LAURA XIMENA VILANUEVA GUERRA, BERLIN
It started of with a classic bread trade. 4 years ago Laura offered to compose the dream cake for my birthday.
What do you like? she asked.
Hm…“Blueberries” I answered. “And fudge.” “But no muerbeteig (shortcrust)”
Magic happened and she made most amazing cake I ever tried. It was with Blueberries -and with a fudge crust.
I am the kind of person who does not really like cakes.
But this was different.
Laura and I started trading; I baked bread for her dinners, and she made cakes for any special birthday that I was invited to. For a friend that lived long in NYC she was able to include Prezel, seasalted caramel and chocolate – All in one cake. For my boyfriend she used Blackberries, vodka butter cream and Raw cacao nibs that we had brought from Nicaragua. Not to forget the layered strawberry rhubarb cake with white chocolate ganache spiked with afrodiziac tonka beans which she composed for the Midsummer chapter of my book.
We shared the same approach. She loved to listen to stories of unknown people and to compose a cake perfectly made for them. But she never compromises on quality. With Belgian chocolate her ganache simply taste better. And with eggs no older than 2 days her baise will obviously have the perfect structure.
Quality has its price. But if you want to celebrate with the perfect cake and can’t do it yourself, then there is no one better than Laura.
Q/A WITH LAURA
M: What made you contribute to the Bread Exchange book?
L: I very much liked Malin from the beginning on, and I love the idea of sharing.
M: What characteristic in yourself are you most proud of?
L: I stand up for the things I love and believe in
M: What would you say was the biggest risk you’ve taken in your life?
L: I don’t see anything that I did in my life as a risk, but more as a step on the way that brings me closer to myself
M: What does quality mean to you?
L: Important in every way.
M: When you made merengue for me for the first time you explained the importance of using eggs no older than 2 days. Where else would you never compromise when you choose your ingredients?
L: I do not use convenience foods in cooking or baking. The freshness of ingredients in general is something very important to me, and is of course crucial to the final product. I would say I don’t ever compromise on any ingredient I use; I’m always on the search for the highest possible quality.
M: You are a mother of 4, what becoming a parent teach you?
L: Patience, definitely. Before I had kids, I tended to be pretty eager with things and also people. My kids still teach me to slow down a little.
M: How do you like to eat your bread?
L: Pretty classic – with a good butter and goats cheese.
M: What has inspired you recently?
L: I love to get in contact with people, and it’s mostly people, friends or somebody i work with, that inspire me in a certain way.
M: What have you learned from your grandmother?
L: To walk through the world with the eyes and the heart open. To be tolerant and friendly towards everybody.
To contact Laura about her delicious creations, visit her website Tausendsuend.