Margaret's French Bakery
In the 1960s, Margaret took her first trip to Paris and fell in love with the sights and sounds that filled the teeming streets. But mostly, she fell in love with the flavors. "I ate my way through that city," she says with a laugh. When she returned to the States, she could not find anything that measured up to what she'd tasted in France, so Margaret, who'd been cooking since the age of 10, began trying her hand at re-creating the flavors and textures that left her enamored with the City of Lights.
When she opened her first shop in 1983, she began crafting croissants, brioches, and tarts. Now, in her appointment-only headquarters, Margaret and her team continue to create those French confections as well as custom cakes, which serve as impressive centerpieces at weddings and natural habitats for tiny, well-dressed couples. Fondant and marzipan from Switzerland shield the towering creations, which are filled with Belgian chocolate and locally grown fresh fruit. Popular creations include a cake steeped in strawberries and Grand Marnier, a chocolate-raspberry mousse torte, and a princess cake, which layers spongy vanilla génoise, raspberry preserves, and Amaretto cream filling.
Margaret especially relishes the challenge of sculpting unusual cakes. In her kitchen, she holds her breath while putting the finishing touches on a batter-based construction sculpted into the shape of a stack of tires, which she is building for the wedding of two Jeep lovers.