Tag Archives: Chocolate

The Artful Baker: Extraordinary Desserts From an Obsessive Home Baker, by Cenk Sonmezsoy

15 Nov

34227715Format: e-ARC, 384 pages

Publisher: Abrams

Published: October 17, 2017

ISBN: 9781419726491

Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine

Back cover blurb: A collection of more than 100 extraordinary desserts—all with photos and meticulous instructions—by Cenk Sönmezsoy, creator of the internationally acclaimed blog Cafe Fernando.

Written, styled, photographed, and designed by Cenk Sönmezsoy, The Artful Baker shares the inspiring story of a passionate home baker, beginning with his years after graduate school in San Francisco and showcasing the fruits of a baking obsession he cultivated after returning home to İstanbul. Sönmezsoy’s stories and uniquely styled images, together with his original creations and fresh take on traditional recipes, offer a thoughtful and emotional window into the life of this luminary artist.

The Artful Baker is comprised of almost entirely new content, with a few updated versions of readers’ favorites from his blog, such as Brownie Wears Lace, his signature brownies topped with blond chocolate ganache and bittersweet chocolate lace (originally commissioned by Dolce & Gabbana and awarded “Best Original Baking and Desserts Recipe” by Saveur magazine); Raspberry Jewel Pluot Galette, a recipe inspired by Chez Panisse’s 40th year anniversary celebrations; and Devil Wears Chocolate, his magnificent devil’s food cake that graces the cover of the book.

Each chapter highlights a variety of indulgences, from cookies to cakes and tarts to ice creams, including recipes like Pistachio and Matcha Sablés; Tahini and Leblebi (double-roasted chickpeas) Swirl Brownies; Sakura Madeleines; Sourdough Simit, the beloved ring-shaped Turkish bread beaded with sesame seeds; Isabella Grape and Kefir Ice Cream; Pomegranate Jam; and Blanche, a berry tart named after the Golden Girl Blanche Devereaux.

Every recipe in The Artful Baker has gone through a meticulous development phase, tested by an army of home bakers having varying levels of skill, equipment, and access to ingredients, and revised to ensure that they will work flawlessly in any kitchen. Measurements of ingredients are provided in both volume and weight (grams). Where a volume measurement isn’t useful, weight measurements are provided in both ounces and grams.

My review: The gorgeous chocolate creation on the front immediately attracted me to this book, and the photographs inside are just as mouth-watering and quirky. The author has an engaging writing style which begins with his journey from childhood to food blogger, and gives great background and tips on all the recipes he has developed. He admits to judging other cooks on the quality of their chocolate chip cookies, and I don’t think that’s a bad gauge to go by. Although many of the recipes contain hard-to-come by or unusual ingredients, and some are quite involved and time-consuming, there are plenty of others here that pique my interest. Although the digital version is impressive, I think a hardcover would be fantastic on any kitchen bookshelf.

***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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Sweet, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

19 Oct

34063669

Format: e-ARC, 368 pages

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Published: October 3, 2017

ISBN: 9781607749141

Genre: Cooking, Food & Wine

Back cover blurb: ‘There’s nothing like a perfectly light sponge flavoured with spices and citrus or an icing-sugar-dusted cookie to raise the spirits and create a moment of pure joy.’

In his stunning new baking and desserts cookbook Yotam Ottolenghi and his long-time collaborator Helen Goh bring the Ottolenghi hallmarks of fresh, evocative ingredients, exotic spices and complex flavourings – including fig, rose petal, saffron, aniseed, orange blossom, pistachio and cardamom – to indulgent cakes, biscuits, tarts, puddings, cheesecakes and ice cream.

Sweet includes over 110 innovative recipes, from Blackberry and Star Anise Friands, Tahini and Halva Brownies, Persian Love Cakes, Middle Eastern Millionaire’s Shortbread, and Saffron, Orange and Honey Madeleines to Flourless Chocolate Layer Cake with Coffee, Walnut and Rosewater and Cinnamon Pavlova with Praline Cream and Fresh Figs.

