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Toast and Jam: Modern Recipes for Rustic Baked Goods and Sweet and Savory Spreads, by Sarah Owens

27 Jul

33215775Format: e-ARC, 256 pages

Publisher: Roost Books

To Be Published: August 15, 2017

ISBN: 9781611803570

Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine

Back cover blurb: Rustic breads, scones, and biscuits paired with fruit-jams, jellies, nut butters, savory spreads, pickles, and more–from the James Beard award-winning author of Sourdough.
Bread and butter, toast and jam, scones and clotted cream–baked goods have a long tradition of being paired with spreads to make their flavors and textures sing. As a baker with a passion for plants, Sarah Owens, author of the James Beard award-winning Sourdough, takes these simple pairings in fresh new directions. Spread some Strawberry & Meyer Lemon Preserves on a piece of Buckwheat Milk Bread for a special springtime treat. Top a slice of Pain de Mie with Watermelon Jelly for a bright taste of summer. Lather some Gingered Sweet Potato Butter on a piece of Spiced Carrot Levain for a warming fall breakfast. Make a batch of Dipping Chips to serve with Preserved Lemon and Fava Bean Hummus for an inspired snack. Wow brunch guests with a spread of Sourdough Whole-Grain Bagels, Lemony Herb Chevre, and Beet-Cured Gravlax. The recipes here offer a thoroughly fresh sensibility for the comfort found in a simple slice of toast spread with jam.

My review: The simple title is deceiving, because this is book is far more than just one about toast and spreads. The breads are fancy, and the spreads include not only jam but also butters, pickles, and other preserves, plus how to make your own ricotta and creme fraiche. Every photograph is stunning, almost as if you could reach out and touch the grain of the bread or the sticky gloss of its topping.

I’d like to try the chocolate and orange sourdough, the peach and tea preserves, and the roasted banana and chocolate nut butter, but I’ll admit I’d never heard of some of the other ingredients. It’s definitely not a book for a beginner; more for the gourmets among us.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5

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Food52 Ice Cream and Friends, by the Editors of Food52

4 Apr

33843312Format: e-ARC, 176 pages

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

To Be Published: April 11, 2017

ISBN: 9780399578021

Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine

Back cover blurb: A friendly collection of recipes, riffs, toppings, and serving ideas for ice creams of all styles.

In Ice Cream & Friends, the editors of Food52 unearth 60 recipes for everyday and special occasion frozen desserts—like coffee frozen custard, cinnamon roll ice cream, and grilled watermelon cremolada—and put their own spin on enduring favorites: spiced fudgesicles, cherry-mint snow cones, even a modern baked Alaska. There are also tips and tricks for reviving melted ice cream, getting even creamier scoops, and spiffing up the store-bought stuff, as well as homemade versions of cones, mochi, sprinkles, Magic Shell, and more.

My review: My daughter and I love making homemade no-churn ice cream, so this book was perfect to give us a few new flavour suggestions. As well as some old favourites, the editors of the Food52 blog have come up with some unusual combinations, including black pepper and feta or butternut squash and tahini ice creams, and tomato, peach and basil sorbet. I think we’ll definitely be trying the carrot cake ice cream, yummy baked alaskas, chocolate tacos, and the Brooklyn Blackout Semifreddo Cake, and will attempt to make our own Magic Shell, cones and sprinkles from their recipes. There’s even a genius tip for curing brain freeze, which will certainly come in handy!

The photographs are gorgeous and make your mouth water, and the instructions are clear and written in a chatty manner. I’m now keen to check out the authors’ other cookbooks and blog.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5

4cupcakes

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Candy Is Magic: Real Ingredients, Modern Recipes, by Jami Curl

28 Mar

30780245Format: e-ARC, 288 pages

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Published: 14 March, 2017

ISBN: 9780399578397

Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine

Back cover blurb: This game-changing candy cookbook from the owner of Quin, a popular Portland-based candy company, offers more than 200 achievable recipes using real, natural ingredients for everything from flavor-packed fruit lollipops to light-as-air marshmallows.

Jami Curl, candy-maker extraordinaire and owner of the candy company Quin has been called the “new Willy Wonka” by Bon Appetit. Her debut book, This is Candy, includes the recipes that have made Quin a favorite with local and national media, foodies, chefs, and bloggers. But This is Candy is not just a candy book. Instead, Jami’s approach to candy forms the foundation for a world of other confections–from bacon glazed with maple and black pepper caramel to a clever Chocolate Magic Dust that can be turned into chocolate pudding, chocolate sauce, and even a chocolate lollipop. Packed with more than 200 recipes for totally original confections like Whole Roasted Strawberry Lollipops, Bergamot Caramels, Fig & Coffee Gumdrops, and Pinot Noir cotton candy, as well as serious tips and advice for making amazing candy at home.

My review: I never thought I would be bored by a book about sweets but, sadly, I was. This wasn’t the cookbook I was expecting. Instead, the first quarter is a comprehensive technical explanation of the methodology and equipment needed for candy making, and then there are a series of recipes for infusions and flavoured sugars before we get to any real recipes. Even then, these all seem to be very similar variations on a theme, covering lollipops, marshmallow, gum drops and caramels. The same flavours are repeated for each type of sweet. I really would have liked a bit more variation and something a bit more “out there.”

Maybe there weren’t enough photos. I found the hand drawings a bit amateurish. The rabbit cake was certainly underwhelming. I know I didn’t need several pages devoted to making cinnamon sugar or how to put together cocoa powder and sugar to make a hot chocolate mix.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 3/5

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Layered: Baking, Building, and Styling Spectacular Cakes, by Tessa Huff

3 Mar

26240710Format: e-ARC, 288 pages

Publisher: Stewart, Tabori & Chang

To Be Published: April 19, 2016

ISBN: 9781617691881

Genre: Cooking, Food and Wine

Back cover blurb: It’s time to venture beyond vanilla and chocolate and take your baking skills up a notch. We’re talking layers—two, three, four, or more!

Create sky-high, bakery-quality treats at home with Tessa Huff’s 150 innovative recipes, which combine new and exciting flavors of cake, fillings, and frostings—everything from pink peppercorn cherry to bourbon butterscotch, and pumpkin vanilla chai to riesling rhubarb and raspberry chocolate stout. Including contemporary baking methods and industry tips and tricks, Layered covers every decorating technique you’ll ever need with simple instructions and gorgeous step-by-step photos that speak to bakers of every skill level—and to anyone who wants to transform dessert into layer upon layer of edible art.

My review: It’s clear Tessa Huff is a food stylist and photographer as well as a pastry chef and blogger, because the photographs in this book are glorious. Not only do we get to see the sky-high creations with all their pretty icing and decorations, but there are also separate photos of each cake sliced up, giving us a glorious view of the magnificently layered interiors. If it were possible to gain weight by just looking at cakes, I would have gained at least five kilos reading his book!

Huff begins by outlining the basics: ingredients, tools, basic methods and tips for optimum results. Written for a North American audience, some of the brand names and shops referenced were not familiar to me, but I appreciated the thoroughness with which the author covered these topics. She even gives instructions on how to make homemade sprinkles.

Then came the cakes. Oh my! The flavour combinations were incredible, including fruits, teas, alcohol, and spices alongside the perennial favourites of chocolate, coffee, lemon, and vanilla. I’m definitely going to be trying her Lemon Supreme Cake, Rainbow Sprinkle Cake, Banoffee Tiramisu Cake, and Red Wine Blackberry Cake. Yum!

Making layered cakes is no easy feat – and I’m sure my efforts would look nowhere near as good as Huff’s – but the photographs alone make this book a worthy addition to your kitchen bookshelf. The author’s personal story and historical explanations for recipes are fun to read, and I guess my only qualm would be that very few of these recipes would be suitable for people with food allergies. They certainly weren’t any good for my diet!

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

5cupcakes

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No-Bake Honeycomb Crunchie Cheesecake!

13 Oct

Source: No-Bake Honeycomb Crunchie Cheesecake!

Jane’s Patisserie strikes again! Think I’m going to have to try this. Looks so yummy!

Nutella and Ferrero Rocher Fudge!

9 Jun

Yes, yes, yesssss… need this now!

Jane's Patisserie

Chocolate Hazlenut Nutella Fudge – So easy and simple to make, and so moreish – you will want to make it again and again!

