, a sweet little spot in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
These are Renato and Matt, the adorable owners.
If it's not already clear why we love Baked and its bakers, then please scroll back and review the photos again (and smack yourself while you're at it). Yes, we love Baked--and so it should be no surprise that we also love their brand new cookbook, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
, which includes recipes for a great variety of their gorgeously decadent, down-home-with-a-gourmet-touch baked goods, as well as the sweet stories behind them.
Baked Good Response: Bakedbar bows head in shame, little coconut bits drooping sadly.
Question two addressed the buzz about the bakery case's heartthrob, the Sweet & Salty Cake (dark chocolate cake infused with a salty caramel, caramel chocolate ganache and topped with fleur de sel.).
Renato: It's a classic combination that nobody really thinks about--that sweet and salty combination, with dark chocolate, caramel, fleur de sel, it comes together in this way that makes all other desserts bow down to it.
Matt: It's an obsessive dessert, that's for sure.
Renato: When people bite into it, you see their face just...melt.
Cakespy: And then it's just a journey to see how fast they can cram it into their mouth.
Baked good response: Sweet & Salty says "Please, ladies and gentlemen...there's enough of me to go around!"
Question three addresses a serious cake issue--cupcakes vs. muffins--is the banana espresso chocolate chip muffin in their book really just cake in disguise?
Matt: Oh, absolutely. There's no doubt about it. The best muffin is just a cake in disguise.
Renato: It's kind of like a naked cake--there's just no frosting.
Baked Good response: "I've been living a lie!"
Question four addressed headpieces: whose is awesomer, the meringue topped tart, or their logo-mascot deer?
Renato: My answer is the mascot...we use him everywhere--on tote bags, buttons, tee-shirts...
Matt: Is it possible they could be equally awesome?
Renato: I do love lemon, but I'm gonna go with the stag.
Matt: I'm gonna go equal.
Cakespy: I'll try to be diplomatic here: while the stag's antlers may be slightly more awesome, the lemon meringue is likely more delicious. (Matt and Renato seem to like that).
Baked Good Response: Tart says "What does stag have that I don't?"
Question five tackled the Baked take on the tricolor cookie, which is different from the traditional Italian-flag coloring. It begs the question--would theirs get beat up in Little Italy?
Renato: Ours are very delicate--they're made in small batches, with a circular cutter--those other ones are mass produced, and so would overpower them by sheer number.
Cakespy: So we'll keep them in their corner of Brooklyn--out of Bensonhurst.
Baked Good Response: "I'm a delicate flower--keep me away from those thug-cookies!"
Question six was posed by the Red-Hot Velvet cake: "Am I the sexiest cake in the case?"
Matt: Oh yeah. Everyone wants a piece of that red velvet. It's just that deep scarlet red, with a little bit of cinnamon in the buttercream...you just can't go wrong. I think that a lot of red velvet cakes look like the crazy aunt--but this is the sexy nymph.
Renato: If you watch Mad Men...this cake is Joan.
Baked Good Response: "You know you want me."
Question seven came to us from German Chocolate cake, the underdog of the bakery case--always a solid choice, but so rarely the #1 choice. He asks in a winsome manner, "Which one of us would you take with you on a desert island?". We can tell he hopes it's him.
Matt: I don't know if I would take German Chocolate...but I would definitely send him notes back home.
Renato: I'd want more buttercream.
Matt: We're indulgent to a fault.
Renato: I'd put a letter in a bottle in hopes that it would get back to him.
Matt: Yeah, we'd definitely send letters and money.
But what would you choose?
Matt: I'd choose the Baked brownie. I'm a brownie fan, and that's the reason to be for me.
Renato: I'd take the chocolate chip cookie, because I could eat that every day and not get tired of it.
Baked Good Response: Cue the "Debbie Downer" music.