While training at New York City’s French Culinary Institute, pastry chef Claudia DeLatorre learned that making incredible desserts often involves many steps but rarely many preservatives. At her bakery, Cake Flour, creations range from simple savories such as cheese scones to fancy, French-inspired sweets such as mini tarts and petits fours. Though their recipes differ, eschewal of artificial sweeteners and hydrogenated oils brings them together in a NuLu District shop teeming with the scents of cinnamon and toasted nuts. Certified organic ingredients such as unbromated flour, unbleached sugar, and free-range eggs infuse goodies with more flavor and freshness than a rapping watermelon.
Determined to serve the most memorable baked goods her customers have ever tasted, Claudia and her team craft each goodie from scratch, plucking rosemary from the shop’s garden to spice fresh focaccia and mixing rich ganache to glaze a flourless chocolate cake that’s been featured on the Food Network. In addition to building bite-size confections for Cake Flour’s bakery case, Claudia designs more than 600 types of wedding cake and tailors treats to the needs of vegan and gluten-free diners. To shrink the bakery’s carbon footprint, she paints its walls with low-VOC paints and pours steaming coffee into compostable cups insulated with corn-based linings, not diamond-stuffed long johns.