25 May 2009

cinnamon babka

babka01my roommate N recently went to New York and asked me what i wanted.  i could always go for something from La Maison du Chocolat, but i didn’t want to make her trek out there. To make it more convenient, i asked her tobring me back something from Dean & Deluca because i knew she’d be going there regardless. And brought me back something she did! She brought me back this loaf of bread.

babka02 which turned out to be a cinnamon babka.  i wasn’t sure what a babka was, but I did enjoy the funny name. regardless of how it looked (long, brown, and very squished), it did smell good…

babka03and then i sliced it. and BAM. i was awed by such beauty. such a perfect and beautiful swirl. taste wise, it did not disappoint. chocolaty, cinnamony, buttery, flaky, and whatever other goodness was baked into it all merged together for perfection. i felt bad that i judged it before I sliced and ate it, because it was definitely a susan boyle moment. i never should’ve doubted dean and deluca. and now, i never will.

babka04and just look at that crust. how could i doubt such a beautiful crust? this cake also vanished in a disturbingly short amount of time, which i will never reveal.

this is my third dean and deluca experience. Oddly enough, it was not New York or Felicity that first introduced me to Dean and Deluca. It was the basement of the Breeze shopping center in Taipei. There, I had some sort of cake with lots of berries at Dean and Deluca. and it was beyond delicious. Beyond. I’d rank it somewhere in my top ten pastry moments in life. However,  I can’t remember anything about the cake itself beyond the berries. Only the feelings of happiness and delight as I ate it because it tasted so, so, good.

and so, when I went to New York a few years later, I of course visited Dean and Deluca with the faint hope that they’d have a slice of that cake for sale. Expectedly, they didn’t. But they did sell strawberry guava juice. And that was beyond amazing as well. a light and refreshing blend of my two favorite fruits, one of which is rare to find in the US.

and of course, this unexpected swirled surprise was my third.

i know i’ll never find that cake again, or know specifically why I liked it so much (it could’ve been a tart too… i honestly do not remember.)

but what matters is that I have the memory of enjoying such a treat. not once, but three times at three different points in life and places.

whether it is through jewelry, pastries, art, language, cooking, reading, talking, making, photographing, or teaching, I hope I can create such happy memories for other people as well. the best would be if I could combine all of those listed into one – which i know is not impossible.


x said...

i was just at Dean & Deluca in DC today, wish I'd seen this post earlier, would've tried to find it!

parlezvouskiwi said...

I laughed out loud t your comparison - being a 'susan boyle moment' - hilarious! And you're right, looks can be deceiving because that cake looked just okay until you sliced it! Then it looked divine :-)

The 17 Year Old Intern said...

i just skimmed through ur post.
dean and deluca.
never been to the US,
but if u've ever watch devil wears prada, the boyfriend loves to shop there for strawberries.