There is something here to delight everyone – from simple mini-cakes and cookies that parents can make with their children to showstopping layer cakes and roulades that will reignite the imaginations of accomplished bakers.

My review: I’m a sucker for a cookbook about sugary treats, so I was like a moth to a flame with this gorgeous book by noted pastry chef Yotam Ottolenghi and his longtime collaborator Helen Goh. From the beginning, its chatty tone drew me in and made me feel like we were old friends who’d been discussing tips, tricks and ingredient substitutions for years. Any book that starts off with a recipe for yo-yos is a winner for me, and I loved the regular mentions of Helen’s Antipodean influences, although it came as news to me that New Zealanders love Louise Cake so much (I’ve never, ever had it). I’m pretty sure sticky date pudding is commonplace here, too, but that’s by the by.

As well as tasty recipes for all manner of sweet treat, this book is full of vibrant photos. I was particularly amazed by the vertical layers of the lemon and blackcurrant stripe cake. Although I doubt I’ll ever make it, there are plenty of other things here I will definitely try. If you love sweet things, this book is for you!

Quotes to live by: “It’s one of life’s great pleasures, we think, to know that, whatever else is going on in your day, you’re only ever about 14 minutes away from a perfectly baked chocolate chip cookie.”

and

“Confectionary is for life, though, not just for Christmas.”

***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

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Lomelino’s Pies: A Celebration of Pies, Galettes, and Tarts, by Linda Lomelino

10 Aug

32964138Format: e-ARC, 144 pages

Publisher: Roost Books

To Be Published: 7 November, 2017

ISBN: 9781611804560

Genre: Arts & Photography, Cooking, Food & Wine

Back cover blurb: Perennially popular pies get a fresh and indulgent twist by social media superstar and cook, food stylist, and photographer Linda Lomelino.

***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

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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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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!

IMG_0938_1

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!

IMG_0610

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!

IMG_0589

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

View original post 406 more words

Easter Fudge!

30 Mar

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

Jane's Patisserie

IMG_9004

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!

IMG_9017

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

Mug Meals, by Dina Cheney

30 Mar

mug meals

Format: e-book, 160 pages

Publisher: Taunton Press

To be published: March 31, 2015

ISBN: 9781627109161

Genre: Cooking, Food, and Wine

Back cover blurb: The secret to fast and easy meals cooked from scratch is hiding in plain sight in your kitchen. The microwave oven is not just for reheating leftovers and making popcorn anymore. With pantry ingredients, a mug and a microwave, you can create a meal in minutes that rivals those cooked in the oven or on the stovetop. Mug MEALS! is the perfect solution for new cooks, busy families, singles, college students, teens, seniors or anyone who just wants a hot meal without all the cleanup.

Make a meal for any time of day. Breakfast options include Lox and Bagel Strata, Double Berry French Toast; for lunch try Moroccan Pumpkin and Chickpea Stew, White Bean Gratin with Olives and Lemon or Double Carrot Soup. Dinner entrees include Chinese Chicken with Noodles and Black Bean Sauce, Classic Shepherd’s Pie and Lasagna; dessert selections feature Mango Coconut Crumble, Molten Chocolate Cake with Truffle Filling, Peach and Cornbread Stuffing and more.

My review: Meals you can make in a mug in the microwave are such a great idea for so many people, from students to people living alone, to those – like me – who often need inspiration for a quick and easy lunch. This book is crammed with a variety of ideas for all meals of the day, and I will definitely be trying some of them out. The recipes were clearly laid out and easy to follow, and the photographs made everything look divine. There is a handy equipment and pantry list, and for American readers a list of preferred brands for best results.

Some of the savoury recipes struck me as more of a reheating effort, consisting of things such as leftover cooked rice and meat which one wouldn’t necessarily have on hand or be bothered cooking in order to then transfer to a mug – if you’re going to that trouble you might as well cook something on the stove or in the oven. However, a lot of the sweeter ideas really appealed, and I will certainly be making the Nutella cake and some of the other desserts and muffins.

***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: 3.5/5

3halfcupcakes

 

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Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Writing for the Pop Culture Literate.

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