We’re always so busy with our own books. But sometimes we get an offer we can’t refuse and take on a separate project. And that’s especially true when we get to work with somebody we love and respect as much as DORIE GREENSPAN.
Dorie is an amazing baker. Her credits go all the way back to her work with JULIA CHILD. She is the author of several bestselling cookbooks and a James Beard Award winner.
We worked with Dorie on her newest book BAKING CHEZ MOI (Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere). Alan took the photographs, and Karen styled the food for those photographs. Here’s a picture of the 3 of us together earlier this year:
Recently, Dorie sat down with us to discuss desserts, with a perhaps unsurprising focus on cupcakes. Here’s that interview:
When we were working on the photos for BAKING CHEZ MOI, we noticed some desserts that look suspiciously like cupcakes! Are we seeing the real Dorie Greenspan coming out?
(Laughs) They look suspiciously like cupcakes to me too! And some, like the Limoncello Cupcakes, actually are cupcakes. Now that the cupcake craze has taken Paris by storm there are cupcakes everywhere. You can buy cupcake pans, cupcake liners, and there are tiny little cupcake shops opening up, one even just a few steps from my apartment.
Some of these cupcake-like desserts are actually traditional French pastries. Isn’t that true?
The Financiers in BAKING CHEZ MOI are completely traditional. They were created in the late 1800’s, but today they look absolutely like a cupcake to a young Parisian. Also the Nutella Buttons and the Tiger Cakes, both are very Parisian and also look like cupcakes.
What is the appeal of cupcakes to Parisians?
In France, pastries are small. Even big cakes are low single layer cakes, and are very precious. So cupcakes, which are small, are very Parisian in style. You get your very own cute little cake to hold in your hand.
Have the French re-interpreted cupcakes in any way?
American desserts definitely get adapted to the French style, smaller and a bit more refined. But I do see very traditional American-style cupcakes now and then. In the past I was seeing American-style carrot cakes everywhere. Cronuts have even made their debut in Paris. But now it is definitely the cupcake that you see.
Are there any Hello Cupcake-style cupcakes in Paris?
Yes! In my apartment—because I have a copy of BONJOUR, CUPCAKE! (the French translation of HELLO, CUPCAKE!) on the shelf there.
Is there a cupcake book in Dorie Greenspan’s future?
I’ll leave the cupcake books to you two experts…unless you want to do it together!
Well, Dorie, we may take you up on that. Meanwhile, thanks for the interview. We know how busy it can be when your new book is just released.
Here’s to great desserts the world over,
Alan and Karen