Saturday, September 29, 2012

Here's to screen sirens from yesteryear
 [that my staff is too young to know of]. 

Pistachio Chai Muffins

Chai chai chai!

For the muffins:

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed medium brown sugar
1/2 cup caster (white) sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tea bags blended chai tea, opened
1 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, divided
1 large egg
cooking spray (or oil)
1/3 cup shelled dry-roasted pistachios, chopped
For the drizzle:

1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375°.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Next, prepare the chai. Use scissors to open the tea bags and add it to the flour mix. If the tea is coarse rather than fine, pulse in a food processor prior to adding it to the flour mix.

In a separate bowl, combine the egg, buttermilk, butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the egg mixture. Stir until just combined.

Spoon the batter into greased or lined muffin cups. Sprinkle the chopped pistachios over top. 

Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the muffins cool, make the icing. Blend together the powdered sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon water. Drizzle over top of the muffins.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I'm intrigued and excited to check out Hu Kitchen opening five blocks south of the bakery tomorrow, on 5th Avenue      in the former East-West Books space [for anyone who has been in the neighborhood from the last 5 to 50 years].  

Hu isn't just opening a food business, they arrive with a feisty manifesto [hence, my intrigue]. Some highlights.....

Raquel Welch in One Million Years B.C.
...  looks like she's looking for a place for lunch. 
The food revolution is taking too long. The jury is in on the shortcomings of the Western diet and the benefits of pre-industrial food; reams have been written about the pressing need to change the way we eat....The moment is ripe. People are hungry to get started, yet no one is doing much about it.....

At Hu, every mouthful has been vetted to meet the highest standards, crafted and honed from the synthesis of everything we’ve learned about ancestral diets and nutritional science....

And that’s where we stand. We make food for humans and, frankly, we think it’s about time someone did....We’re not here to make a quick buck in the same tired food space.... We’re here to start a revolution.  [full manifesto on Facebook].

Ah, the vetted mouthful 
[normally reserved for dictators].

"Pre-industrial food."

"Ancestral diets."

Call me curious. 

It's one thing to open a new food business in New York. It's another to say before the fact you intend to "start a revolution."  They're in a great location, with the bonus of the new New School headquarters being built across the street at 5th & 14th. 

A sincere best wishes to Hu Kitchen. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Molten chocolate lava cakes

I really am not sure what to call these guys. It's basically just chocolate on chocolate on chocolate. Honestly I can't think of anything to say because I just want to post these photos more than anything. A picture is worth a thousand words, right? 

For the lava pudding cakes:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups boiling water

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and 2 tablespoons of the cocoa into a medium sized bowl.

Add the milk, melted butter and vanilla and mix until just combined. The batter will be very thick, but don't worry, this is how is should be! Spread the batter evenly in the bottom of 6 8 ounce ramekins.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and remaining 4 tablespoons of cocoa. Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the batter in the baking dish (you'll sprinkle about 3 tablespoons into each ramekin)

Then pour the boiling water over the top of the contents of the ramekins (1/4 cup each). Do not mix.
Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve warm! 

Recipe adapted from movita beaucoup

Friday, September 21, 2012


We are rounding the final turn towards the moment when we turn the mezzanine lights in the bakery back on for the season. They've been dim since June, when summer's heat arrived early and strong, and we wanted to push back at it. We've been doing this for a few years now - dimming the bakery lights on high heat days - it doesn't just lower the temperature, it creates a unique mood on our mezzanine. We set candles out on the tables, and even as a few hundred New Yorkers come and go thru the day, the room transforms into a unique, cool down environment for all.

Back on 17th Street where City Bakery began, we were a go to spot for young moms in Union Square. As a by-product and function of that group, we happened to be the breast-feeding capital of Manhattan among food businesses [file that claim under: "Unverifiable but Unique New York City Food Industry Trivia."]

These days, we still have the mom contingent [stroller parking under the stairs, please], but our seats  are primarily filled with people who work in the neighborhood. As a by-product and function of that group, I am certain we've become the job interview capital of lower Manhattan, which makes a summer of candlelight in the bakery so interesting to me.

Here's a fun fact: over the last few months, several hundred people have been interviewed for professional employment by candlelight on the mezzanine at City Bakery. Here's a fun guess: in the last few months, City Bakery has become the world leader as a venue hosting candlelight job interviews [business meetings, too]. I've watched 99% of these myself, and wondered every time I see a job interview: does either the interviewer or the interviewee make any mention of the fact that they're sitting in the dark? When spouses or friends or parents of interviewees ask "How'd your interview go today?", I wonder how many say "It went well, but there was one strange thing: it was in the dark."

This feels altogether New York to me. I've watched hundreds of meetings these past months. I've had an ear in on enough of them to know that the candlelight is almost never mentioned. If this is not a [subtle] measure of the New York gene  - go with the flow and adapt - I don't know what is.

We're turning the lights back on for October, and they'll stay on through the winter [the better to provide extra warmth in the bakery], but I'm already looking forward to candlelight again next summer.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Grilled Fresh Ricotta with Honeycomb and Ancho Chilies. 

Pumpkin bread with almond streusel

BROMA IS BACK. It was a long and bake-less summer in Manhattan, where I worked at a restaurant with some of the best people I've ever had the opportunity to work with (if you're in the NYC area, you must eat here). It was awesome and I so wish I could've stayed there, but my scholarly life must go on. So back to Ann Arbor for my senior year I go. I'm living once again with 6 boys on the rowing team in a new house with an old kitchen. Nonetheless I'm ready to bust shit out. And my housemates here are ridiculously good at cooking/baking, and they have a KitchenAid. 

So without further adieu, I will jump right into some fall recipes, starting with this incredible pumpkin bread. Even though I'm a chocolate girl through and through, I could definitely eat this bread every day of my life and die happy. Hope you enjoy Part II of Broma Bakery, more to come soon!

For the bread:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1/4 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the streusel:

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1 cup chopped, lightly toasted almonds

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour a medium-sized loaf pan.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add in the pieces of butter, and using a pastry cutter, or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour mixture until coarse crumbs have formed. Mix in the toasted almonds.

Then, in a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking soda, powder, salt, sugar, and spices. In a seperate bowl, cream the butter using an electric mixer on medium speed. Then add the eggs, yogurt, and vanilla. Fold in the pumpkin puree. Gradually fold in the flour mixture in three additions, stirring between each. Pour half of the batter into the loaf pan, then top with about 1/3 of the streusel. Pour in the rest of the batter, then top with the remaining 2/3 of the streusel.

Bake for 55 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and serve!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Shell halts Arctic drilling until 2013 after safety failure

Headline this morning [from The Telegraph], a perfect turn in this now several-years-running saga of the oil company hellbent to drill in the Arctic where drilling has never been done. In this latest turn, almost comedic if not so dubious a foreshadowing, after finally getting long sought permits to begin  - based on a convincing plan for safety in the event of disaster - they have difficulties moving the safety equipment into place. 

Good luck with your revised safety plan, Shell.  


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Aiming bourbon at the day just done: a perfect September Saturday
in which we managed to run a most imperfect bakery. Sloppy,
outmanned. Embarrassing. The wrong way to start a new season. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012