Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Officially starstruck by Huckleberry

Living in LA, you run into celebrities here and there even if you don't work within "the biz."   While sometimes one can't help but do a "subtle" double take if one spots George Clooney, for example, I generally feel it's best to let celebrities go about their business undisturbed.   After all, they have enough to worry about with trying to avoid the paparazzi!  

While I generally consider myself unfazed by the glamor and glitz of Hollywood, there was one celebrity I ran into the other day at the market that left me starstruck.  

It wasn't an Oscar winner or a Golden Globe nominee, in fact, I'm pretty sure she's not in the Screen Actor's Guild at all.  It was the baker from Huckleberry.  I mean, I appreciate a good film, but give me a great baker over a great actor any day.  Have you tasted their salted caramel bar?!  There is no comparison.  As I passed her in the store, I thought about telling her how much I admire her work.  But then I thought:  Would randomly approaching her make me baking paparazzi?  Or just a good-intentioned pastry blogging enthusiast?  Readers, you decide.

As I was trying to determine the answer to this question, I lost my opportunity, but then made myself feel better about inaction by exploring the cheese section (read: the Liz Lemon approach.) Looking back on it, I'm certain that in the moment, thoughts of Huckleberry's exceptional salted caramel bar paralyzed my rational thought, leaving me in a dreamlike trance, powerless to do anything but long for the SCB and respect its maker from a distance.

And...well, so maybe I was also a little shy.  So there you have it.  I may live in LA, but it's not the starlets in the red carpet designer gowns that dazzle me, it's the folks in aprons with flour on their hands.

Starstruck by Huckleberry
Santa Monica, CA

Growing another year older? Why not try a Pie-tart-athon for your next birthday bash?

Each year, we celebrate the birthday of April, Hawaii representative and longtime supporter of The Great American Bakery Hunt.  By request of the birthday girl, this year we saluted April growing another year wiser with a pie-tart-athon that included three recipe contributions.  Because one pie or tart is never enough, and this being a pie-tart-athon after all, we cooked up some apple pie, chocolate chip cookie pie, and a berry tart with mascarpone cream!  The last recipe hails from Epicurious and was a great surprise.  For something that may appear very decadent and elaborate in preparation, this recipe was a snap to pull together (on a work night no less!) and a great addition to the pie-tart-athon.  

And this leads us to an important lesson: you too, brave reader, can whip up a tart from scratch.  Don't let the concept intimidate you!  If you're wondering what's underneath those berries, it's a simple but epic mixture of mascarpone cheese, cream, and sugar beaten together into pure culinary bliss.

In conclusion, we salute April for her continued dedication to the hunt, for having our back (like when we dropped ALL our wallet change in the middle of the Wilshire crosswalk and she helped us pick it up despite angry, embittered oncoming LA traffic), and for living life with that little extra "oomph."  Without people like her, events like pie-tart-athons might never be possible. 

Here at The Great American Bakery Hunt, we would like to publicly thank the entire island of Maui for lending April to us. California sure is lucky to have her!

April's apple pie + awesome t-shirt