David Guas
David Guas's Gâteau de Bayou with Toasted Salty Caramel Meringue

What's your favorite secret ingredient?
For the cake in O, I used a few: first, the hot sauce; then, the black pepper; and, not to be forgotten, the sugarcane syrup! I think in general, salt is the key to balancing the flavors of a delish cake.

What's one tip you would give someone making your cake?
Make sure you take the burnt sugar, for the meringue, a bit further than your brain tells you to. You will want to add the corn syrup early because your brain says, "You're burning the sugar!" but fight the urge. Wait, wait, wait...and now add the syrup. The further you can push it the more rounded and caramel-y the flavor will be.

What was your favorite birthday cake growing up? And today?
It would have to be a Half and Half (lemon/chocolate) Doberge cake from Gambino's Bakery in New Orleans. It is still a favorite of mine today, but now I make it myself.

Next: Christina Tosi's favorite cake mix...


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