You might notice that this post is a few days late. It’s because I just got back from my vacation to Germany! It was a *true* vacation—I hardly touched my laptop and phone (aside from using it to navigate the vast, sprawling city of Berlin).
And Berlin was lovely! I’d gone once before as a recent college graduate way back in 2009. If I’m being honest, I don’t remember much of that trip. I’d gone with a good friend of mine from college, tagging along with a group of his friends from his home back in London. I’d treated it very much like a last hurrah of my “youth” before the realities of graduating had set in. Think: staying out at rooftop bars until 5AM, drinking from a communal bucket of sangria with strangers from the hostel, and frequenting beach-themed bars in abandoned, graffitied buildings. I was curious to see what a “grown-up” version of Berlin would look like, almost 13 years later.
Berlin obviously had changed a lot since then, but elements of it still remained very much the same. The city’s nightlife and bar scene is unbeatable. It’s still full of lush beer gardens and outdoor drinking spaces adorned with fire pits and string lights, as well as wacky themed bars (we found a tiki bar filled with literal sand on the floor, and another one with a “Space Meduza” theme that was hosting a pro-Ukraine party).
It truly felt like a different world from my much quieter hometown of Portland, which is exactly what I needed after 2+ years of being marooned at home.
But I’m back, and excited for the summer. It’s also my birthday month! I am ready to throw a mini shindig and bake myself a birthday cake (lol, before you feel sorry for me, I love this tradition—I get to customize my own birthday cake to my needs and wants without worrying about others’ preferences and dietary restrictions!). This year, I’m thinking of maybe updating this Milk Bar birthday cake from 2012, or going with something more classic like My Best Yellow Cake With Chocolate Frosting?
In Case You Missed It: New Recipes and Posts on Hummingbird High
Last month, I continued to experiment on TikTok with mixed results. I had fun creating videos for the app, but I’m not going to lie—I still prefer writing good ol’ fashioned blog posts! I think I’m definitely going to scale down the TikTok and switch back to old school recipes instead. TikTok is too stressful, lol.
- Chocoflan Recipe (Watch on TikTok and Instagram, too!)
- Vietnamese Egg Coffee Recipe (Watch on TikTok and Instagram, too!)
- Easy Coconut Cake
- Banana Bread With Sour Cream Recipe (Technically an old recipe on Hummingbird High, but I recently updated it with a TikTok video tutorial!)
- Chocolate Cake In A Mug In A Microwave (This TikTok recipe is from my friend @jessiesheehanbakes and her new cookbook—you can find the full recipe over on Epicurious!)
Continuing My Obsession With Chocolate Chip Cookies on TikTok
- How To Make Super Fudgy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Taste Testing Store Bought Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
- All My Videos Of Breaking Apart Molten Chocolate Chip Cookies
TikTok Quick and Easy Baking Tips
- Dark Versus Light Cake Pans — Why The Color Of Your Baking Pan Matters!
- The Difference Between Half Versus Quarter Sheet Pans
- How To Arrange Cookies On A Quarter Sheet Pan
- An Easier Way To Make Perfectly Round Cookies
A Deep-Dive Into Snickerdoodles on TikTok
In April, I did “deep-dives” into how to bake chocolate chip cookies and pie on TikTok. I continued that theme in May with a deep-dive into snickerdoodles:
- My Best Snickerdoodle Recipe (which you can also grab on Hummingbird High!)
- How To Make Any Flavor Snickerdoodle (featuring black sesame snickerdoodles, strawberry snickerdoodles, matcha snickerdoodles, and funfetti ones)
- Snickerdoodle Recipe Without Cream Of Tartar (which you can also grab on Hummingbird High!)
- Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cinnadust Snickerdoodles
- Comparing Snickerdoodles WITH Cream of Tartar Versus WITHOUT Cream of Tartar
This past month, I also spent a LOT of time thinking and reading about food beyond the baking recipes you see on this blog. Here are the ideas and issues that resonated with me:
- “Are Millennial Food Influencers Okay?” in Eater. NO, WE ARE NOT, LOL. But in all seriousness, this article talks about how millennial food influencers on Instagram are struggling to cope with the rise of TikTok. Although it focuses mostly on restaurant food influencers, I felt a lot of their struggles as a recipe developer influencer.
- In general, Eater was on FIRE last month because they published a ton of great articles. Here’s another good one: “The Numbers Driving New Cookbook Deals.” The article talks about how important social media numbers have become when it comes to getting a cookbook deal, and why that has both pros and cons.
- Finally, Eater did a really good series last month on what it means to be “food famous.” One of my favorite articles in the series is titled “The Real Cost Of Being A Food Content Creator”, which talks about how much it takes to create content versus how much one could potentially make by doing so. They even interview my agent, Noah Swimmer, for the article!
Here are the recipes and resources I saved for myself in the last month:
- “Cover Your Dough (and Everything Else You Bake) With a Shower Cap” in Epicurious. Yes! My friend Edd from @theboywhobakes taught me this neat trick of using shower caps as bowl covers during our trip to Israel a few years ago.
- “How to Make the Perfect Buttercream Consistency + Troubleshooting Tips” in Sugar and Sparrow. I’m OBSESSED with this guide that Whitney wrote about finding the perfect buttercream consistency for your cakes.
Finally, On A Lighthearted Note
- “‘Secret Menus’ Are a Scourge on Society” in Jezebel. LOLLLLL. Do you agree? I low-key do since I have incredible FOMO—I just want to know all my options!
That’s all for now, folks. I hope you all are staying safe and healthy! Please let me know how you’re doing in the comments below, and feel free to share the ideas and issues that are floating around in your heads, too.