- Hardcover: 176 pages
- Publisher: Roost Books (February 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781611803068
- ISBN-13: 978-1611803068
- ASIN: 1611803063
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.7 x 10.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #682,380 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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My Sweet Kitchen: Recipes for Stylish Cakes, Pies, Cookies, Donuts, Cupcakes, and More-plus tutorials for distinctive decoration, styling, and photography Hardcover – February 7, 2017
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"Linda Lomelino is the It Girl of the cake world. Her beautiful desserts combine modern flavors with dramatic visual flair, but most importantly, her recipes are doable!" —Lyndsay Sung, creator of Coco Cake Land
About the Author
LINDA LOMELINO is a food writer, food stylist, photographer, social media superstar, and the creator of the blog phenomenon Call Me Cupcake!, which is published in Swedish and English. She is the author of two cookbooks, Lomelino's Cakes (Roost Books, 2014) and Lomelino's Ice Cream (Roost Books, 2015), both of which have been translated into several languages.
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The book would have been first-rate except for the cheap paper it was printed on - the great pictures look muted.
Also, having the ingredients displayed in grams would significantly improve the book, at least for me.
The recipes are easy to follow and easier to make than large batches. I love that some of the recipes have healthier options, without compromising flavor one bit. Highly recommend this one!
In the meantime, there are unfortunately a number of flaws that keep it from being a great cookbook or a great resource for food photography, styling, and decorating. Perhaps it's a case of trying to do too many things in a limited space.
In general, the recipes contained in My Sweet Kitchen should be more specific. It's fine to tell the reader to "beat until creamy" or "beat until light and creamy", but the difference of a minute or two in creaming can significantly impact the final texture of a baked good (cakes, cookies, cream cheese frosting, etc), so giving some estimate of time is very useful here. Sadly, very few recipes include any advice on time beyond how long to bake/cool/refrigerate. Similarly, there are a few recipes calling for a "large pan", "long bread pan", or "small cast-iron skillet". Those sizes are rather subjective, so while I know I can probably reason my way through what the cooking time will be for my pan based on how the final product should look like, I don't understand why relevant information was omitted. Also, the lack of gram measurements is particularly disappointing in a baking cookbook.
Several of the recipes have minor but problematic flaws, like the blueberry-lemon cheesecake layer cake recipe not specifying how large the springform pans need to be for the cheesecake. It's layered on top of regular cake, so pan size is important beyond simply baking time. It becomes obvious on a read-thru, as the pan size is specified for the cake layers later on, but that important detail belongs in the instructions for the cheesecake too. The lemon and poppy seed cupcakes with blueberry frosting call for 3 tablespoons of pureed blueberries in the frosting as optional, but then the instructions and the header both refer to blueberry powder (and not pureed blueberries), without giving any amount for the powder. This won't ruin the frosting as the baker can taste along the way, but all of this does make me hesitant to suggest My Sweet Kitchen to a novice baker.
The organization of this cookbook makes little sense. The content is organized into recipes under Garden Dreams, Autumn Inspired, Citrus Flavors, A Taste of Chocolate, and Nuts and Caramel. Inserted between those sections is guidance on baking essentials, cake decoration, and styling and photography. It seems bizarre that only after the 20-plus page Garden Dreams section is the reader presented with the author's opinion on egg size, salted butter, what milk to use, how to measure flour, etc. We've already been shown multiple recipes that rely on this guidance and not everyone is likely to read a cookbook from cover to cover before the baking.
Since the reason I stumbled across Linda's work is her photos, I certainly appreciate the section on her styling process and photography tips. It is well done, with examples of the same photography following different styling, light source, f-stop, and editing tweaks. It's a nice insight into her creative process, but it doesn't seem like those 14 pages are necessarily worth the cost of the book, as similar information and tutorials are available online.
In summary, this is a nice cookbook/photography reference, but it doesn't excel at either offering. There is a lot of great creative content in here, but it could be much better given more specificity in instructions and sensible organization.