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Food

Doughy Braids and Sliced Fruits Arranged into Sumptuous Pies by Karin Pfeiff-Boschek

May 26, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Karin Pfeiff-Boschek, shared with permission

While many people are spending their days starting batches of sourdough, Karin Pfeiff-Boschek has been busy baking sweet pies with mesmerizing arrangements that appear almost too pretty to eat. She tops each pastry with a delicate floral motif of flaky dough, a precisely arranged gradient of sliced fruit, or a checkered weave braided in rows.

The pastry designer tells Colossal that she was raised in a family of bakers, although pies weren’t her first form of artistic expression. “As a child, I enjoyed seeing, smelling, and eating the breads and pastries that both of my grandmothers made. Baking was traditional in our family in rural Germany, and when I was a young teenager, I began baking cakes and pastries for my brother and sister,” she writes. “I did not become a baker, however, but became interested in fabrics, eventually designing, dyeing, and creating my own works of textile art.”

After learning to make pies from her American mother-in-law, Pfeiff-Boschek merged her new culinary skills with her background in design, saying she “began to wonder whether one could decorate them in a manner similar to the way cakes are turned into works of art.” Employing her own techniques, Pfeiff-Boschek modified her mother-in-law’s original recipe in minor ways and opted for chilling the raw pastry in batches. 

I found that by cooling the dough while creating decorations, using a very thin, sharp knife such as a scalpel and working very precisely it was possible to create ornate decorations that held their shape during baking. I make it a priority to also show the baked pie because regardless of how beautiful a pie may look before baking, it never will be served in that state and must look good after it comes out of the oven.

To alter the dough colors, Pfeiff-Boschek adds powders made from freeze-dried berries, spinach, and beetroot. She tends to bake sweet pies with peaches, apples, and other fruits, although occainsly assembles a savory version filled with meat and vegetables. Each creation takes between two and six hours to assemble and adorn. “I love nature, and many of my designs come from time I spend in our garden with our German shepherd dog, Halgrim. I am inspired by trees, leaves, and vines but also by classical geometric patterns and quite mundane articles, such as gully lids,” the designer says.

Many of Pfeiff-Boschek’s edible artworks have culminated in a book, Elegant Pie, and on her blog by the same name. To see both pre- and post-bake photographs, head to Instagram. You also might like Lauren Ko’s vibrant pies and tarts.

 

 

 



Food

Twisting Vines and Leafy Botanics Carved into Crusty Breads by Blondie + Rye

March 12, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Blondie + Rye

North Carolina-based baker Hannah P. has planted herself firmly at the intersection of art and food as she transforms her crusty rye loaves and spelt focaccias into edible canvases for her botanic projects. Through her Instagram account Blondie + Rye, Hannah shares hundreds of flour-covered creations replete with twisting vines and leafy stems. Some pieces even feature layered fruits and vegetables that resemble verdant gardens and floral bouquets. If the baker’s combinations weren’t so appetizing—think a spelt loaf speckled with rosemary and brown sugar and a cream cheese, Romano, and lemon zest center or a ring full of extra-crunchy peanut butter, honey, toasted pecans, pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnut cocoa filling—they’d be almost too pretty to eat. For more lovely baked exteriors, check out Lauren Ko‘s pies.

 

 



Design Food

Dazzling Gradients and Geometric Designs Baked into New Pies and Tarts by Lauren Ko

February 13, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Seattle-based pie baker Lauren Ko (previously) has a multitude of non-edible inspirations that influence her creative pastry designs, including textile patterns, architecture, and string art. These elements are woven into her colorful, and often geometric, fruit pies and tarts topped with thin, undulating strips of apples, precisely placed pomegranate seeds, and triangles of radiating strawberries. Often Ko will color a portion of her dough with natural food dyes like beet butter to add even more color to the finished dessert. You can learn step-by-step instructions for how Ko creates her enticing sweets in this video made by Tasty, and follow the evolution of her pies on Instagram.

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Design Food

New Geometrically-Inspired Pastries, Cakes, and Sweets by Dinara Kasko

September 11, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Dinara Kasko (previously here and here) uses her background as an architect and 3D visualizer to produce geometric cakes that at first glance seem impossible to eat. The mathematically-inspired shapes are digitally constructed with a modeling program, which Kasko then 3D prints in silicone to create a mould. Recently, she has begun to sell these designs on her website to provide home pastry chefs the chance to try one of her stunning creations. You can take a behind-the-scenes look into the digital modeling that goes into one of Kasko’s Toros passion fruit cakes in the video below, and see more of her triangulated designs on her website and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 



Food

Buttercream Succulents Decorate Edible Planters by Leslie Vigil

August 20, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Two years ago Leslie Vigil decided to merge her love of succulents and baking, using buttercream to decorate cupcakes and multi-teared cakes with bountiful collections of aloe, cacti, and echeveria. The Southern California-based cake artist quickly discovered that the traditional tools and piping nozzles available on the market were geared towards petals and other flower-based designs. Vigil modified her materials with pliers to more accurately represent the plants she wished to display on her sugary confections, like the rounded growths for her buttercream string-of-pearls.

“I’ve always found myself at home in a botanical garden or wrists deep in soil,” Vigil tells Colossal. “Being in nature has always brought me tremendous joy and inspiration. So, I was inspired to begin challenging myself to create flowers, succulents and cacti that truly honored and represented botanicals in nature as I knew them.”

You can see more of Vigil’s greenhouse-inspired cakes on Instagram. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Design Food

Dizzying Geometric Pies and Tarts by Lauren Ko

February 7, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Lauren Ko brings mathematical precision to her baking, using elaborate intertwined patterns to form transfixing patterns to the top of her homemade pies and tarts. The Seattle-based amateur baker has been piecrafting for just a couple of years, she tells Mic, and if you’re wondering, this is her favorite pie crust recipe. Ko combines classic crusts with colorful fillings like blueberries, kumquats, purple sweet potatoes, and pluots to create her visually striking sweets. You can follow her on Instagram.

 

 



Design Food

Bold New Mathematical Cake Designs by Dinara Kasko

September 5, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Tart #4. Streusel, almond sponge cake, cherry confit, yogurt mousse.

Since we last checked in with Dinara Kasko, the Ukrainian pastry chef has continued to innovate at a dizzying pace, further incorporating her use of mathematical algorithms and 3D printing into her baking process. Many of the cake designs begin as a collaboration with mathematicians or sculptors who help develop the patterns she then utilizes to print special molds. The final desserts are interpretations of cakes, tarts, and other fully edible desserts that might look more at home inside an art gallery than on a dinner table.

Kasko now sells a variety of silicone molds on her website so you can try your hand at many of the desserts seen here. You can follow more of her baking experiments on Instagram.

A post shared by Dinara Kasko (@dinarakasko) on

Collaboration with parametric designer Andrej Pavlov.

Composition: streusel, almond cream, confit strawberry – red currant, mousse with white chocolate.

Composition: crunchy layer, sponge cake with dry apricot, cremeux dulcey-apricot, confit apricot-kumquat, mousse dulcey-apricot.

Composition: light sponge cake with candied grapefruit, mousse-meringue with grapefruit, grapefruit slices in syrup and mousse with white chocolate.

A post shared by Dinara Kasko (@dinarakasko) on

“Ball, Cube, Triangle.” Inside: mousse with caramelized white chocolate, blueberry confit, blackcurrant confit, chocolate sponge cake with red currant, berry glaze. For decoration: isomalt and chocolate.

“Voronoi cells with berries.”