Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Spotlight: Meet Apollina Spoto

Meet Apollina Spoto.  She makes the most amazing cakes inspired by fashion.  Her cakes are absolutely beautiful and I love a woman who has a life outside of work:)  Apollina gives us the inside scoop on her fashion/baking passion.  I'm hoping to get a bite sometime soon!
Tell us about yourself.
I'm a Florida-born, Baltimore-raised girl who has always been easily distracted by things that sparkle and things that are pink.  I became an attorney to fight for justice and for the rights of people who are denied them.  For now, I am making a living as a contract attorney in DC and volunteering with local organizations like DC Stop Modern Slavery and Polaris Project to help raise awareness and eradicate human trafficking.  I also enjoy the frivolous - glamorous fashion, luxurious interiors and pretty desserts.  In February, I started a mixed content blog designed to reflect my mixed content life and interests.  With the blog I indulge myself and also try to inspire others who believe in pleasing aesthetics and delicious sweets.  I’ve also discovered a love I have for writing, which I think I may have suppressed for quite a while.

Tell us about your baking and fashion background. 
I don't have a formal background in fashion (unless you count my prom dress which I recently wore to black tie event;). I have always loved dressing up and wearing lots of jewelry, (this is the quintessential picture of me growing up - I still love plastic bracelets:) and nothing much has changed.  I remember in middle and high school, I just couldn't compete with the other girls in terms of brand names and trends because we didn't have any money. I figured that the best way to win in that situation is to take yourself out of the race and start your own game, where you make the rules. I had to get creative with thrift store items and hand-me-downs; that's how I developed my personal sense of style and my eye for fashion, not just wearing the trends of the moment, but creating a cohesive, original, desirable look.

Favorite cake? 
My favorite cake of the ones I've made so far is my Stella Cake.  It was such a simple idea that I had when lying in bed one night.  I was just looking at magazines and saw that Stella fruit print that was everywhere at the time and thought, man, those look good enough to eat - so, I decided to make it into something that I actually could eat!  After Stella, the wheels have been constantly turning in my head of all the other couture fashions I could turn into tiers of flour and sugar!  Admittedly though, the Stella McCartney print totally lent itself to being made into food... Needless to say, I wish more fruit prints would come into fashion:)

How did you start creating these cakes?  
I LOVE looking at amazing confections. The Food Network is my favorite channel and I used to be glued to the screen watching all the cake shows and competitions. I have seen a lot of cakes turned into exact replicas of Chanel shoe boxes and Louis Vuitton bags, and while they look great, they don't stay true to the cake’s cake-ness.  Instead of making a cake look like a shoe, Id rather see fashion serve as inspiration and be reinterpreted into something edible and sugary.

What is your favorite local bakery and why?  
That is a good question... I really love donuts and chocolate croissants, and to be honest, I'm not a huge cupcake fan. When I think of my favorite bakery I think of somewhere you can get an amazing fresh pastry as an appetizer, a delicious cup of coffee, a hot breakfast and then leave with a fresh baguette for lunch.  I don't have a local favorite (although I love the beignets at Bayou Bakery in Courthouse) but I adore the French bakery, La Vie En Rose in Boise. It is so charming and I can still taste their pain au chocolat...

How do you de-stress after a long day of working? 
I love getting home, immediately changing into a long, cozy robe and climbing onto my pillow-loaded bed with my latest magazines or a recipe book and my laptop.  I journal things I want to make or write about on my blog and relax by perusing for inspiration.  I love to bake and cook but it's really not de-stressing for me.  The only time baking is totally stress free is when I have a Saturday to kill and I start experimenting with a glass of wine in hand and Timbaland on Pandora… and no one will see or eat the results but me:)

What are your most exciting challenges right now? 
I'm actually in the process of designing/making a cake for The Glitter Guide right now and it is certainly challenging.  I am making this edible luster confetti out of gelatin (lots of time and a hole puncher are involved) and I'm experimenting with fondant which I've never even used before.  I like to sign myself up for things that I have no idea how to do - it pushes me to learn new things.  I also am constantly challenged by food photography.  It is really hard to capture food- especially glitter- and make it look appetizing.

Share your favorite fall cake recipe?  
Oh this is fun! I got this from Bakerella, it's more of a cobbler type is super easy to make and goes awesome with hot chocolate and cold ice cream.  I made it 4 times last year:

Peach Crunch Cake (or you can make it will canned apples)
24.5 oz jar of sliced peaches in light syrup
1 package yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), cut into 16 pieces
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Layer ingredients in a 13 X 9 dish, in order starting with the peaches.
Bake for about 40 minutes.
Serve warm or cold… with or without ice cream.  So easy and SO delicious!

Anything else you’d like to share with the readers? 
 I just want to thank you Lauren for this interview and thank all of my readers for all of the wonderful feedback I've received. I am so excited by all of the wonderful opportunities and challenges this blog has afforded me. The best part by far is meeting and connecting with new people with mutual interests and passions. Thank you so much!

No comments: