Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What's new at Glaze?

Since my May tour of Glaze Baum Cakes, the team has pulled off a successful opening and merger with the trendy Japanese restaurant, Sasa. Amanda and Zach are still running the dessert show, and despite the cramped kitchen space they are working wonders. Seasonal flavors right now include more varied citrus, and they are bracing themselves for autumn and the inevitable rush on pumpkin spice baum cakes.

Pastry experimentation continues to pay off, too! During my May visit, the bakers lamented that the matcha baum cake had such a high failure rate, shearing apart with little or no warning. After diagnosing that the matcha powder was interfering with the whipped egg whites' ability to keep the cake solid, they began to tweak. Adding more egg whites affected the flavor too heavily. Putting the whites in un-whipped kept the cake from collapsing, but it ruined the smooth texture (effectively turning the batter into sandkuchen batter). Eventually they found a ratio of some whipped egg whites and some non-whipped whites that boosted their cake output and preserved the texture we've come to know and love! Is there a Fields Medal for cake science?

Aside: Sasa offers shredded mountain yam as a side dish. Fans of the literary genius Ryūnosuke Akutagawa may want to check it out, since this non-Newtonian pintxo is the crux of his 1916 short story, "Yam Gruel".

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