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Baked: New Frontiers in Baking Hardcover – October 1, 2008
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About the Author
After years in the advertising business, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito decided to leave their day jobs and open a bakery in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Baked opened in January 2005 to instant rave reviews. The authors have been featured on Oprah, the Food Network, Martha Stewart’s daytime show, and the Today show. The bakery has been reviewed in countless magazines, both local and nationwide. Lewis and Poliafito live in New York City.
Tina Rupp is a New Yorkbased photographer who specializes in photographing food and children. Her work can be found regularly in Food & Wine, Everyday with Rachael Ray, and Parenting magazines.
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Top Customer Reviews
The next recipe I tried was the pumpkin chocolate chip loaf (the recipe makes two loaves). A seemingly straightforward blend of canned pumpkin puree, spices (allspice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg), and chocolate, the complex flavors of spice and pumpkin were complementary without overwhelming. Although the recipe calls for one cup of vegetable oil, you also dilute it with 2/3-cup tap water, so the bread is pleasantly moist without being greasy or oily (I've had that happen all too many times in many quick breads).
Next on my list was the Brewer's Blondie, a hopped-up blend of of malt powder, malt balls, semisweet chocolate, and walnuts. Bars are one of Baked's strengths, including a decadent grown-up Rice Krispy bar, the elegant Honeycomb Bar (sweet tart dough topped with dried fruit, honey, and a shot of booze), S'more nut bars, and the Baked bar. There are also more complicated layer cakes (chocolate malt, chocolate/caramel/sea salt, Whiteout, Red Velvet), cookies, and breakfast treats such as scones, granola (yay, finally a low-oil granola full of fruit!), and quick breads. Pies and tarts? Feast on Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie, Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie, Peanut Butter Pie with Cookie Crust and Easy Fudge Sauce, and Classic Diner-Style Chocolate Pie.
Baked has been featured on Martha Stewart, Oprah (their Baked Brownie had a centerfold spread in O), and on several high-profile shows, but does Baked live up to its claims of being revolutionary? That's a more difficult cookie to crumble. Sure, there are gourmet additions such as matcha, chipotle, and fleur de sel, but most of the Baked repertoire is firmly descended from comfort cooking, such as the Root Beer Cake, a modern update on the Southern staple Coca-Cola (or Dr. Pepper) cake, or the red velvet spiced up with Red Hots. Ditto on the divine Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie. It's still amazing, whether or not it's smashing any new culinary boundaries.
Even if you never cook a single recipe from Baked, the clever graphics (garden gnomes, plastic deer perched on a mound of fluffy coconut snow), useful sidebars (including variations), and notes make this a great investment. This is my favorite cookbook of 2008, and I hope that it will become yours as well.
I was enamored of all the clever ideas and pretty pictures. So, instead of picking a favorite recipe to make I thought I would go through it systematically and try each recipe. I started to take notes on each page with what worked/didn't work.
Some of this projects seemed QUITE time consuming and resulted in a SO-SO reward. (Sweet and Salty Cake)
Others seemed like they were also time consuming YET, worth every dirty bowl, pot and spoon because of its utter deliciousness. (Lemon Drop Cake)
And the gems...simple, relaxed and FANTASTIC! (Banana Cupcakes)
The Lemon Pound Cake is gorgeous. The White Out Cake is --umm, OK. Not as white as I hoped.
These are just notes off the top of my head. I must say it is fun to cook my way through, ala, Julie&Julia style. I do appreciate all the helpful side hints the authors share about their creations. I feel a connection because I can tell they loved everyone of their offerings.
I can't wait to finish this book and move onto Baked Explorations.
I made the marble bundt cake and it was awful! Finally, I made the brownies and they were good. So 1/3.
I'll update my review if I find another recipe I like but I'm only trying one more...maybe the pumpkin chocolate chip loaf.