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Anna Markow

Anna Markow

Pastry Chef

Pastry chef, adventurous eater, maker of classic cocktails, consumer of whiskeys.

Pastry chef hailing from Maine. Married and working in Brooklyn. Took a little break behind a bar and recently back in action! Writing about original recipes and the kitchen counter-culture. Been creating crazy edibles since 2008 at VerySmallAnna.

  • Website
  • Location: Brooklyn
  • Favorite foods: Seaweed salad, crispy salmon skin, quince, dates, curried goat, soba, whisky, wild blueberries, pomegranate, scallops, molasses, duck, kumquats
  • Last bite on earth: Duck. Delicious ducky duck. And a big chewy spicy molasses cookie.

From the Pastry Dungeon: Apricot Breakfast Popsicles

As the temperature outside soars, everyone is desperately trying to stay cool. But what about those of us in the kitchen? What's it like for us in the summer? As you can imagine, standing over six to twelve open burners, a flat top, a grill, and a fryer is a sweaty endeavor even in the cooler months. That's where refreshing frozen popsicles come in. More

Park Slope's Best Ice Cream Shop Makes Great Cake, Too

I just recently went there for the first time. As someone who is admittedly a total dick abut ice cream/gelato, theirs is AMAZING. The licorice flavor has to be one of my favorites of all time. They're all so invested in what they're doing, as well. Hoping to get back soon.

Ask a Bartender: How Do You Prevent a Hangover?

I always constantly sipped on a pint glass of seltzer with bitters. Tastes good, keeps your belly happy, keeps you hydrated. I also don't drink sugary drinks or really anything that isn't on the whisky shelf...

Pie for Breakfast at Two Fat Cats in Portland, ME

I grew up in Maine and my mom is from Connecticut and she always considered (homemade) pie to be acceptable breakfast. I actually had to teach that to both my ex boyfriend (a lots-of-generations Mainer) and my husband (a Brooklyn boy). My husband took to eating blueberry pie and even almond flour cake for breakfast pretty easily when I brought him home.

How to Top a Torte?

@Traveller Any middle eastern grocery should have date molasses and I imagine that Whole Foods probably carries it, too. Regular molasses also works great.

How to Top a Torte?

I did a chocolate date torte that I made a simple glaze for, it was just chocolate, butter, vanilla, salt and a little date molasses, spread thinly on top of the torte and then sprinkled with toasted sesame. It wasn't much but it helped the dessert immensely.

And Now, a Frozen Yogurt Made With Liquid Nitrogen

Gosh you guys are never happy. This looks great and I'm so stopping by some day after work.

Chocoholic: Flourless Coconut Lime Cake with White Chocolate Whipped Cream

This is awesome! I recently had a blood orange and toasted almond flour cake on my menu at work that used this method and have been thinking about using other citrus and flours to achieve different results. I'll wait on this until limes no longer cost half my paycheck though ;)

Also loving the white chocolate in the chocoholic column, more love for the (un)dark horse of the chocolate family!!!

Ask a Bartender: Cocktail Experiment Failures

Cookie Monster: Earl Grey Tea Cookies

Heh, I have that same cutter and did matcha cookies almost as soon as I got it home. The flecks of tea are so pretty!

Real Talk: Stop Bashing Ice Cream Stabilizers

Lol at calling commercial stabilizers "non-natural." Guar, carrageenan, etc. are all plant-derived substances, not spooky chemistry experiments. That said, I hate the texture that most of them give things, and some are awful for long term storage. Guar in particular.

Since I make gelato at work, I've been playing with different ways to strike the balance between stable recipes that don't get creepy textures if we don't sell them right away but also don't freeze too hard or come out so fatty they leave a film in your mouth (which is an issue with things churned in a gelato machine, as it incorporates very little air compared to ice cream machines). My favorite gelato base so far, at least for infused flavors, relies on whole eggs and a little cornstarch and is like loose pudding before churning. Flavors are strong and true, the product is stable and not too fatty (I use more milk than cream, which is common in gelato recipes). For sorbets, if I'm using something that doesn't provide enough pulp or pectin naturally to stabilize itself, my go to is an Eddy Van Damme base using powdered pectin. Best pomegranate sorbet I've ever had and it works with citrus, too. Pectin feels more natural in a sorbet since it's fruit-derived and it holds well. Occasionally I'll use an Italian meringue to stabilize, like when I did a gin and tonic sorbet, but it isn't perfect for long term storage and is best for things I churn regularly.

The Changing Shapes of Francisco Migoya of Hudson Chocolates

Well at least now I have an idea for a place I'd like to stage that is somewhat local instead of being on the other side of the country...Seriously though reading about the tempered birthday cake chocolate...wow.

All Caramelled Out

At least a little salt in every dessert is necessary so things don't taste flat, and it helps cut through the richness of a lot of chocolate (which is awful with zero salt). I agree with a friend of mine who says the "salted" needs to be dropped because caramel should always have some salt, but it's a word that sells.

I agree with red velvet. It's awful. I'm also not a fan of cake/brownie batter anything. Cookie dough ice cream is one thing, cake batter Muscle Milk? No.

American Classics: Classic Egg Creams

I definitely prefer vanilla egg creams but I'm not much of a chocolate fan. I tried to sell egg creams when I was curating a mocktail list for a restaurant, but people didn't understand why they weren't creamy. Solution? Half milk, half cream, shaken for 30 seconds with the syrup. Not only was it "creamy" enough for those who didn't understand the beverage, but it produced a nice stable head of foam that would survive the trip from the bar to the table instead of dissipating immediately.

Let's talk about Portland, Maine!

