How a surprise wedding cake became my gateway to old grains
Every Wednesday, the editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit, Sonia Chopra, shares what’s going on at BA – the stories she likes to read, the recipes she has made and much more. If you sign up for our newsletter, you will receive your letter before anyone else.
I worked in a bakery when I was younger and I loved it. I loved dipping and swirling melted chocolate ganache on fresh vanilla cupcakes, whistling frosting flowers and twisting fondant in loops, smoothing out cake layers, and perfecting my method of pouring royal frosting smoothly over cookies and petit fours. I even liked the burns on my tin pan and the strange sugar smell that lingered in my hair all day. Most of all, I loved sketching cake designs with clients, helping them choose flavors and fillings, and talking to them through buttercream decorations.
I went back to the same bakery for my own wedding, this time sitting across the cake tasting, tasting buttercream and lemon curd, and pulling up my Pinterest board to talk about colors and cake toppers. It was the only part of wedding planning I really imagined before we decided to get married – and yes, it was so much fun. But then our wedding plans changed and we escaped to a farm in July and ordered a cupcake at the last minute from the farm’s bakery. Due to the timing and the pandemic and hyperseason of meals, we didn’t know anything about the cake beforehand. It was a real exercise in letting go. It was a real beauty in the end, but the coolest thing was that the flour in the cake was made with einkorn that was grown right there on the farm.
Einkorn flour! I had tried the ancient grain in bread, but never as a cake, but after the wedding I was totally sold. For this reason, I’m very excited about the feature in our February issue (available now at the kiosk; subscribe here to get it), the recipes with einkorn and six other old grains from the new cookbook Mother Grains by Roxana Jullapat (released in April) contains; pre-order here). Roxana explains us how to use whole grains to bake standout goodies like the macadamia buttery blondes that look so good that I screenshot from our art review (sorry, design team!) Screenshot to keep staring at them.
The rest of her recipes can be found in the next issue. And if you’ve baked with old or other whole grains, I’d love to hear about your favorite recipes (or see a picture of your favorite party cake!). As always, I’m at [email protected]
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