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So the last time I posted a Fudge recipe I said I wouldn’t do one for a while… Well this is as long as I could last. Sorry!

This recipe is similar to my Triple Chocolate Cookies Fudge as the base of the fudge is Condensed Milk rather than Clotted Cream like all of my other recipes! I like this type of fudge as its basically a store cupboard fudge, other than a dab of butter, but I always have butter in the house!

I found the Carnation recipe for their easy chocolate fudge but I wanted to elevate it to a new level and involve something that will catch the eyes of people, and excite the tastebuds… the answer? NUTELLA. Always and forever, Nutella. Seriously, it…

View original post 388 more words

Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake!

14 May

As Jane says, Chocolate + orange + cake = YES! Definitely going to try this one 🙂

Jane's Patisserie

Chocolate & Orange Zest Bundt Cake with Orange Sugar Sand and a dash of Terry’s Chocolate Orange!

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I have put up a few bundt cake recipes in my time now, including a chocolate one, but something about Chocolate & Orange together is a marriage made in heaven. My recipe for my Chocolate Orange Cookies is amazingly popular, and is one my boyfriends absolute favourite cookies ever! After the success of the cookies I thought I would develop a Cake version that would be perfect for Afternoon Tea, or just a Cake for the week!

This cake has a delicious light and moist sponge even with the flavouring – using cocoa powder gives you the flavour of the chocolate without making the cake too dense, and the orange gives it a nice citrusy zing!

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I find that this recipe is easy to follow, and is totally worth it in the end!…

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Easter Fudge!

30 Mar

OMG, just look at this! Another one of Jane’s fabulous recipes I definitely need to try!

Jane's Patisserie

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This is essentially a super Chocolatey Fudgey mashup of easter sweets or just absolutely delicious chocolates. It is addictive to say the least! I have done many a fudge recipe now, so sorry if you’re bored of them (How dare you!) but I thought one more for a little while (this could be a lie) to set you up for Easter next weekend!

This recipe is based on my original sweetie recipe on my blog – White Chocolate Clotted Cream Fudge. I thought that as I had demonstrated an easier fudge recipe where there is no boiling and getting to ridiculous degrees of temperature with my Triple Chocolate Cookies Fudge, I should go back to where it all started and create a mashup of them all!

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The texture is delicious crumbly in a good fudgey way – its also a nice mix of white chocolate, and milk chocolate…

View original post 476 more words

Ferrero Rocher & Nutella Chocolate Tart!

18 Mar

Another one to definitely try! Mmm, Nutella!

Jane's Patisserie

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I have always thought that Ferrero Rocher are such a delectable treat – they’re so crunchy, nutty, and chocolatey! Which basically means they are perfection. I have always wanted to make a dessert that involves them as they have always been one of my favourite chocolates, and I figured that a delicious and mousse like chocolate tart would be perfect!

The Nutella layer at the bottom of the tart is a nice surprise to those eating the dessert as you can’t see it from the top, and its so full of flavour! This in addition to the beautifully light and and delicious chocolate tart filling is the perfect combo! I always try and have a little spare mix to:
1) Decorate the tart in a (hopefully) pretty way!
2) Eat with the spatula after finishing decorating…

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This is without a doubt one of the most amazing desserts I have made – and…

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Baileys Truffles – St Patricks Day Recipe!

17 Mar

Happy St Patrick’s Day! I must give these a try – they look delicious!

Jane's Patisserie

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Happy St Patricks Day!! (Well, 2 days early… but at least you can make these in advance now!) You might be able to tell by now that I love sweets, such as truffles and fudge and such – so easy to make at home, and so much cheaper than buying them pre-made! I also had an inkling that as its St Patricks Day coming up – celebrating it in style would be ideal, therefore Baileys Truffles!!

They are so indulgent and rich, yet perfectly sized and tasty, so irresistible. This recipe is so easy to do, and you will want to make them over and over, especially if your friends & family start having them – you will all be hooked!

I myself are not Irish, but some of my friends are so I always celebrate the day with them yearly – its far too much fun, and I LOVE…

View original post 369 more words

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Writing for the Pop Culture Literate.

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