Any less-than-intrepid bakers out there? No need to worry: Elinor Klivans comes to the rescue with Fearless Baking
. By anticipating everything that can go wrong, Klivans lives up to the title of her cookbook and takes the fear out of baking. Organized by technique, from easiest to most difficult, Klivans guarantees success recipe by recipe. She anticipates questions and problems in a section at the beginning of every recipe called "baking answers," and includes a comprehensive glossary of baking terms, equipment, and techniques. You need nothing more fancy than a hand mixer to make even the most complicated recipe in the book, and yet the great quantity of original, delectable sweet and savory goods included here make it a worthwhile purchase for even the most accomplished baker.
Your baking course begins with a section called Just Stir and Bake, and includes some all-time favorites such as Perfectly Easy Chocolate-Chip Butterscotch Blondies (your friends will love you). The chapters move on through "No-Roll Crusts with Simple Fillings" (try the Glazed Fresh Raspberry Pie and everyone will think you're a pro) to chapters on mixing, frosting (how about a Cranberry Eggnog Cake with Bourbon Butter frosting?), rolling, whipping, "Baking with Chocolate," and even "Melting Sugar for Caramel and Praline" (one taste of Pumpkin Pecan Praline Cheesecake and you'll be convinced you're ready to open your own bakery!).
Klivans sets you up for success throughout Fearless Baking. Her instructions are detailed, she assumes nothing, and her explanations are clear and useful. This is truly a baking book that no kitchen should be without. --Leora Y. Bloom
From Publishers Weekly
Klivans, the no-nonsense author of, among others, 125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble and Savor, expertly provides recipes that will be easy for the most novice baker to follow but will also appeal to more experienced readers. Klivans has attempted to foresee and forestall any mistakes that could be made in following these recipes. In a recipe for Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Brownies, for example, she patiently explains how using chocolate chips rather than chopped milk chocolate will alter the results, and also mentions that they're cut smaller than might be expected because of their unusual richness. Background information on basic utensils and ingredients is very complete, and the recipes are extremely clear. In fact, if this book has one flaw, it's that Klivans occasionally provides so much information in the name of clarity that some recipes become quite lengthy. Each chapter is based around a technique: "Putting the Frosting with the Cake" includes Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake and Cranberry Eggnog Cake with Bourbon Butter Frosting. Savory dishes are included as well: Deep Dish Wild Mushroom Pie and Roasted Tomato, Basil and Parmesan Pie appear alongside Sticky Walnut Pie. Klivans understands that beginners may want to make more sophisticated treats than the traditional chocolate chip cookies (although Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies do appear), so she offers Tiramis Ice Cream Loaf and Almond Crunch and Chocolate Confetti Chiffon Cake. 8 pages of color photos not seen by PW. (Sept.)Forecast: With Klivans's already significant following, and this book's adaptability to a wide range of skill levels, strong sales are likely.
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