Heads up, British expats: The sweets of your homeland will soon be baked fresh right here in Dallas. Blind Butcher pastry chef Tina Miller — responsible for such treats as foie gras chocolate cake — has a new side project honoring her family heritage: The Proper Baking Co., slated to make its debut November 8 at the Dallas Farmers Market.
Miller says the project was born out of a desire to recreate "a little taste of home": Before moving to Dallas several years ago, she ran a popular 16th-century gastropub in Lincolnshire, England with her parents. "In America, you might go to a bakery for a cupcake or to order a birthday cake," she says. "In England, a bakery is everything — you go there for bread, pork pies, sliced meat, sausage rolls, all kinds of things."
To that end, her new bakery startup stationed at the Dallas Farmers Market will offer both sweet and savory items: Think individual pork pies like those served at Blind Butcher, sausage-wrapped Scotch eggs, and the classic British dessert known as Victoria sponge cake.
One of Miller's favorite items is the Bakewell tart, a buttery pastry crust filled with almond frangipane and a thin layer of strawberry jam. There's also cookies — or as the English call them, biscuits — including "melting moments," which are light, buttery cookies sandwiching silky-smooth vanilla buttercream.
All the items are baked according to Miller's obsession with making things from scratch: She insists on whipping cream by hand, and strawberry jam is made from Texas berries she canned herself over the summer. "I just get so much enjoyment out of it," she says. "It reminds me of my big family back home and being a kid. Whenever we all get together, everyone brings a cake they've made."
The Proper Baking Co. makes its Dallas Farmers Market debut Sunday, November 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.