A Treat from Cake Zine
Just a Bite, our new interview series, is launching with baker Mina Park
Hello Cake Zine denizens,
We’re writing to you from the depths of production on our second issue, Wicked Cake. Notwithstanding the avalanche of Google Docs, creating art around dessert feels more exciting than ever. Although we’re beyond eager to share the fruits of our efforts in glorious print very soon, we’ve created this newsletter to tide you—and us—over. Our dispatches will showcase and explore the vast world of cake, culture, and the final course at large. Every other week, we’ll share an interview with a maker we admire, plus the cultural dessert ephemera worth clicking on right now. If you have a holy grail recipe, a dessert movie scene you can’t get out of your head, or anything else that falls into the Cake Zine ecosystem, please send it our way.
We’re kicking off our interview series, Just a Bite, with the inimitable Mina Park, who makes immaculate cream cakes, shaved ice, and other confections under the name 99. She just finished a stint as the first-ever guest pastry chef at Early June in Paris, and is now back in New York City making cakes for private events.
You’re making dessert. What is it?
When I’m making dessert, I’m reaching into my memories: Moments that I still dream of, that I wish to retell in full detail. A certain fruit in season will usually remind me of those memories. Genoise is just my building block for these flavors—cemented with cream, of course.
Someone is making you a dessert. What do you ask for?
When someone else is making me dessert, I’m asking for something fresh and light—no chocolate please. Honestly, a simple plate of good fruit is ideal.
What’s a fictional dessert scene you’ll never forget?
Antique Bakery will always live in my head. It’s an anime about a quaint patisserie, rife with homosexual tension (lol). The Korean live action adaptation is arguably better than the anime.
Share with us a baking hack you can’t live without?
Hand-whisking whip cream is one of my favorite tricks. Because I can’t stand overwhipped cream.
What differences have you noticed between baking in New York City and Paris?
I find that high quality produce is more readily available in Paris because there’s always been demand for it. In the states, however, conventionally grown produce is the norm— especially in New York. It almost feels like the farmers out here are working against all odds to supply super flavorful and interesting local produce. That’s why I feel so much pride and joy when I can use Sycamore strawberries or Kernan Farms peaches in my cakes. I simply don’t feel the same connection when I’m using produce in France, despite how mind blowing it’s been.
Follow 99 on Instagram: @ninetynin.e
Cake cultural ephemera to consume right now.
Make. Don’t miss your chance to eat the iconic Marian Burros plum torte before apple season threatens to consume us all.
Read. Why is the chaotic cake aesthetic so popular? Laura Pitcher explores the answer for The Face.
Visit. Is Cakeland a fantasy or just another gimmicky Instagram museum? Angelenos, let us know. And while you’re in LA, stop by Quarter Sheets for Hannah Ziskin’s truly transcendent princess cake. Aliza can’t stop thinking about it.
Make. Britney Wang’s mooncake recipe for the Mid Autumn festival.
Smell. Ethereal, astrologer-designed cake perfume.
Make. A blueberry muffin-inspired breakfast cake from Sexy Cake contributor Mehreen Karim.
Gift. A 1970s birthday questionnaire featuring wacky illustrations and “everything you’ve always wanted to know about birthdays, but were afraid to ask…” Free!