Ivonne, the brilliant Cream Puff in Venice, ponders if, like Gesine, she could go off and do what she really really wants to do? If the answer looks anything like the Espresso Cheesecake and Apple Pie she made, I'd say the answer is a resounding "Yes!"
Charli, at The Berry Bushel, one of the Daring Kitchen bakers, kindly participated in our event on their behalf. She offers a lovely review and makes a batch of my favorites -- the Starry Nights cookie. She didn't just stop there: she also made the bundt version of Golden Eggs and Scones.
And to finish us off, a quick conversation with the Closet Master Baker herself about random things:
My favorite sequence in the book covers you getting tons of orders for your macaroons after the article appears in InStyle. How many orders did you get before you realized you had to shut down the online ordering?
I have an uncanny ability to block trauma from memory. I do remember
the boxes in our office, our neighbor Joanne sat in there taping together
shipping boxes for days. Buried herself in our office with cardboard.
And Ray, he'd stay until midnight just printing out the orders.
Thousands and thousands. I don't even remember the number because
they just kept coming in. I'm not sure that I shut down the site but I
did send a letter to everyone explaining why, exactly, it might take a
while to get out all the orders. For some reason, it never occurred to
me that the news of the store opening would generate online business,
just store business. I'm a moron of the first order.
You talk about the strict food lifestyle your mom dictated at home. Did you ever openly rebel? Like in high school when we could go off campus for lunch, did you do benders at McDonalds?
Openly? Never. But if you looked under my bed, there'd be empty cartons of ice cream and Skor wrappers. And in high school, Tippy's Taco House rocked my world. I found out years later that everyone went to Tippy's fortified with the wacky weed, except for me. The nachos were my contraband of choice.
What is your favorite secret food indulgence, the totally embarrassing thing you eat that you don’t like to admit you eat? (Kinda like having the Bee Gees on your iPod and hoping no one sees them on there)
Big Macs, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, Wendy's Frosty goodness, Oreos. I'm never really embarrassed about my food choices, though. I'm usually too busy scarfing to care.
Have you ever shared your secret macaroon recipe with anyone?
No. It's not even written down.
Favorite cookbook? What’s on your nightstand to read right now?
Bo Friberg's Professional Pastry Chef series. Oh, and there's this
ancient series of hard core French patisserie textbooks that, once you
decipher, they are golden. On the nightstand is a book on tiling. I'm
convinced I can tile my bathroom based on having watched a series of
bathroom renovation episodes on DIY and my ability to read directions
from beginning to end before diving in, something I learned the hard
way as a baker.
Which three chefs (living or deceased) would you love to have lunch with?
Keller, Keller & The Prince.
At any point in your Hollywood life did you become known more for your baking than your producing?
To my friends, yes. And on my last film, yes. My friend, Marc Lawrence, had an apron made that said "Master Baker: Eat It and Beat it."
If you were to hop a plane to Paris, where’s the first place you’re going? What’s the first meal you’d have?
Café Marly or Deux Magots. Sitting on the porch at Café Marly with a glass of wine and anything from prix fixe makes me happy. In the morning. soft boiled egg with the toasted baguette dip stick and a coffee at Deux Magots.
When you bake, what do you listen to (music, news)?
Music. Lots of it. Wall to wall. Usually alternative. Sometimes punk but that's caused problems in the past with some excessive jumping around. Fugazi's "waiting room" came on one day and I snapped.If you could apprentice with anyone today, who would you choose?
Wendy Kromer. Hands down.