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Joanne Chang’s Brown Sugar-Oat Cherry Muffins

Friday, 31. May 2013 5:25

Cherries and oats galore in these hearty muffins by Pastry Chef Joanne Chang.

Cherries and oats galore in these hearty muffins by Pastry Chef Joanne Chang.


These muffins are loaded. With oats, cherries and a whole lot of goodness.

They fill the pan with an avalanche of batter, rising up with bountiful domes.

Joanne Chang, the Harvard grad-turned-baker extraordinare with four Flour bakeries and the Myers + Chang diner, all in Massachusetts, has done it again. If you loved her first cookbook, “Flour” (Chronicle Books), you’re sure to treasure its follow-up, “Flour, Too” “Flour, Too” (Chronicle Books). The second cookbook, of which I received a review copy, includes 100 recipes, not just for sweets, but savories, as well, including apple-wood smoked BLT, “Mama Chang’s Hot and Sour Soup,” and mushroom and leek lasagna.

Of course, having the sweet tooth that I do, I couldn’t resist zeroing in on the pastries first.

FlourTooBook. jpg

“Brown Sugar-Oat Cherry Muffin” is like a nourishing bowl of morning oatmeal — only in muffin form. Which means it’s just a little naughty, as a result.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (10) | Author:

La Boulange Celebrates PRIDE, Santa Clara City Library Card Perks and More

Monday, 27. May 2013 5:27

(Photo courtesy of La Boulange)

(Photo courtesy of La Boulange)

Macarons for PRIDE Month

All through June, La Boulange bakeries throughout the Bay Area will salute PRIDE month with a limited edition box of rainbow-hued macarons.

What’s more, La Boulange will donate $1 from each box sold to the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, which raises funds for AIDS service organizations through the production of entertainment programs.

The limited edition box of seven macarons is $12.50.

Santa Clara City Library Card Perks

And you thought a library card was only good for checking out books?

Not the Santa Clara City library card.

Now, show that library card at participating local businesses to reap discounts such as 10 percent off at Athena Grill, $10 off a tab of at least $50 at Justin’s Restaurant, 10 percent off at Fuji Florist, free coffee with purchase at Stan’s Donut Shop, 10 percent off Mission City Creamery and many more. For a full list, click here.

StarChefs SF Rising Star Chefs

StarChefs will salute its 2013 “Rising Star” award winners  6:30 p.m. June 13 at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Restaurants | Comments (1) | Author:

Allergy-Free, Imagine It Baked Goods

Monday, 13. May 2013 5:25

Crumb cake from Imagine It bakery. It's all gluten-free, too.

Crumb cake from Imagine It bakery. It’s all gluten-free, too.


When Tracy Horton found out she was allergic to gluten, she wished for cookies and cakes that she could still enjoy.

What’s more, she wanted to find a way to give youngsters with similar allergies a chance to finally enjoy their first decadent birthday cake just like any other kid would.

She imagined the possibilities.

And she made them happen.

The result is Imagine It, an allergy-friendly bakery that sells its treats at local farmers markets, including the Saturday Willow Glen market in San Jose, the Saturday Santa Clara market, and the Sunday Campbell one.

The baked goods are made without wheat, gluten, soy, eggs, dairy, peanuts and tree nuts. Instead, they get their texture from garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, white sorghum flour, fava bean flour, organic rice milk, and a vegan egg product.

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Category:Bakeries, General, Health/Nutrition | Comments (5) | Author:

Charlie Trotter Tribute Dinner at M.Y. China, Sweet Fests Not to Be Missed, and More

Monday, 15. April 2013 5:25

Martin Yan (Photo courtesy of the chef).

Martin Yan (Photo courtesy of the chef).

Martin Yan Hosts An All-Star Dinner at M.Y. China

Charlie Trotter, who shuttered his famed eponymous Chicago restaurant last year, will be the special guest of honor at a  6 p.m. June 9 dinner hosted by Martin Yan at M.Y. China in San Francisco.

If that weren’t enough of a draw, the dinner will be created in part by Chef Michael Rotondo, former executive chef of Charlie Trotter’s and now chef de cuisine at Parallel 37 in the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco. Dessert will be made by Yigit Pura, the first winner of “Top Chef: Just Desserts” and now proprietor of Tout Sweet Patisserie in San Francisco. And M.Y. China’s executive chef and master noodle-puller, Tony Wu, will be on hand to show his dough-twirling prowess.

The evening will begin with appetizers and sparkling wines from Domaine Carneros. That will be followed by a seated four-course dinner with wines by the Michael Mondavi Family Estate. A live auction also will be held.

The dinner, a benefit for the James Beard Foundation and the Chef Martin Yan Scholarship, is limited to 100 people. Tickets are $200 per person or $175 per person for James Beard Foundation members. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling (415) 580-3001.

Pastry Chef Yigit Pura. (Photo courtesy of the chef)

Pastry Chef Yigit Pura. (Photo courtesy of the chef)

Dessert First!

Calling all sweet tooths: The Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco will be the place to be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 5.

That’s when 20 of the Bay Area’s best pastry chefs will ply you with all manner of signature sweets at “Dessert First!,” a benefit for Project Open Hand, which provides meals for people afflicted with breast cancer or HIV/AIDS, or are home-bound and critically ill.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Enticing Events, Food TV, General, Restaurants | Comments (1) | Author:

Sunsweet Gets Into the Baking Business

Friday, 5. April 2013 5:25

Purple Country Bread from the new line of baked goods from Sunsweet.

Purple Country Bread from the new line of baked goods from Sunsweet.


Sunsweet Growers, Inc., whom you know for its dried fruit, is getting into the baking business with its new line of breads, cookies and pastries — all made with dried plums (otherwise known by their less fashionable moniker: prunes).

The products tout the healthfulness of prunes, which are higher in antioxidants and fiber, and lower in sugar, than raisins and dried cranberries.

What sets the baked goods apart, too, is their color. They’re made with purple wheat and purple corn, giving them eye-catching swirls of vividness.

Recently, I had a chance to sample the products, which are available at Costco in Southern California, and which will make their way to Northern California Costco locations in the near future.

The Sunsweet Bakery products retail for about $4.99.

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Category:Bakeries, Fruit, General, New Products | Comments (2) | Author: