Read about her seasonal creations, such as persimmon sticky toffee pudding with cream cheese ice cream
CM: How did you learn to bake?
HH: I first started baking when I was four, and my mom was very influential in getting me baking sets and cookbooks. We would bake together, and I began to bring my desserts to school when I got older. I began tinkering with cookie recipes in elementary school and became obsessed with looking through cookbooks and magazines for the next dessert to make. I attended Johnson & Wales in Miami in 2007, and it showed me what a professional kitchen was like and how to create recipes in a more scientific way. I’m an intuitive chef, so that was a change for me, but it was something I learned to really love.
CM: How has the pandemic impacted business?
HH: Our dessert sales skyrocketed as people sought comfort food. I also feel like people in general are just apt to try dessert now. It’s good for us as pastry chefs. We were getting neglected for a while, and for us to come back and share our craft with people is really refreshing. At Edmund’s Oast, there is some collaboration around special dinners and menus, but for the most part, it’s really about highlighting what everybody does best and working together to bring out the best in each other.
A slice of Concord grape pie with rosemary ice cream.
CM: Do you prefer cold or warm weather desserts?
HH: In Charleston, you know, it can be 90 degrees in the fall, so I go more by what it feels like outside. I want people to eat what they crave right now, not what they feel they should order based on the calendar. I’ll use blackberries in early fall instead of going straight to pumpkin. One of the desserts I’m known for at EO is my persimmon sticky toffee pudding with candied pecans and cream cheese ice cream. It’s a dessert everyone looks forward to when [persimmons are] in season. I ripen and process them and then freeze the puree so I can serve the dessert as long as possible.
CM: What will the holidays look like for you this year?
HH: I think pies are a great communal dessert, and I love Thanksgiving and Christmas because we get to share that. We’ll offer a variety of desserts this year for the holidays, maybe a few pies with paired ice creams. I am not a Scrooge, but I am a pastry chef, so I’m working the entire time during the holidays. I get a few breaks where I can go home and be with my family, and we make gingerbread houses. But for the most part, it’s pretty busy.
CM: What’s the most common mistake for home bakers?
HH: One of the biggest mistakes is just not following directions. When you don’t understand the recipe and start tinkering with it, it’s never going to be successful. The best thing to do the first time is go through the recipe exactly how it’s worded.