Do. Not. Skip: Gelato Fiasco. I know it's cold but it's hands down the best gelato, I'd say from NYC up. And if it's below freezing, you get one percent off for every degree below!

I really want to try Miyake next time I visit home. Silly's is awesome. Mainers really love their espresso drinks and most of the coffee shops are excellent (Fiasco even has amazing coffee).

Behind the Scenes in Momofuku Milk Bar's Kitchen: Making Strawberry-Lemon Layer Cake

Scooped: The Pursuit of Balance in Ice Cream

Sounds fairly similar to a gelato I've been making at work to accompany my chocolate amaretto cake. It's flavored with saffron, honey and preserved Meyer lemons. The preserved lemons add all the salt and bitter you could want, and the saffron keeps it from being too sweet. Similar pretty yellow color, too!

Valentines Day With No Prix Fixe!

Yeah I can't imagine wanting to go out on one of the busiest nights of the year. But I do know the restaurant I work for, Amali, will not be doing prix fixe. I may run a dessert special or two and we WILL be absolutely packed, but no prix fixe.

479° Has Nailed the Sweet Popcorn Game

Yeah, that's caramel corn. Kettle corn is super easy to make at home provided you have a gas stove and a large, heavy pot.

American Classics: Balsamic Roasted Strawberry Sherbet

Buttermilk sherbets are THE BEST. Any summer fruit is so happy in one!

McDonald's Debuts 'Adventure Time' Happy Meal Toys...for Boys

That's ridiculous, that show is like half princesses. Why is there no Bubblegum or Marceline toy? They're both kickass role models for little girls (OR boys) and...I want a Tree Trunks toy for my work kitchen. She would be like my patron saint of pies!!

Who even likes Paul Frank monkeys? Those things are hideous. How is that a successful brand of anything HOW.

Tracy Obolsky's Sweet Takeover of the Menu at North End Grill

Arg. I've been chatting with Tracy for over a year now via Twitter (at first asking her how the heck to convert ice cream recipes tfor a geltato machine) and I've still never gotten the chance to actually go in and taste her stuff. She's brilliant!

Staff Picks: What's Your Recipe Deal-Breaker?

@grapist Pomegranate molasses is drastically reduced pomegranate juice, to the point that if it were reduced any more it would be likely to burn. Some brands taste slightly caramelized.

It seems no one knows what to do with the stuff (I use it at work but mostly in tiny quantities dripped on the Greek yogurt with pomegranate) and I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds Ottolenghi's recipes overly complicated. WHY does everything have 25 ingredients???

Chika Tillman's ChikaLicious Dessert Bar Stands the Sweet Test of Time

I absolutely love her. Chika's attitude and willingness to experiment is an awesome example for any frustrated pastry cook. Haven't been in a while but I have had the tasting menu twice. At one point she did employ a cook, and I worked with one of her former cooks, who told me she is sworn to secrecy regarding the cheesecake's recipe. Apparently Chika would sue her ass off if she ever told anyone...

Awesome New Honey Liqueurs From Bärenjäger

Heh. I actually used to keep a bottle of original Barenjager in the freezer (so it took on the consistency of actual honey) in colder months and add it to hot tea when I was feeling ick or it was a particularly blustery night. I've also used it to give a boost of honey flavor to chocolate-honey gelato.

What Alcoholic Drinks Do You Hate?

I've been known to call vodka "pointless." Flavored vodka is almost all garbage. Anything sweet, including crappy bourbon. Not a huge tequila fan. And most beer, especially very hoppy ones. I don't drink much wine, either...sangria is almost universally horrible.

Win Pop Chart Lab's 'The Various Varieties of Fruits'

Have you ever performed an innocent Google search, just to find your WHOLE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN?! Because that's exactly what happened to us here at Serious Eats a few weeks back, when we simply had to know what qualified as the world's largest berry. Luckily, we came across this handy poster from our friends over at Pop Chart Lab to help put some order to the madness that is botanical nomenclature. And we're giving away three copies to you, our even luckier readers. More

Tobacco Cookies

Cigar aficionados, take note: this recipe makes serious use of your favorite indulgence. Smoke & Pickles flavors soft sugar cookie dough with chopped leaves, and the topping is a boiled down mix of molasses, coconut, and tobacco water. More

Preserved: Rum Raisin Apple Pie Jam

Until pie replaces pancakes, I'll have to make do with this jam. Filled with tart Granny Smith apples, juicy raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and a healthy shot of dark rum, it tastes exactly like my favorite holiday apple pie. It's insanely good on cornbread and pretty darn delicious on plain old toast, too. More

Scooped: Black Cardamom and Black Pepper Ice Cream

A friend who tasted an earlier batch of this ice cream compared its flavor (very happily) to cigarettes. Needless to say, the recipe has been adjusted. Post adjustments, it's sweet and smoky with a slight black pepper kick, and deep spice aroma—but if you're looking to make cigarette-flavored ice cream, simply double the amount of black cardamom. Delish. More

Bread Baking: Sourdough Waffles

The beauty of using starter for waffles is that the starter doesn't have to be completely active to still make a nice waffle. It's used for flavor more than anything else, so a sleepy starter from the fridge or a fiercely bubbling starter on the counter, or a new starter that's not quite ready—they're all just as good. More

Dinner Tonight: Sichuan-Style Chicken Noodle Soup

This is the kind of chicken noodle soup I can get into. It's warming and comforting, with hunks of chicken meat and slinky noodles suspended in a rich stock. But this isn't some bland rendition. No, this soup is imbued with the haunting aroma of star anise and cinnamon, and tickled by the numbing sensation of Sichuan pepper. A sprinkling of chopped chile completes this assertive bowl of soup, which comes together surprisingly fast. More