The Scoop with Baked


When they’re not busy providing the lucky residents of Red Hook with delectable treats, famed Brooklyn bakers Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito are sharing their sweet recipes in a stylish series of books. For the latest volume, Baked Elements, they crafted cookies, cakes, and more using their ten most-loved ingredients, from caramel to cheese. The duo will visit terrain this weekend with both Baked Elements and baked goods, so we got an early scoop and gave Matt and Renato the tough task of choosing a single favorite ingredient. Renato picked cinnamon, plain and simple, but we pressed Matt to expand on his beloved favorite. Take a peek at his answers below, and for more information on meeting this genius baking duo at terrain this weekend, click here.

terrain: If asked to choose just one ingredient for better or worse, what would it be and why?

Matt: I am partial to peanut butter. I love it in both savory and sweets... And directly from the jar. I suppose I have such a deep devotion to peanut butter due to nostalgia. I can still remember the look and feel of my lunchbox from 5th grade, with peanut butter and jelly on Wonder Bread and a Little Debbie snack cake.

terrain: Does it ever change, or is classic PB tried-and-true for you?

Matt: I have a few favorite ingredients, mostly the ones mentioned in Baked Elements, and they rarely change, but I do tend to mix and match them up.

terrain: What is the most unusual, but delicious peanut butter dessert you’ve tasted?

Matt: Well, this is not necessarily unusual, just not quite common: someone made me a fried chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream, drenched in a warm peanut butter sauce. Kind of perfect in that I-can-only-eat-this-once-a-year type of way.

terrain: You guys are on the road a lot these days. Have you discovered any new desserts of late that you’re itching to recreate at home?

Matt: There are soooo many… But I am kind of enamored of with the "hindbaersnitter" I tried in Copenhagen. It was like a pop tart, but more elegant.

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