In Baking with Julia (Child, of course) and Desserts by Pierre Hermé, Dorrie Greenspan gave voice to other baking experts while ensuring their recipes worked. Now, in Baking: From My Home to Yours, she steps fully onstage with a collection of 230-plus immediately attractive recipes ranging from breakfast sweets, cakes, and tarts to puddings, custards, ice creams, and crisps. This is homey, eminently doable baking that encompasses the more familiar, like sugar-topped molasses spice cookies, pecan sticky buns, and lemon tart, but also includes the temptingly original, such as Devil’s Food White-Out Cake, Coconut-Roasted Pineapple Dacquoise, and Toasted Almond Scones. Her cookie selection, which offers the standout Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops, is particularly good, as is her brownie group, a mini-chapter featuring a very edible espresso cheesecake variation.
Greenspan knows her stuff, of course, but it's her droll, anecdotal style (readers learn, for example how a chocolate cake got her fired) and her recipe-making expertise that sets the book apart. Precise descriptions of the baked goods--a pound cake, for example, is said to have a "moist, tightly knit crumb"--help readers understand baking anatomy. Equally exact, and reassuring, are her recipe guideposts--she notes, for example, that rubbing butter into the dry ingredients when making a biscuit recipe will result in "pea-size pieces, pieces the size of oatmeal flakes, and pieces the size of everything in between." With recipe variations and enticing color photos, the book will inspire--and inform--baking novices and experts alike. --Arthur Boehm
Recipe Excerpts from Baking: From My Home to Yours
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Greenspan, coauthor of books with culinary icons such as Julia Child (Baking with Julia), Daniel Boulud and Pierre Hermé, shares her favorite recipes in this tantalizing collection, which covers all the baking bases, from muffins, cookies and brownies to spoon desserts, pies and cobblers. Instructions are clear and easy to follow, and Greenspan uses everyday ingredients readily available to the home chef. Recipes like Perfection Pound Cake and All-American, All-Delicious Apple Pie convey a comfortable, almost homey, familiarity that will bring readers back to this collection again and again. In addition, she provides insight into matters many cooks may not often consider, such as leaveners, technique and choosing the right pan. Numerous mouth-watering photos dot the book throughout, making it hard to choose which one to make first. Especially helpful is the Indispensables: Base Recipes section at the end of the book, which includes pointers for making key ingredients such dough, pastry cream, lemon curd and faux crème fraîche. This is baking at its best. Over 100 full-color photos. (Nov.)
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