36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2002
Baking by Flavor has replaced all of my most important baking reference and recipe books. The author begins with the very sound premise that we remember a batch of fudgy brownies because of the flavors that create it: the wonderful combination and flavor intensity of cocoa and bittersweet chocolate.
She helps us create a whole new context for baking. We learn to think about each ingredient and how to build on its presence in a recipe. The author explores 18 flavors in all, from the traditional and simple flavors of butter, lemon, and vanilla to the contemporary and refined flavors of ginger, rum, and sweet cheese. She also has a lot of fun in between with the dynamic and intense flavors of peanut and peanut butter, chocolate, and buttercrunch.
Our favorites will likely be different, but there are nearly 260 recipes from which to choose, and each one that I have tried has been a true crowd pleaser. Nervous about baking for a group of critical taste testers, I made the Truffled Chocolate-Walnut Brownies -- without the walnuts for the children in the crowd. Not only did the author provide an alternative recipe for just such a scenario, but each step of the recipe was so clearly defined that I felt as though Lisa was in my kitchen, standing by my side! Happy about spending a Sunday afternoon with my children, I made the Butter Cookie Cut-Outs with the children. The cookies had the perfect balance of creamy and crunchy. And now I have to keep the dough in the freezer, as these are our cookies of choice.
With the author's help, I now have a fully stocked baking pantry. When I have the frequent urge to bake, I now turn to the only book I need: Baking by Flavor.
58 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2002
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I bought Baking by Flavor about three weeks ago and have tried 2 recipes from it. I did not exactly follow the directions though because upon reading it I realize that you have to prepare ingredients in advance. First of all, you find a flavor that you like (that is how the book's chapters are divided ie. lemon, carmel, almond, vanilla etc), then you find an item in the chosen chapter that you want to make (cakes, cookies, muffins, pies, tarts), then you must have concentrated flavored ingredients to put into that recipe. For instance, a lemon pound cake is made with "lemon enhanced sugar". The sugar is simple to make but takes days to make. (Drying lemon peels - then letting them sit in granulated sugar until the sugar is lemon flavored). That is just one example of an ingredient that needs to be prepared in advanced. I used plain white unflavored sugar and it turned out fine. The purpose of the book is to make that lemon flavored poundcake EXTRA lemony. All flavors are supposed to be very enhanced and concentrated. Sounds good but I need to find the time to prepare all of these ingredients so that I can prepare the recipe at a later date. Many people would not have the time or patience for this book but I love to bake so I'm willing to try it out. It is kind of a pricey cookbook but it offers many, many recipes and an opening section that offers alot of helpful hints. It's beautifully laid out and has easy to read directions. If you have extra time to bake and you plan in advance, then I recommend this cookbook.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2002
If you love baking, know someone who does, or just collect cookbooks, you MUST add Baking by Flavor to your collection! Lisa Yockelson has done a fabulous job of not only bringing you the most scrumptous recipes, but amazing tips and ideas throughout this BEAUTIFUL book. Each recipe is written with attention given to texture, dough consistancy, ingredient characteristics, aroma, and much more. You can almost taste the recipe simply by reading her detailed instructions. There is obviously a great deal of heart that went into each recipe in this book. This would make a wonderful gift for anyone!
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2002
Last Saturday I made the Ultra Lemon Cake for guests I was having over that evening and the cake turned out perfect! My guests raved about the flavor and moistness with words like: "bursting with lemon flavor" and "it's lemony all over". I am not a baker. I think the last time I baked a dessert was to slice cookie dough from a tube. Lisa Yockelson's book has changed my attitude and way of baking forever. I must admit that I was nervous about baking adventure, but with the book's step by step instructions and helpful hints to guide me I didn't have any trouble. I recommend this book to novice and expert bakers alike. I was so pleased with my results last week, I made the cake again today and once again it turned out perfectly.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2002
Nice glossy pages, but wish there were more photos of the recipes. Have made a few things from this book, some I did not like but others went over well. The reason I say this book is for people who are really into baking is because making many of these recipes can require numerous different pans/forms, and some are very labor-intensive and time-consuming. Most of the time it's worth the effort though. The Butter Rum Cake is awesome!! Have made it twice to rave reviews - my father ate the whole bowl of custard that accompanies it.
First few chapters make for interesting reading about the layers of flavors and how to achieve them. Like the side notes that Lisa Y. puts in the recipes about dough consistency, flavor additions, etc.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2002
I'm a pretty accomplished home chef, but terrified of baking. I picked up this book thinking the idea of it was pretty sound. Well, you would think I completed a 2 year internship in France to hear how my friends and family talk. Don't get me wrong - not all the recipes are the proverbial piece of cake. The author assigns a star system to each one, 1-3, with 3 being the most difficult, mostly yeast products and puff pastery concoctions. I do think I will try some of them soon, however, because she really walks you through everything and helps you complete your projects, successfully! I made a couple of recipes already, and have been astounded by how complex the flavors are in the finished product. In the carrot cake, you taste the pinapple, the coconut, the carrots, all as if they were in an intermingling mosaic. The recipes are pretty easy to follow and the results are well worth it. I highly recommend this cookbook!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2002
This book is worth every penny. The first 101 pages cover everything you would ever need to know as a beginner about baking, ingredients, cookware and flavor combinations, to beyond beginner status. Everyone can use this book, and use it you will. The book becomes a great reference point and a sort of faq in the baking world. The book is categorized, as the name would suggest, by flavor. Simply find what you're craving or looking for, and there are plenty of recipes that correspond, I have found it to be convienant and fun.
This book is a must in any baker's kitchen.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2007
This is a comprehensive baking book. There are about 260 recipes for cakes, cookies, tarts, scones, muffins, bars, yeast doughs, waffles and pancakes as well as some baked goods from Europe and even a few from the Middle East. There are also some very useful flavor charts.
Two things set it apart from the hundreds of other baking books on the market:
1. The author uses the layering technique, which I am a big fan of. For example, if you are making something ginger flavoured, you use fresh root ginger, ground ginger and crystallised ginger to intensify the flavor (eg Sour Cream Ginger Keeping Cake). As another example, in her Ultra Lemon Cake, she uses lemon sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice and a lemon glaze. That way you get not only a more complex flavor, but you also get added "length" to the tasting process, as each component kicks in.
2. The other unusual feature is that the chapters are organized by flavor rather than by item. There are 4 chapters on technique and one on freezing baked goods. The flavors in the book are:
Caramel & Butterscotch
Coffee & Mocha
Peanut & Peanut Butter
So far I've made quite a few recipes, eg the heirloom chocolate cake, double chocolate madeleines and Texas banana walnut muffins, all of which have been very good. The madeleines were incredibly rich and chocolatey.
Sadly, there are very few photos. Otherwise, it is a big, excellent baking book with good recipes, clear instructions and lots of useful information.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on April 1, 2003
I found this book in my local library and after borrowing it 5 times I finally bought it. This book is great for anyone who likes to experiement with standard recipies by changing some ingredients. In addition, the recipies are anything but the standard that you find in most baking books. After making one of the incredible brownie recipies my husband declared that these are the only kind of brownies he wants, and he will never eat brownies from a box again.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2006
The recipes for flavor infusion are exactly what I was looking for, but I was disappointed there were so few photos of the actual recipes. There are lots of grayscale photos of baking utensils and such in the book that give it a very trendy look, but personally I like to be inspired to make a recipe by seeing a lucious photo showing the finished product.