Behind the Sweets: Brad Hillyer Constructs The Ellen at Alliance Bakery

[Photographs: Lindsey Becker]

Is it just me or does walking into Alliance Bakery feel just a little bit like going home? There's something so nostalgic and comforting about being surrounded by so many beautiful and tasty looking pastries in such a small, vintage space. Among the many eye-catching delights to be found in their jam-packed display cases are several different entremet, or multi-layered mousse cakes, which may seem intimidating in their beauty and elegance. But in this homey atmosphere they are known simply by a few approachable names like Michelle, Rosie, Lola, and Ellen.

Brad Hillyer, who started as an intern at Alliance three years ago and who is now the pastry chef, took some time on a bustling Saturday afternoon to show me how The Ellen is constructed. Click through the slideshow for a useful dissection of this multiplex of pistachio, cinnamon, and white chocolate.

Alliance Bakery

1736 W Division St, Chicago, IL 60622 (map)