Tag: desserts

Charm City Cook: A Specialty of the House for the ‘House of Cards’ Crew


photo-128 This week something really fun happened. A brush with fame. But…this is Baltimore, so it was THE MOST low-key brush with fame ever.

I met my friend Sean through my blog and a shared love of food. And, crazy and Smalltimore-y as it sounds…we quickly realized that we live a block from each other in #thehamdpens. He is the head hairdresser on House of Cards, the Netflix drama that just won three Emmys – a first for a non-network show. Netflix made history that night! And Kevin Spacey had a few memorable moments during the show. I think he should consider hosting. So, back to Baltimore. The show is set in Washington, DC but they shoot all over Baltimore. This was the last week of shooting season two so I wanted to see if I might be able to bring some brownies to the set. I texted Sean and his reply: “YES!”

I found out later that several of the cast and crew follow me via social media, which really surprised me. Some even go to the restaurants that I recommend! Someone is reading this – which makes all of my running around town feel worth it. Via my Instagram feed, cast and crew members had seen photos of the brownies…fudgey chocolate with salted caramel and dusted with sea salt. They were in.

When I arrived (after a long day of work) I was escorted by security to the hair and makeup trailer. Sean came and met me and after securing the brownies (LOCK DOWN) he took me to the set. First, we passed craft services and I kinda thought, wouldn’t it be cool to feed a set? Then we walked through the Underwood’s house (living room, kitchen, basement, the smoking window), the Oval Office, Underwood’s office and more. It was SO COOL. I am so glad I had watched the show…it made seeing the sets a million times more exciting. Being so behind-the-scenes was just crazy. While we were walking around the set, the cast and crew were setting up a shot, which is quite a long process. Monitors were set up in the hallway outside one set (Underwood’s office) and production assistants and others scurried around to get everything just right. And here comes Kevin Spacey. Seriously. I’m not a particularly star struck person, but he has great presence. He definitely draws you in. He was very polite and warm, but definitely in work-mode. He was showing off a gift that Robin Wright had given him (I won’t share what it was…some things should stay behind-the-scenes) and then, he walked onto set and they shot a scene. He was so Frank. I was thoroughly impressed. He’s such a pro. And a really nice guy.

Then, here comes Michael Kelly. He plays Underwood’s Chief of Staff, Doug Stamper. He’s friendly, super fit and gave off really positive energy. As a wrap gift, he had invited the Icedgems Cupcake truck to the set that day. What a nice thing. A few of the crew members were clearly stoked about the cupcakes, reading the menu aloud and taking orders. But as Sean introduced me to person after person, he said “This is my friend Amy. She’s a baker. She makes the salted caramel brownies.” Their faces lit up…and several of them had heard about them and knew I was coming. That was so fun. “Where ARE they?” a few folks asked. Oh, and p.s. Michael Kelly is handsome. Muy.

Renowned Baker Chris Ford Says Bye-Bye to Baltimore

Chris Ford's French macarons.
Chris Ford’s French macarons
Photo courtesy Eater
Chris Ford. Photo courtesy Eater.

Bummer. Celebrated Baker Chris Ford, who has been heading up the delectable offerings at the Baltimore Four Seasons, has taken a new job!  Eater reports that he will relocate to Beverly Hills to act as pastry chef for Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro/Bakery. Ford won Food and Wine‘s “Best New Pastry Chef” in 2012.

Congrats Chris, we will miss you.  Your French macarons (not to be confused with macaroon!) were to die for!



The Cake Boss is Coming to the Ivy


Baltimore may be the town of Charm City Cakes, but there’s a new kid coming to town, to the Ivy Bookshop to be exact. Buddy Valastro, known worldwide as the Cake Boss, has a new book out, Cooking Italian with the Cake Boss, and he is coming to the Ivy on Sunday, December 2, for a book signing at 12 noon.

Cupcake Crazed


Midnite Confection Cupcakes in Baltimore

It’s election season; which means that almost 24/7 we’re bombarded with debates, discussions, and op-eds. Everyone has an opinion or an argument on at least one big issue (if not many), and it can be hard to find respite from the constant back and forth—opposing views volleying facts and figures. The world of gourmet cupcakeries is of course no different. Since cupcake boutiques began springing up in metropolitan areas a few years ago we’ve heard (or been a part of) countless discussions on the subject—and they can get as heated as the political talk going around this month. Why only serve cupcakes? When did cupcakes become something adults could openly care about? How did a veritable class of cupcake connoisseurs develop overnight? And okay, okay, where can I get one and how good is it really?

Charm City Cook: Butter is Your Friend



Ah, desserts. They require precision and care as well as creativity and great taste. And people really love desserts, so you don’t want to mess them up!

Dessert can be everything from delicate to deeply comforting. Some of my latest faves are strawberry rhubarb pie, chocolate cream pie and of course, (crack cocaine) salted caramel brownies! I’ve made those brownies so many times now for everyone from cooking clients to friends, neighbors and colleagues – everyone flips out when they eat them. I have a client who has a standing order once a month. One friend even sent me an expletive-filled text proclaiming her love. That was pretty funny.

Charm City Cakes’ Summer Collection 2012




Who knew there was a “Summer Collection” for cakes?  But when you’re Baltimore’s Charm City Cakes, the originator of the fashionable cake, you have to stay a step ahead of the competition.  The collection, according to the bakery’s website, “was inspired by Carmen Miranda, Frida Kahlo, and many other images, textures, prints and fashions.” Gorgeous.