FIG to “Start Paying Extra Attention to Pastry”

figintAlthough online reviewers have described FIG’s desserts as “fabulous”, “delicious”, “excellent” and “amazing” (because, really, what else can you say about the restaurant’s famed sticky sorghum cake?), chef Mike Lata says the restaurant’s taking a “new direction” with its sweets course.

FIG is now looking to hire its first dedicated pastry chef. The position is being advertised in markets including New York City.

“We want to start paying extra attention to pastry,” Lata says. “Although we currently are inspired to create desserts and are proud of our program, (chef de cuisine) Jason Stanhope and I feel like the program deserves the attention of a pastry chef with focus, pedigree and passion.” Continue reading

Sweet & Savory Swings Open Its Door

sweetsaveThe wait for peanut- butter-and-jelly French toast is over: Sweet & Savory Café opened this week on Spring Street.

As previously reported here, the bakery and all-day breakfast joint is a collaboration between Jessica Wilkie, late of The Kiawah Island Golf Resort‘s pastry department, and her fiancé, chef Logan Scott. Scott’s apparently responsible for the bacon waffle sandwich and fried shrimp po-boy. The complete menu is here.

Sweet & Savory, 100A Spring St., is open daily from 7 a.m.- 3 p.m. Lunch service starts at 11 a.m. For more information, call 727-2549.

By Request(s): Bullwinkel’s Whipped Cream Cake Recipe

SheGotThe Beat

SheGotThe Beat

It’s whipped cream cake season, judging by the number of readers looking for the Bullwinkel’s Bakery recipe.

As fans of the dessert know, the Bullwinkels started peddling their baked goods in Charleston in 1929. Their bake shop at Rutledge Avenue and Cannon Street closed back in 1974, but George Bullwinkel joined the pastry team at the Meeting Street Piggly Wiggly, making whipped cream cakes until 1998. He died the following year at the age of 87.

During the holidays, Bullwinkel made about 1000 cakes. Here’s the recipe he used: Continue reading

Observing Veterans Day with USS Yorktown’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Misc. Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum Photographs

In honor of Veterans Day, Patriots Point sent over the above photo of the USS Yorktown’s 1953 bake shop crew, charged with preparing sweet desserts and savory breads for 3500 fellow sailors. As these gentlemen remind us, thousands of men and women have served our country by seeing to the nutritional needs of those defending it.

Military kitchens also help keep service members’ spirits high by coming up with homey treats, such as the chocolate chip cookies once popular aboard the Yorktown. Spokesperson Holly Jackson didn’t share the instructions which accompanied the ingredient list, but you probably don’t have a big enough oven to make a batch anyhow.

Chocolate chip cookies

Makes 10,000 cookies

112 lbs. chocolate chips

165 lbs. flour

500 eggs

100 lbs. granulated sugar

87 lbs. shortening

75 lbs. brown sugar

12 lbs. butter

3 lbs. salt

3 c. vanilla extract

1 qt. water

1.5 lbs. baking soda

Cupcake DownSouth Competes on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars

lamantinIn an event which would have been unthinkable a few decades ago, a local bakery is competing on food television to win $10,000 for its cupcake.

Cupcake DownSouth, which has stores in Charleston, Mt. Pleasant and Columbia, will appear on the Oct. 19 episode of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, an elimination challenge  judged by a cupcake mogul and online macaroon company chef. Four bakeries are featured in the showdown, which has previously produced winning entries such as a “Salted Caramel Cupcake with Pecan Coconut Brittle Crumble and Caramel Swiss Buttercream” and a chocolate chip cookie dough cupcake.

Charleston’s cupcakery may want to claim its cash prize while it can: the Wall Street Journal in April reported “the icing is coming off America’s cupcake craze,” citing the slippage of the Crumb chain’s stock price from $13 a share in mid-2011 to $1.70 earlier this year.

The show airs at 8 p.m.

Cupcake Camp’s Call for Bakers

lamantin

lamantin

Cupcake creators are a dime a baker’s dozen these days, but Cupcake Camp Charleston’s on the hunt for pastry artists willing to serve up at least 24 cupcakes for free.

Now in its fourth year, Cupcake Camp is a community benefit for the South Carolina Youth Advocate Program. Originally created in 2008 by a San Francisco populist scientist, the event’s since spread to cities around the world. There’s no charge for the cupcakes – organizers describe the Camp as a chance “for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment – but donations will be accepted online and during the event at The Alley on Nov. 10 from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Continue reading

Charleston Starbucks Inch Closer to La Boulange Pastry Rollout

Classic CroissantStarbucks isn’t saying when its new pastry line will reach Charleston, but local staffers suspect the switchover’s imminent: According to a barista at the chain’s International Boulevard location, the store last week received new warming equipment.

The coffee giant in April rolled out La Boulange products at its stores in San Francisco, which birthed the bakery responsible for the upgraded cookies, cakes and croissants. The pastries are now available in Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Chicago and New York, with Boston’s stores set to start carrying the sweets and savories this month.

Starbucks last year bought La Boulange for $100 million with the intention of elevating the quality of its baked goods. “Starbucks has 40 million customers per week in America,” La Boulange’s owner Pascal Rigo this spring told the San Francisco Chronicle. “How do you scale that? How do you bring great product to that many people?” Continue reading

Kaminsky’s Fresh Out of KronutZ

kronut2

Kaminsky’s KronutZ

It took just over an hour, but Kaminsky’s version of cronuts achieved sell-out status.

Today marked the debut of the sugary doughnut-croissant hybrid, styled after the Dominique Ansel sensation. The downtown bakery is making a batch of 25 KronutZ on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and pastries can’t be reserved: They’re sold on a first-come, first-served basis starting at noon, and customers are restricted to two KronutZ per person.

The last KronutZ crossed the counter at 1:15 p.m., spokesperson Kaili Howard says.

Kaminsky’s KronutZ cost $3.

Homemade Whole Grain Flour Classes Offered at Stono Market

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mccun934

Fans of fresh-ground grain swear the homemade flour is lighter, tastier, cheaper and more nutritious than its store-bought counterpart. But for cooks who are still skeptical about grinding their own grains, Stono Market is offering a pair of free tutorials.

“Making Bread From Freshly Ground Grains,” led by Monica Killen, will be offered at the John’s Island shop on Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. and Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. The class will cover purchasing, processing and preparing whole grains, as well as “tons of other info,” Stono’s Babs Ambrose says.

Class size is capped at 15 people. To register, call 559-9999 or e-mail Ambrose at babs@stonomarket.com.