Whether you’ve seen her throw down on Chopped, learned some new skills during one of her baking classes, or just had the opportunity to chat while picking up some pastries––you’ve probably encountered Chef Rachel Klemek of Blackmarket Bakery in some form while out and about in Orange County.
We caught up with the sweets slinger to see how she and the bakery have adapted with the pandemic while challenging her to create a new recipe for you all to try at home. You game? Then read on!
How has COVID-19 affected your business?
We closed our Santa Ana store temporarily and cut our hours down in Costa Mesa and San Diego. Sales in the open locations have shifted to online and phone-in mainly, all while closing all customer traffic in the bakery.
How have you pivoted your normal day-to-day operations to keep up with demand/business during COVID-19?
Our pastry display moved to our front windows so customers can see the product and order without even walking in the door. Plus, we’ve set up an online ordering system that we will keep even after operations return to normal. And curbside pickup is an option for customers. We’re selling flour, yeast, sourdough starter, cookie dough (take & bake) and cookie decorating kits––all to enable customers to bake more at home!
What are some new/effective ways you’ve been engaging with your customers (online + off)?
We’ve been posting how-to videos and recipes weekly, and answering baking questions on our website.
What’s been your current best sellers and why do you think it’s so popular?
Luckily, our product mix is quite diverse, so we don’t have one “best seller”. Folks do seem to love the “take & bake” cookie doughs, though. And the 4” cakes have gotten more popular.
Last three places where you’ve done either pickup or delivery and what did you order?
Note: A vegan version can be made, substituting evaporated cane juice for the sugar, and agave syrup for the honey. The recipe can also be halved.
2/3 cups + 1 tbsp
1 ⅓ cups
Ground Flax Seeds
1 ¼ oz
1 ¼ cups
All Purpose Flour
2 ¼ cups
Whole Wheat Flour
1 ¾ tsp
1) Measure all ingredients and preheat the oven to 350 F.
2) Mix ground flax seeds with water and let sit for 5 minutes.
3) In a bowl, combine the banana (mashed), vegetable oil, and coconut milk. Mix until combined. Add the sugar and honey. Mix until combined.
4) In a separate bowl, sift the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together.
5) Stir half of the dry ingredients into the banana mixture, until barely combined.
6) Stir the other half of the dry ingredients into the batter and mix until barely combined. Now stir in the almonds and chocolate.
7) Portion into muffin papers and bake – yields approximately 15 muffins. Bake until the center of the muffin springs back, between 22 and 26 minutes, depending on the size of muffin pan.
8) Or portion this batter into greased, lined loaf pans, and bake for between 45 and 60 minutes, depending on the size of the loaf pan.
Need more sugar in your life? Enjoy all the delicious treats that Blackmarket Bakery has to offer by placing a curbside pickup order via their website and follow them at @BlackmarketBakery for the latest news and offerings today!