Chocolate, caramel, vanilla, and lemon--ingredients like these define baking flavor. Placing such flavor-makers at the forefront of her approach, Lisa Yockelson's Baking by Flavor
presents a luscious array of desserts while revealing techniques for highlighting and intensifying their taste. How does it work? Double Chocolate Madeleines, for example, get their punch not only from cocoa, melted chocolate, and chocolate chips but from a final cocoa-sugar dusting. Yockelson's flavor-centric approach also leads her to discoveries that can liberate recipe-bound bakers. Add ground spices to the dry ingredients when preparing a sweet yeast dough, for example, and you get a subtly delicious flavor boost. Bakers at all levels of proficiency should enjoy Yockelson's insights and put them to good use.
Beginning with a section on flavor-baking strategies--a chart shows readers that cinnamon's flavor is, for example, intensified when combined with butter, rum, or caramel--the book then provides useful "component" recipes for the likes of lemon-scented granulated sugar. The 250 recipes, arranged by flavor, offer a wide range of sweets, from Cinnamon Apple Rolls and Butter Spritz Cookies to Spiced Banana Breakfast Loaf and Sour Cream Ginger Keeping Cake. The recipes also include useful sidebars (lightly press rather than compress the dough for some cookies, is one), plus tips, variations and still more flavor-intensifying suggestions. Illustrated with photos, and containing detailed storage information, the book should become a true, better-baking resource. --Arthur Boehm
From Publishers Weekly
This excellent roundup of all kinds of delicious deserts is organized by flavor (chocolate, banana, cinnamon, rum, etc.) rather than type of baked good. Yockelson lays out her flavor theory: "Flavor-layering is accomplished by using a combination of compatible ingredients in one recipe." She also talks specifically about methods for enhancing the flavors of various batters and doughs, and provides several charts illustrating flavor compatibility and flavoring agents. Additional chapters on equipment, key ingredients (with instructions for making Clarified Butter, Coconut Streusel and other components) and techniques are invaluable to the serious baker. After all that preparation, Yockelson thankfully writes solid, inventive recipes that clearly illustrate her theory. In the almond chapter, Fallen Chocolate Almond Cake contains almond liqueur, almond extract and almond flour; the lemon chapter offers Lemon-Lime Cake with Glazed Citrus Threads pumped up with juice and zest, and in the chapter on coffee and mocha, Espresso and Bittersweet Chocolate Chunk Torte has espresso powder, bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate. Even chapters on butter and vanilla, two flavors that are rarely considered as such, boast such strong selections as Grandma Lilly's Butter Pound Cake, Buttercrunch Flats with toffee, Vanilla Crumb Buns and Vanilla Cream Waffles. Many of the 260 recipes offer variations, which means one could spend many happy days testing Yockelson's theory. (Mar.) Forecast: Joining the recent spate of "big" baking and desert books, this certainly deserves a spot on the dedicated baker's shelf. Yockelson, author of 10 books and frequent contributor to many cooking magazines, has a gimmick, but it's one with substance that should work to push sales.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.