Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Messy Baker - Cookbook Review

The Messy Baker by Charmian Christie

This is a review for a book obtained from Netgalley so I haven't tried quite as many recipes as I usually like to do before I review a cookbook.

This book isn't quite what I expected from the yummy looking brownies piled up on the front cover.  I think I was expecting a standard collection of baked goods - chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, brownies, cakes with frostings with maybe a handful of savory or breakfast recipes.  What I got was a beautifully photographed book of baked good for grown ups.  The recipes are separated by texture.  The chapters are entitled things like "Flaky", "Crumbly", "Dippable".  She clearly lays out the tools you will need to make the recipes and the great thing is no special tools are required - not even a stand mixer.  Her attitude on baking is a nice change from the books of perfectly decorated cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, etc.  Baking should be fun, it should be messy and it should be delicious.  It's hard not to be charmed by that.  There is a recipe for a puff pastry that I'm dying to try as well as recipes for savory tarts and sweets that include ingredients that may not be the most kid friendly but sound amazing to make for lunch with friends (candied ginger, combinations of cherry and chipotle, espresso and hazelnut).

I made the Basil and Aged Cheddar Scones this morning intending on saving them for dinner tonight.  After I tried 1/4 of one that became a half and then a whole I'm not sure they'll last that long!  The recipe came together beautifully and the texture of the finished product is everything a scone should be.  The flavor combination of a sweet scone with the cheddar and basil is both familiar and unusual at the same time.  If this is an indication of how all the recipes turn out I will be getting a lot of use out of this book even if the audience isn't exactly what I expected.

Verdict: Buy! This book will be published August 26, 2014

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