in black and white
By Bakers Journal
“In black and white” has so many meanings. That term can refer to cut-and-dried facts, printed in black ink on white paper. Black and white speaks of contrast, of light and dark.
It can also mean the formal wear of a tuxedo, or the crisp uniform of a white chef’s toque paired with black pants. My favourite definition is the Black and White Cookie, often found in delicatessens.
This issue explores the formality and the decadence of January and February. From the Kings Cake’s that Chef Nourian Nadège creates to her lavish cakes for any occasion, she knows that people respond best to quality. Nadège’s cover photo shows her wearing her whites, and creating a cake that speaks of her dedication to her craft. There it is, in black and white: We love the baking industry because we love to make people happy.
As I’m looking through the bakery trends of 2018 and trying to get a sense of where baked goods are going, one element stands out: Quality. Customers are willing to pay more for what they consider “better.” Whether that means better quality ingredients, or a healthier treat, or even just a more decadent dessert than what a client would usually buy, everyone is becoming more concerned with the quality of what they are eating.
I love the term that Jane Dummer uses when referring to desserts: She refers to a smaller portion of a good dessert not as a “cheat day,” or an outright sin, but as a “permissible indulgence.” We see desserts shrinking in size to approach more acceptable single-servings, instead of offering the potential of complete abandon in a family-sized cake. As cake lovers, we may chose to see the “black and white” of the numbers on our waistbands, but choose not to opt for the rare treat of high quality over the less fulfilling indulgences, that might have the same calories in the end.
Award-winning American pastry chef Leigh Omilinsky tries to make the balance between good for you, and just plain good. Her approach to baking indulgent pastry is a novel one: She works with traditional French pastry and adds her North American interest in whole and ancient grain to the recipe. This marriage of tradition paired with health awareness makes Omilinsky’s approach to a “better-for-you” snacking into something worth tucking in to.
Chef Aiko Uchigoshi’s famous Matcha Chocolate Hazelnut Layer Cake is the stuff of dreams. The darkness of the chocolate layer cake contrasts beautifully against the pale matcha buttercream icing. This is a cake that plays with its contrasts: a French dessert with a Japanese twist. Both Eastern flavours and Western textures harmonize beautifully in this decadent cake.
Lastly, for entrepreneurs who are thinking of taking the leap to owning a bakery, you’ll have to have your finances in check. Are you in the black? Bonnie Koabel’s informative article on getting a government grant offers information you need to get your business started. Many bakeries have started out with a successful application for a provincial or federal grant: Her terrific article sheds light on ways to get funding.
For those who are starting a new business venture, or just starting their new year, Bakers Journal wishes its readers a delicious new year. May you discover something wonderful, and have reason to celebrate…in black and white.