Five Murderous Baking Trends
By Ellie AlexanderOctober 10, 2019
I’m constantly on the hunt for interesting baking trends to work into my mystery series. I want readers to feel fully immersed in the sensory world of an artisan kitchen when they step into the pages of my books. I want you to be able to smell herbaceous rosemary flatbread charring in a wood-fired oven, and taste the layered and perfectly balanced spicy, sweet flavors of soft orange cardamom morning buns. I love weaving in unique combinations and imagining real-world pastry chefs who push our palates to the edge. But, sometimes my research leads me down a deep, dark rabbit hole of god-forsaken baking trends.
Be forewarned that the following may have you running for your grandmother’s kitchen for a slab of peach pie made with real butter and a plain old fashioned cup of Joe. Each of these trends are absolutely murderous and a crime against professional bakers everywhere.
- Kale Candy — Yeah, you read that correctly. Kale candy. Need I say more? Kale first popped onto the baking scene by appearing as chips and freeze-dried savory bites. Then it progressed to sickly sweet maple kale candy. What’s hitting the market today? Kale candy canes. Just in time for your holiday celebrations, you can tuck a green stripped kale candy cane into your kiddo’s stocking. They may kill you come Christmas morning. But can we blame them? I think not.
- CBD Lattes — CBD is all the rage right now, at least here in the Pacific Northwest. From curing minor aches and ailments to calming anxiety, the compound’s many benefits have been highly touted. The jury is still out on whether CBD has lasting power or will become just another fading fad. There’s one thing I know for sure—don’t put it in my latte. I don’t want my latte infused with anything other than a strong shot of espresso. I certainly don’t want my morning buzz to taste like a plant or have a lingering aroma of hemp. Shudder.
- Glitter Cranberry Sauce — Thanksgiving may be over a month away, but that’s not stopping trend-setters from queuing up for jars of edible cranberry shimmer. Because who wants to eat boring fresh cranberries that have simmered on the stove with oranges and an aromatic assortment of holiday species? Gross. I want my cranberries glittered out and ready for a long night of clubbing. Are you with me on this? Eating cranberries without glitter would be like serving a slice of pumpkin pie without lipgloss.
- Charcoal Cake — Um, I guess things have changed because when I was a kid there was a constant threat that if we didn’t eat our peas and carrots (among other things) that Santa might stuff our stockings with coal. Unless I’m missing something, I’m pretty sure coal is the signature ingredient in charcoal. Activated charcoal is making an appearance in cakes, cupcakes, and custards. Forget black velvet, if you really want to make your baking feel dark and stormy simply add in some nice and grainy charcoal. Yum. The best part? If you don’t happen to have any charcoal on hand you can dig some out of your summer grill.
- Dessert Hummus — Hummus is my spirit animal. If I’m ever stranded on a desert island, give me a lifetime supply of hummus and I’m just fine. Never did I think I would need to clarify that I don’t mean DESSERT hummus for my desert island exile. Roasted red pepper. Check. Garlic. Check. Pesto. Check. Brownie batter hummus? Vanilla bean hummus? Snickerdoodle hummus? No. No. And, no thank you.
Tell me your thoughts? Are you on board with any of these murderous baking trends? Or (gasp!) have you stumbled upon worse?
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