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Batter Chatter: Interview with Matt and Renato of Baked, Brooklyn NY

Batter Chatter with Baked
(Cakespy Note: Many of the photos in this interview are c/o the Baked website, and were taken by Tina Rupp and Brian Kennedy).

In case you're not familar, this is Baked, a sweet little spot in Red Hook, Brooklyn.


Baked exterior

These are Renato and Matt, the adorable owners.

Renato and Matt, Baked
And these are some of their baked goods. 
Coconut cupcakes from Baked
Cake, baked
Malted Cake, Baked

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. 
Recently we caught up with them when they passed through Seattle on their book tour. Knowing that they've been doing a lot of interviews, we decided to conduct ours a little bit differently--putting them on the spot by having their own baked goods conduct a picto-interview. In a sort of rorschach-type manner, they were presented the following images and asked to react. 
Baked Faceoff
Question one was presented by the Baked Brownie and the Bakedbar.

Matt: Almost always theBaked Brownie--I love the Bakedbar...I mean, they're both our children...but I think the Baked Brownie is a little tougher.
Renato: A little meaner.
Matt: Yes...a little meaner.
Cakespy: So that's it. Sophie's Choice--you win, Baked Brownie.

Baked Good Response: Bakedbar bows head in shame, little coconut bits drooping sadly.


Sweet n Salty Cake
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!"


Headpiece faceoff
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?"


Tricolor cookiesBaked Tricolor Cookies
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: Probably.
Matt: Probably.
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."


German Chocolate Cake
Chocolate chip cookies, Baked
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.

Wanna get Baked? Check out their site at bakednyc.com. We also highly suggest their book, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking!




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Reader Comments (37)

Those cakes look absolutely beautiful - so that cookbook seems very tempting !

Fabulously fun interview!

October 27 | Unregistered CommenterErin

For probably the first time ever, I'm wishing I wasn't in England right now XD. So! Much! Cute!

October 27 | Unregistered CommenterIndigo

Men who bake are awfully cute - I suspect they get a cuteness bump just because they make mini little cakes.

You outdid yourself with your graphics on this interview ... =)

October 27 | Unregistered CommenterAnne-Marie

I'm still so sad I didn't get to go. :(
Fun interview.

October 27 | Unregistered CommenterPeabody

Cute guys, yummy sweets...what more can a girl ask for?:)

October 27 | Unregistered Commenterveron

Your pictures are awesome! I keep seeing their book popping up on the food blogs I read, this interview might have tipped the scale and convinced me to buy it next time I'm at the bookstore.

October 27 | Unregistered Commenternoisy penguin

everywhere I turn these days, someone is writing about this bakery - I wish I had an opportunity to get there soon!

October 27 | Unregistered CommenterDana McCauley

I saw them on Martha Stewart the other day. have been wanting the pumpkin whoopie pies ever since! I may need to buy the book now after seeing the desserts here!

October 27 | Unregistered CommenterLori

Great interview, the questions (and answers) are so funny!

October 27 | Unregistered Commenterbittersweetblog

Great interview! This cookbook looks awesome!

What a fantastically fun interview. I'm going to try and make it there sometime this week :)

October 27 | Unregistered Commenterporcalina

What a fabulous post! I just got the book and it is FANTASTIC!!! The peanut butter chocolate krispy bars are to die for!!!

October 27 | Unregistered CommenterMy Sweet & Saucy

i could look at all these pic for hours. oh so pretty. especially the reindeer cupcakes!

October 27 | Unregistered CommenterBren Herrera

Well, I'm off to find this cookbook. Those deer in the mounds of coconut snow are whimsical. Then, maybe a pilgrimage to Red Hook ...

"...scroll back, review the photos" and smack yourself! Woman, you crack me up!

Your interview and post did it for me.. I bought the book later last afternoon. I can't wait to try out the recipes. Thanks!

wonderful interview!
amazingly cool.
now i have to break my
new year's resolution of not buying anymore cookbooks this year.

October 28 | Unregistered Commenterbonnie

Shut Up! I haven't even read this post yet, but I am soooo jealous. RENATO IS SO SWEET...and cute to boot! OK, once I recover, I will read this post!

I just bought my friend the cookbook, because I secretly want to use it. I can't wait to try to make all these sweets.

October 28 | Unregistered CommenterManger La Ville

ahhhhdorable!!! the dudes, your illustrations, the treats! too cute. i love batter chatter. always totally inspiring.

October 28 | Unregistered Commenterlyndsay

Oh my, those cakes are absolutely beautiful - love the cupcakes with the reindeers :) Great art work too Cakespy!!

Rosie x

October 29 | Unregistered CommenterRosie

I've been this book EVERYWHERE, and have had it anxiously resting on my Christmas list for a few weeks now. I might just have to break down and buy it. I'm not sure I can wait that long. Fabulous interview. My favorite line? The Red-Hot Velvet cake is Joan. I get it. Totally get it.

October 29 | Unregistered CommenterMy First Kitchen

I've been this book EVERYWHERE, and have had it anxiously resting on my Christmas list for a few weeks now. I might just have to break down and buy it. I'm not sure I can wait that long. Fabulous interview. My favorite line? The Red-Hot Velvet cake is Joan. I get it. Totally get it.

October 29 | Unregistered CommenterMy First Kitchen

This has got to be one of your cutest interviews!! So creative! I checked out their book the other day and may have to purchase a copy...

October 29 | Unregistered CommenterVegan_Noodle
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