Seven Questions for Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart was joined by Bravo’s Andy Cohen last night to kick off the second annual American Made, a two-day celebration of ingenuity and craftsmanship that turns Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall into a lively marketplace of handpicked purveyors, crafters, and makers. Among this year’s American Made honorees are lighting designer Lindsey Adelman, Shinola’s Health Carr, and paper crafters Leo Kowal and Mary Rudakas, who took home the audience choice award for their SVGCuts creations. And for Stewart, that’s not even the icing on the cake—she’s got a new book out (about cakes!), an equally delicious PBS TV series in production (more cakes!), and big Halloween plans (Pumpkin Layer Cake…and much more!). We paused in our attempt at her Clementine-Vanilla Bean Loaf Cake to ask her seven questions.

What are some of your favorite finds among the nominees and winners of this year’s American Made awards?
The two-day event celebrates the spirit of innovation and spotlight a new generation of entrepreneurs. Everything we highlight with the American Made program, which is now in its second year, is something I’ve found in my various travels and meetings to be fascinating, unique, and worthy of recognition. This year, I have my eye on Back to the Roots, which is a ‘grow your own mushroom kit’ company out of Oakland, California, as well as Spoonflower, a custom fabric printing company in Durham, North Carolina.

Which recipe in Martha Stewart’s Cakes would you suggest for an amateur baker who wants to whip up a tasty and visually stunning cake?
The buttermilk cake with chocolate frosting is a great starting point for any amateur. It’s both visually stunning and tasteful. This book also provides a basics section specifically designed for amateurs who are looking to sharpen their baking skills. It provides essential equipment and ingredients for mixing, baking, and finishing!

Any tricks you can share about making a cake look as good as the amazingly beautiful ones featured in the pages of Martha Stewart’s Cakes?
Pairing cakes with accompaniments can be the finishing touch to a baker’s creation. They are served on the side adding richness, to simple cakes.

What’s cooking with your PBS show, Martha Bakes?
The PBS series is in its second season and features my best baking tips and techniques. My goal with the show is to provide my viewers with the confidence to create delectable baked goods from scratch. Every recipe on the show is an updated version of a classic recipe. This season, we’re baking coffee cakes, brioche, croissants, basic breads, cakes, and focaccia and pizza.

We read on your blog that you recently visited the Glass House–tell us about your experience there.
The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut is extraordinary and iconic. The house was designed by Philip Johnson, the influential architect who lived in the house from the time it was built in 1949 until his death in 2005. He passed ownership of the estate to the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2007. I have many fond memories of Philip Johnson and visiting him at his Glass House many years ago. It’s always a pleasure returning to the house and grounds.

What are you doing for Halloween? Any costume plans you can share with us?
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. This year, I’m transforming into a FairyGrandMartha (pictured above) using a ballerina’s leotard, yards of pink tulle, sparkling accessories, and some excellent makeup and hairstyling.

Previously on UnBeige:
A Baker’s Dozen: 13 Ways to Live More Like Martha Stewart
‘Craft Jesus’ Martha Stewart Worshipped by Hipsters, No Fan of Pinterest, Bullish on Twig Trees
Seven Questions for Gael Towey, Chief Creative for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
The Dialectic of Martha Stewart