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The Fearless Baker: Scrumptious Cakes, Pies, Cobblers, Cookies, and Quick Breads that You Can Make to Impress Your Friends and Yourself Hardcover – Bargain Price, May 4, 2011

22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Emily Luchetti's desserts are four-star affairs." (Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle 2010)

"If your idea of baking is pleasure and chocolate (and why wouldn't it be?), you are in the best of kitchens with wizard pastry chef Emily Luchetti. Her dessert and breakfast recipes are easy-to-follow indulgences and oh so délicieuses." (author of French Women Don't Get Fat Mireille Guiliano )

"The Fearless Baker is like having a pastry chef answering all your questions alongside you as you whisk, roll, and stir. With Emily Luchetti's can't-fail recipes and lively sidebar commentary, bakers of all levels will be rewarded with sweet success." (author of Ready for Dessert and The Sweet Life in Paris David Lebovitz )

"Emily Luchetti is one of a handful of leading pastry chefs who have been setting the gold standard for restaurant desserts in the United States over the past two decades. Yet she also has the remarkable ability to impart her keen insights into flavor and technique to beginners. While her previous cookbooks have given rise to fervent admirers among culinary professionals (including us), this one is destined to inspire a whole new generation of home cooks to be fearless in the kitchen when it comes to baking." (James Beard Award-winning authors of THE FLAVOR BIBLE Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg )

"I love the friendly, chatty tone of The Fearless Baker--it's like having Emily right there in your kitchen cheering you on. . . . I want to take this book home, set up camp, and bake with my kids for six months straight." (James Beard Award-winning chef and author of Sunday Suppers at Lucques Suzanne Goin )

About the Author

Emily Luchetti has developed a nationwide following for her innovative yet approachable dessert creations. She is executive pastry chef at Farallon and Waterbar in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has authored five successful cookbooks, and contributed to The New Joy of Cooking and The Farallon Cookbook. She won a 2004 James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Lisa Weiss is a food writer and stylist whose work has appeared in such publications as Cook's Illustrated and Cooking Light. She has co-authored six cookbooks, including The Farallon Cookbook, the James Beard Award-nominated The Seventh Daughter: My Culinary Journey from Beijing to San Francisco with Cecilia Chiang, and the bestselling Complete Meat Cookbook with Bruce Aidells.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (May 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316074284
  • ASIN: B00A19YWJK
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #975,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bundt Lust TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I first heard about "The Fearless Baker" through Sur La Table's "Fearless Baker" cooking classes, and was intrigued. I'd expected the recipes to stick to simple (read: bland) beginner's recipes like sugar cookies, but far from it: you'll find exotic touches like cardamom shortbread (cardamom is a popular seasoning in Scandinavian baking as well as a staple of Middle Eastern dishes), pine nut fig cookies, and orange date ricotta tartlets. Emily gives new bakers the tools to learn and master baking techniques (toasting nuts, cutting butter into dough for pie crusts, etc.) through a series of clever sidebars consisting of dialogues between Emily and her Fearful Bakers (FB).

When I first started out on my own as a baker in 2006, I had precious little baking experience other than licking the spoon or dropping cookie dough onto waiting cookie sheets as a kid. After several years living overseas or in dorms without a kitchen, I finally took the plunge and began baking, first with simple quick breads, then Bundt cakes, then on to yeast breads and laminated dough. There were several messy (and occasionally expensive) mishaps and missteps along the way, and I only wish that Emily Luchetti's "The Fearless Baker" had been around at the time!

There are nearly 200 recipes to choose from. I'm more of a breakfast baker myself (I love a good coffee cake, babka, or muffin), and curiously enough, the breakfast section is the very last one in the book. You'll find a tempting array of scones, muffins, breakfast breads, sticky buns, and more to get your day off to a sweet start. This might be the best place to start if you're brand new to baking; there are very few steps (or dirty dishes involved) to whip up quick bread or muffins.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By B. Davis on May 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Written for the beginner-cook, The Fearless Baker is packed with easy, yummy recipes: cookies, bars, and bites; cakes; pies and tarts; fruit; no baking required; dessert sauces; and breakfast treats. I especially like the 3:00 PM Chocolate Pick-Me-Up Cookies that are made with chopped pecans and dark chocolate. Each recipe also comes with question and answers for the cook who might be just a bit lost in the kitchen setting. I definitely give this one 5 stars*****
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dani T on September 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have tried two of the recipes in this book: The gooey chocolate cake and the cinnamon sugar cookies. I enjoyed both and, more importantly, my husband enjoyed both!

My husband suffers from allergies to several foods (including most nuts), so a number of delicious desserts are ruled out for him. As anyone with food allergies knows, variety becomes a bit of a challenge. The great thing about this book is that it has many sweet treats that, while a little different from the same old same old, are not so out in left field as to be off-putting.

It is true that there are not step-by-step photos and even the illustrations are not great (the scale seems way off in some of them), but if you can follow the narrative, this book may certainly be suitable for bakers with limited experience.

The book is fun and the recipes are delicious. No reason not to rate five stars!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jan on June 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have baked several items from this book. It is easy to follow and the baked goods have gotten rave reviews from the people who have eaten them.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By marioc63 on February 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Long ago I died and went to heaven--actually on my 30th birthday dinner at Stars in San Francisco--when I asked for a giant plate of Luchetti's best hand-held desserts in lieu of a standard cake. That's the night I first tasted the BEST lemon squares on planet earth.

From that point forward, I was hooked. I finished culinary school, went to the Burgundy region of France to stage, and traveled to many countries to learn food traditions. Still, nothing quite captured Emily's nuanced take on desserts.

This newer book is approachable and eases the trepidation that comes with the word "baking". I have purchased many copies for friends and family members who wish to take their baking skills up to the next notch. You don't have to throw away the boxes of brownie mix, but certainly take a break from the "instant" and try some of these delicious recipes.

The word "scrumptious" is an understatement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MJ Bahrain on October 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover
This is my go to baking book when I want a no-fail recipe in no time at all. I have tried several recipes from the book including several cookies, pound cakes, tarts and breakfast items and each and everyone was a total winner. The instructions are very clear and the recipes are no fuss and quick and easy to make.
Would definitely recommend this book.
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22 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Vivian Deliz VINE VOICE on April 23, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I got an electronic version of the book, so the final version might be somewhat different.

I am not a baker. I cannot prepare desserts unless I follow instructions; so the cookbook needs to be very specific for my desserts to turn out.

The author dedicates some pages to the type of equipment that we should have. I wish that they had included photographs, as I had a hard time finding some of the equipment.

The book is divided into several chapters that cover: cookies, bars and bites, cakes, pies and tarts, fruit, No oven required, Best Dessert Sauces and Breakfast. It also has chapters on Sources, Metric Equivalents and Acknowledgments (people who helped with recipes and tasted them).

The first recipe that I baked was Blondies. They turned out great. The flavor was great and they were easy to prepare. The second recipe that I tried was the Cardamon Shortbread. It kind of flop on me because my mixture was not like "wet sand". I tried it again and had much better success with it. Both of them tasted good but I would have liked to see the final product to compare with what I baked.

This book is for the person who has a clue on baking. The lack of pictures makes it very hard for people like me that do not bake.
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