Baking and Chocolate

small-batch-baking.jpgThe best things come in small packages. In the case of “Small-Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers,” the best chocolate things come in small packages. Author Debby Maugans perfected the art of baking for one or two people in her first book, “Small Batch Baking.”

Realizing that the average recipe produced a larger quantity of the end product than a single person, or couple may want to eat, or be able to finish she revised recipes so that the serving sizes were more appropriate for one or two people. A pretty smart idea in and of itself.

Being the professed chocoholic she is, Maugans saw a need for a small-batch cookbook for chocolate lovers. And thank goodness she did!

Read more ...

ImageOh.

No, really, oh. Oh as in “Oh my, these brownies”  and “Oh damn, these brownies.”  Oh as “Oh I can’t believe this recipe is so amazing” and “Oh there goes any bit of self control I had.”

Get the picture?

You can roll your eyes a bit when you say “Oh”.  It helps.

Even though I don’t claim to have the world’s largest sweet tooth and go for salty over sweet most days, I can’t help but claim this brownie recipe as one of the best I’ve ever tasted. Because to me, brownies seem like the perfect treat in theory. Chocolately, studded with fun things like nuts or fruit, small and compact and enough to satisfy thanks to their rich nature. But sometimes, well, you can’t help but feel let down sometimes when you bite into a brownie that’s dry, too moist or not moist enough, tastes like a mix or worse, doesn’t resemble a brownie at all.

Read more ...

bakingbasicscover.jpgAre you pie-challenged? Does your meringue collapse after you whip it? Do you even attempt meringue? Have you ever made brownies from a box mix and claimed them as your own? If you’ve answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, know three things: 1) You are not alone. 2) You are still a good person. 3) There is hope.

Pat Sinclair’s Baking Basics and Beyond, 2nd edition, is here to help you. With over 25 years of experience as a cooking teacher and cookbook author, Sinclair knows what she’s talking about. In her easy-going, uncomplicated manner, she leads beginning bakers through step-by-step instructions for everything from scones, biscuits, and cookies to pies, custards, and cheesecakes.

Each of the 100+ recipes is written in clear, succinct prose, that’s easy to follow and many are accompanied by lovely color photographs. Don’t know what a “jelly roll pan” is or what is means “to cream” something. Not to worry. Sinclair explains. Indeed, she tells the novice baker everything they need to know from how to measure liquid and dry ingredients to how to dissolve yeast. Sinclair takes both the guess-work and the anxiety out of baking.

Read more ...

bonappetitdesserts-872x1024.jpgI like books a lot. All types of books. I really, really like reference books. The comfort of all those facts, and answers so close at hand. But I love, love, love cookbooks. I’m a cookbook collector. I have so many that my other half thinks I have a problem and need to enter a 12-step program. Single topic cookbooks are at the top of the list for me. (I just bought ‘Salted’ by Mark Bitterman, 312 pages on nothing but salt!) I like having cookbooks on my bookshelves that I can refer to, that I can pull from a shelf when I’m looking for information or a recipe. When I received Bon Appetit Desserts for review it made sense. A whole book, a huge book actually (680 pages), devoted solely to desserts. Every dessert you’ve ever heard of, every dessert you could ever want or need to make. All in one book. My kind of book.

The book was edited by recently resigned Bon Appétit Editor-in-Chief, Barbara Fairchild. In her introduction she writes about how while growing up her family had dessert after every dinner, something sweet was included in her lunch, and how her mother always served a sweet of some kind whenever company dropped by. I like that. To me it reveals the sentiment behind this book.

Read more ...

More Articles ...

Page 4 of 5