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The Christiane Chronicles: Atlanta’s best cakes, and what’s so Southern about fried food?

I have nothing against pies, but when it comes to the ancient debate pitching pie lovers against cake fanatics, I align myself firmly with the second group.

Sweet Sassy Molassey Bakeshop offers “better for you” treats

An accountant by trade, Nicole Rhoads has been baking since middle school and often thought about opening a bakery. When she moved from Chapel Hill, N.C., to Atlanta last year, she decided to go for it. But a traditional bakery was not what she had in mind.

Technique: Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co. owner Kristen Hard on how to temper chocolate

Dip a marshmallow, a pretzel, or even a graham cracker into a bath of melted chocolate, and suddenly, the mundane becomes magical. But here’s the catch: If you’re using fine, unadulterated chocolate—as opposed to artificially flavored coatings fortified with vegetable oils—you must temper it first.

Behind the scenes at King of Pops

Steven and Nick Carse have built a mini-empire out of ice-pop sticks (they have thirty carts in the city and outlets across the South), but the brothers and their staff still get their fingers sticky.

Chocolate Oat Bars

Backstory: I debated between taking oatmeal cookies or brownies to a potluck where both kids and grown-ups would be present. Then I stumbled across this recipe in the Best Loved and Brand New Joy of Cooking 75th Anniversary edition, which combines the best of both.  An oatmeal cookie dough forms the crust for these bar cookies, which is then topped with a thick layer of fudgy frosting.  Then you drop dollops of the remaining dough on top, which forms a crunchy, cobbled surface when baked. What’s not to love? – Susan Puckett

The Bean Stalker

Today, Hard is the owner of Cacao Atlanta Chocolate Co., a cozy Inman Park boutique with a one-room production facility where she and her small staff produce the most exquisite chocolate in the Southeast. This is indulgence on an intense new level, painstakingly crafted in ways that few artisans in the country even attempt. But craftsmanship, as Hard has learned, isn’t enough.

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