Feature Friday: Penny of Tart Bakery
Penny is a cupcake maker and now also a macaroon maker yum! I can't wait to try her macaroons I will do another post when i get those . I did a Q&A with Penny and here it is ...
1.Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Good morning, Neverland! I am Penny-Baker, Writer of thriller/horror fiction/Psychology grad student/kitten lover. I want to be the most authentic me- a cross between the electric refinement of the royal world in the modern 'Marie Antoinette' movie and Willy Wonka. My cat, Jasmine, is like my child. She's so hilarious, and very smart. She fetches things, can open cabinets, catch things in mid air, and still spends the rest of her day judging everyone here. I used to be a nail biter, but now I change my nail design every day. Switching one compulsion for another is always the best way to go. I also have an unnatural love of snoopy, pumpkins, and shoes made for kids, french pastries, macarons, cakes, tarts, and vintage things. I have an older sister who loves to paint, and a boyfriend who plays classical piano, graduated at the tip top of his college class, and comes up with gifts that blow people's minds for holidays and birthdays. He made a scavenger all over Houston for my birthday one year with items at every clue that meant something to us as a couple. I'm also moving closer and closer to a new life as a Katy Perry stalker each day...some things are just worth it.
2.When did you start baking ?
I used to hate to cook or bake. When I was asked to make cupcakes for an event about 3 years ago, I designed the look, and loved that I could find inspiration and try to show the whole essence of the decoration theme. I started looking into what else I could bake, and the world of french pastry, Pierre Herme, Fauchon, Laduree, Pink Cake Box, Sylvia Weinstock, and many Tariq Hana blew my mind with confetti. I also got some incredible family recipes that had been passed down in my family all the way from France. The recipes included tarts, ganache, cakes, pastries, chocolate tempering and design, and cookies. One for the cookies was a recipe for French macarons, and I was hooked when I looked all of the items on-line. I felt I had to make them...it was destiny.
3. Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know?
I'm currently working on my Masters degree in Counseling Psychology at the University of Houston. I want to continue with that, but I'd also love to see where my baking goes. It's a very exciting time.
4.What is your favorite thing to bake?
...I would say oatmeal chocolate chip cookies since I can stand there and eat a bunch of the batter while some of them bake.
5. Is baking your full time job if not what is your day job?
I work for a mental health hospital that works with people who have eating disorders, depression, and other things that they'd like to work on to better their life. I bake most days as well too. Cakes, cupcakes, candy, chocolate and many many French macarons each week.
6.Do you have any other hobbies?
I write a lot, and love to read Stephen King, Peter Staub, Nelson Demille, Philip Dick, Orson Scott Card, and many other authors.
7. If you could have dinner with 3 people living or dead who would it be and why?
1-Katy Perry, because she was the first singer I ever felt held a piece of my personality in her own. She loves cats, pastries, Hello Kitty, glitter, vintage items, her religious background, funny people, and color. She is unafraid to be herself, and writes music that makes me want to jump like a hot popcorn kernel.
2-Pierre Herme, because everything he does inspires me. I think anyone who has ever made macarons knows what it's like to hold your work up against the perfection that is the Herme macaron.
3- Stephen King-His book(well-him and Peter Staub), 'The Talisman' is the one book in history that I wish had been mine. I almost missed a final in my first year of college because I HAD to know what was going to happen in the end of that masterpiece. He's very good friends with Peter Staub, they collaborate a lot on work.(The same way I hope to collaborate with my own fated baking BFF, Amanda! LUV YA!)
People who haven't read his work, or who have only read/watched 'Carrie' or 'The Shining' think of him as a "horror" novelist.In my opinion, most of his work is more psychological thrillers, adventures, paranormal, and a bit of classic grind house. His stories are eternal, and have become part of our culture by presenting what is-in my opinion- the most original collection of stories that will grip onto the part of your brain that loves riding roller coasters and has always wanted to sky dive. He makes all of us wonder if that 'Haunted' show about paranormal experiences is real, if Jack Nichelson is legit crazy, and gave us all a 100% increase in our fear of clowns. He is magic incarnate.