Ugh it broke my wee little heart the day I bounced in to Love, Betti and the proprietor, Kristin, casually mentioned it was her 4th to last day in business.
I discovered Love, Betti almost immediately after buying my home in Michigan. I owned ZERO furniture. I’d been living in cramped, Lilliputian city apartments for years. When I bought my home, I very carefully started executing my mid-century modern vision piece by piece. The very first thing I knew I needed was a Heywood Weykfield dining room table. I found it at Love, Betti. Kristin was such a pleasure in helping me choose this table and I was so in love with everything in her shop. She has an incredibly good eye and unlike other spots in the area, shopping at Love, Betti was never a hunt for a diamond in the rough. All diamonds. Danger town! I walked out with something almost every time I went in (this became something of a concern of mine later….)
Over the past couple of years Kristin has become a friend and her shop holds a special place in my heart because it’s the spot that really gave my great house its flavor. Plus, that Heywood Weykfield is the first ever piece of adult furniture I ever bought for myself.
K anyway, this story does lead to buttery confections. When I heard Kristin planned to shut her doors to go sail more/enjoy life or some such nonsense I knew I had to make her a furniture-themed to dessert and present it on closing day. I spent the next 3 days with my nose in cookbooks and I discovered some great ones that I’ll link to below. In particular, I used Modern Art Desserts which is a brilliant book I had exposure to while working at SFMOMA. The author, Caitlin Freeman, and her right-hand woman Leah Rosenberg created brilliant desserts inspired by works of art in the MOMA collection. Although MAD didn’t have any furniture-themed recipes, it did contain a technique that I adopted for the final product. In the introduction to the book Caitlin describes a failed project that featured a detailed stencil used for cocoa atop whipped cream and hot chocolate. Boom! I had a plan.
In the end, I made Saarinen tulip chair cupcakes using an xacto knife and a flexible piece of plastic to create the stencil. Saarinen is a Finnish mid-century designer, but he made a name for himself collaborating with Eames here in Michigan. I selected a chocolate mayonnaise cupcake recipe from the Baked NYC cookbook as my canvas.