Take a Bite of Peach

ripe peach

Local celebrity Warren Brown, a lawyer turned baker, owner of CakeLove and host of Food Network’s Sugar Rush, treated shoppers to a demonstration Saturday morning at the Silver Spring Farmers Market. Other than ice cream in the summer and an addiction to chocolate, my own culinary bent leans more towards the savory. But it sounded like fun, and besides, I needed to get me some peaches. Nothing beats locally grown fresh seasonal fruit. Okay, maybe sex.

Warren is an intriguing guy, one of these A-types who is naturally driven. I thought it would be interesting to get a first-hand glimpse into his personality and skills. He did not disappoint.

For this morning’s event, Warren and his assistant prepared Strawberry Shortcake, which is poundcake with Italian Meringue Buttercream, made from stiff whipped egg whites combined with simple syrup and of course, lots of butter. He also demonstrated making the cake batter, but because we were outside with no oven it went no further than that (not to mention the time to bake it). Although self-taught, he did confess it was his grandmother who showed him how to quarter the strawberries and mix them with a little sugar to bring out some of the moisture, creating a sort of glaze. His assistant, with help from folks representing the farmers market, sliced and served samples to the small but attentive audience. Delicious. Remember, always enjoy your cake at room temperature. Plenty of onlookers asked questions during the hour-long presentation.

As we were at a farmers market talking in part about fresh fruit, one question that came up was produce. CakeLove tries to buy as much from local growers as they can, but to keep their menu and products consistent, this isn’t always practical. Organic produce also came up, and his response was that as much as he would love to go this route, it simply isn’t economically feasible at this point. Otherwise you would be paying 8 dollars for a cupcake and business would dry up.

Warren likes to maintain an intimate and friendly atmosphere at his stores, he will never turn it into a chain. But a new location is planned for Shirlington, and down the road openings in LA and New York are in the works. CakeLove in Silver Spring is Warren’s second shop (map), the original is located on U St. and 15th NW (map) where you will also find LoveCafe.

You gotta love Silver Spring, which boasts a free wifi outdoor hotspot throughout the downtown area—this post in situ. And I got me that bag of peaches.

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