Tag Archives: Baking

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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Saved by Cake, by Marian Keyes

29 Apr

Format: Hardcover, 300 pages
Published: February 28, 2012
Publisher: Michael Joseph
Back cover blurb:
From one of the best-loved novelists in Britain comes a book for all of us who love to bake (or would love to learn).
After a difficult period in her life, Marian Keyes found solace in baking. The precision of the measurements, the light spring of a well-baked cake, the prettiness of the frosting and decorations: the whole process was soothing. She immersed herself in the world of recipes and piping bags and silicone cake moulds, baking for friends, family and (when they couldn’t eat another bite) total strangers. In short, she fell in love with baking.
Saved By Cake is a dose of pure Marian. Funny and charming as ever, Marian guides you through the world of baking in her own inimitable way. It’s perfect for novice bakers, with plenty of advice for beginners, but the recipes are delicious and unique enough to appeal to even the most seasoned of bakers. From Slightly Sinister Star Anise cupcakes to Blokey Snickers Loaf Cheesecake, from Lemon and Thyme biscuits to the Ultimate Chocolate Cake, Marian has something for everyone’s taste buds. And with her as your guide, this is baking as it’s meant to be: pure, unadulterated fun!
My review:
I love Marian Keyes and was really worried about her when she announced she had stopped writing due to a serious bout of depression. This book chronicles her fight back from the breakdown, listing her treatments – even the way she carried a “suicide bag” with pens and paper so she could write a note to whoever found her. But her ultimate way of pushing the black thoughts at bay turned out to be baking.Full of gorgeous recipes, every page has her trademark wonderful Irish humour and you can’t help but smile at her new fetish for cookie cutters shaped like shoes and handbags. This is a lovely hardback, and I will certainly be trying out some of her family’s favourites. I think more recipes should say to just “feck in more flour”!

My rating: 5/5
Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Writing for the Pop Culture Literate.

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