lemon curd tart, or devil’s food cake with chocolate frosting and vanilla ice cream, or a hot fudge sundae.

My personal Amy's Bread favorite:
Definitely Devil’s Food with Chocolate Silk Frosting

What I love about Hell's Kitchen is:
It is our “original” location and it has a fabulous old New York wood bay window. It feels like a place from another era. The neighborhood is very modern now, and busy, so it is fun to have that “old place” in the area that everyone knows about.

Truffles or pralines:
Truffles are my favorite.

White, milk or dark:
Dark chocolate, for sure!

Caramel, ganache or cream:
Salty caramel, or ganache are both wonderful.

The perfect pairing:
A tender, not too sweet shortcake biscuit with fresh, local strawberries and unsweetened whipped cream; gingerbread cake with lemon sauce and unsweetened whipped cream; sweet and tart, or rich plus salty.

I'd love to create a flavor for:
A new muffin for President Obama.

Kitchen essentials:
I just love tongs and use them for everything—and my digital gram scale. I also can’t live without my super sharp, Japanese serrated bread knife.

Style essentials:
If I am wearing a beautiful pair of boots, a decent pair of jeans, a stylish, fitted top, and interesting artist-made jewelry, I am happy.

Pastry chefs I admire:
I admire almost all the pastry chefs I meet because training and managing a staff of people on a sugar high is a huge challenge and takes great talent, not to mention being good at making pastry.

I'm most inspired when:
I try delicious food while I am on vacation. I can taste it better then.

How much is too much?
It’s more fun to try lots of small tastes than a huge meal. A giant steak with gigantic side dishes is too much.

Favorite movie snack:
Popcorn shared with my 4-year-old son. He holds the container.

Guilty pleasure:
A chocolate hazelnut biscotti with a well made single espresso at 4 p.m.

Other favorites:
Traveling abroad; visiting bakeries around the world; visiting playgrounds in foreign cities and observing “kid culture” with my 4-year-old son; running in Central Park in the spring; dining in Japan.

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