Chocolate lovers, this one’s for you! An intensely bittersweet glazed chocolate ganache tart on a salty, crunchy pretzel crust.
I’ve partnered with Hershey to create this intensely bittersweet glazed chocolate ganache tart on a salty, crunchy pretzel crust. Chocolate lovers, this one’s for you!
It’s hard to believe that I’ve been blogging about baking and desserts for almost five years. It’s been quite the journey, growing this blog from something that I started as a side-hobby into my very own small business.
However, as much as I love my blog, I sometimes get into a funk where the things that I enjoy so much–baking, photography, writing—feel more like work. It’s easy to fall into a trap where I get stressed about my social media numbers and try to keep up with all the fast-moving trends.
So every so often, I need to stop, take a deep breath, and remove myself from all those stresses by baking something just for myself without worrying about all of all that. And when I do, all those memories and stories come flooding back, and I'm reminded of why I started baking in the first place:
Sophomore Year of College, Portland, Oregon, 2007
My friend Leah and I were procrastinating on our homework and wanted cupcakes. We drove up to the grocery store and were unimpressed by how sad their cupcakes look in the supermarket display cases. We came up with the half-baked idea to make cupcakes ourselves, and loaded up our cart with all the baking gear we can find: a $20 hand mixer, an aluminum foil muffin tin, a box of cake mix. It was a half-baked operation: we forgot measuring cups and eyeballed the oil needed for the recipe using a grubby pint glass. We made a huge and loud mess in the tiny dorm kitchen and annoyed all my fellow dorm mates. However, all was forgiven when we handed out the still-warm, slightly-lopsided (but very delicious) cupcakes.
My First Real Job Out of College, San Francisco, CA, 2010
I remember feeling lost in a new city and feeling broke with my entry level salary and my comically high rent. Unable to afford to do anything I want, I figured that baking for myself would be a fun and marginally cheap hobby. I eventually graduated from box mixes to making things from scratch. I started with giving the final products to my roommate and our neighbor next door. Soon, people flitted in and out of the apartment, making requests for birthday cakes and certain recipe favorites. I happily obliged.
The Hummingbird Bakery, London, 2011
Visited one of my best friends in London. He takes me to a bakery that he says reminds him of me. We bought a box of cupcakes and he shoved their cookbook, The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, into my hands. "Here," he said. "This book makes people better bakers." I'm reminded of him every time I bake from the book, somewhat making up for the fact that he lives an entire ocean away.
The Terrible Finance Job that I Hated, Denver, CO, 2011
In another new place. I found myself working a horrible job that makes me cry almost every night and decided to bake my favorite cupcakes from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. Was mortified to find that the recipe, one I've made so many times that I know all the steps by heart, resulted in a muffin tin full of sticky puddles of batter. Eventually discovered that high-altitude baking is a completely different game. Decide to explore it more by trying to adapt all my favorite recipes to work at high altitude. Start to record all my discoveries using this blog. Found support from strangers and readers from all around the world.
Over the last few years, I've realized that baking has the power to make others happy, and to bring back memories of the people and places I love. For me, blogging is about connecting with people who love baking—whether it's the process, or the final products—as much as I do. So have a slice of this chocolate pretzel tart filled with a rich, deep and dark chocolate ganache and a salty pretzel crust, and know that you're a big part of what inspires me to bake:
Tart crust can be made up to 24 hour ahead and kept tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature until ready to fill.
Thanks to Hershey for sponsoring this post by providing the compensation and ingredients to make it happen! I'm one of the bloggers participating in HERSHEY'S Kitchens' Bake Happy Challenge, where we'll be spending the next few months sharing our best recipes, tips, tricks, and anything to encourage all you lovely folks to bake. Learn more about it here, and thanks again for supporting Hummingbird High and all my wonderful sponsors!