This is a fabulous, well written book which makes you want to set about making the contents straight away. The salted choc chip cookies are simply the best cookies ever and as for the chocolate stout cake ( seen on the front cover) - amazing and with a little effort, no problem to make. The sweet/salty combinations are delicious and unusual, a change from the usual baking book.
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162 of 191 people found the following review helpful
Stupid claim about measurements makes me distrust everything else in the book3 Oct. 2014
Garrett A Wollman
- Published on Amazon.com
This, in the front matter, just blew me away: "As we sent out our recipes for testing, we heard from friends, colleagues and family that none of them used the weight measurements we had provided. So, we decided not to use them in our book [....] However, if you are a person who prefers weights, we've created this handy conversion chart for you:"
This is followed by the usual US-metric-Imperial conversion chart that is cut-and-pasted into every cookbook published. It is ABSOLUTELY USELESS for "people who prefer weights". A clueful editor would have caught this, and either removed the stupid claim, or put in a proper conversion chart (one that says how much the authors think a cup of flour, confectioner's sugar, oats, etc. weighs). Converting ounces avoirdupois to grams is trivial (multiply by 28). Converting degrees Fahrenheit to degrees Celsius is only slightly more complicated. Converting volume measurements of a compactable ingredient like flour to the actual quantity (mass) is impossible to do with any accuracy. (The density of flour can vary up to 20% depending on how it's stored and how you measure it!)
To have thrown this information away -- in a BAKING cookbook -- is inexcusable.
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Roll out the Elastic Waistbands9 Oct. 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Two women meet at a book club and end up developing one of the best sweet shops in the country. Sounds unreal but that is how these two began. They worked, baked, and honed their dishes until they felt it was time to start selling. One of them loves salty the other sweet, the mixing of the two perfection in your mouth. They started out as home cooks and fumbled along the steep learning curve known as the restaurant industry, which is not known for it’s successes. Their story is amazing and fun to read, their food a delight to share. I was lucky to have been able to try some of their baked item when I was in NY and so happy to see they finished a book so everyone can try their recipes. The first chapter- Scones, wonderful butter absorbent treats for the soul. Then can easily go wrong and end up as dry hockey pucks. I have experience with this type. I had many flavored and plain recipes to chose from but the Bloody Mary Scones won. I loved them, they were flavorful and the horseradish made it for me. I have plans to try the other flavors maybe even the plain one. The rest of the cookbook has Quick Breads, Strawberry Basil Loaf, Banana Nutella bread, just to name a couple. There is a chapter on muffins, with recipes for Harvest Muffins, Jelly Doughnut Muffins and more. Cookies and Shortbreads, how about Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies (vegan), or Mustard Spice Cookies. I made the Stumptown Shorty Cookies an Espresso flavored Shortbread like cookie from the gods ! I also learned how to burn sugar, a useful ingredient I never knew existed. The Pies and Tarts section had some very tempting looking recipes, Blue Cheese Apple Pie with Toasted Walnuts and Pear Sour Cream and Cardamon pie are on my list to try. There are brownies, I am not a brownie fan but the Cinnamon Ancho Chili recipe got me interested. Cakes and Cupcakes anyone ? I found the I want eat it all by my self cake recipe- Black Chocolate Stout Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream- Oh MY GAWD ! Just fit me in my elastic band pants and leave me alone while I enjoy this beauty. There is a nice holiday selection of different goodies that I’ve never heard of but they all look fabulous. Something new to bring to the table sounds good. Oh we have the Fillings Frostings and Sauces recipes, everything you need to pump up your dessert into the WOW level. Salted Dark Chocolate Pudding- yes that is now on my to make list too. Lastly we have Bar Snacks, yes bar snacks in a baking book and they sound scrumptious- Savory Rosemary Popcorn, or Peppery Pistachio Brittle, they would go very well with a nice cold drink.
26 of 33 people found the following review helpful
This is a sophisticated, exquisitely-photographed cookbook by the owners of an award-winning Brooklyn bakery.
For those who enjoy anecdotes and background history along with recipes, you won't be disappointed. The book begins with each author giving a history of their food journey from childhood to adulthood, including ancestral/familial influences on developing their palates. Each recipe gives a little history of its development, along with variations to customize it a number of ways.
Sections include scones and biscuits, quick breads and coffee cakes, muffins, shortbreads and cookies, pies and tarts, brownies and bars, cakes and cupcakes, bar snacks, fillings, frostings, and sauces, and baking for the holidays.
The recipes themselves are not overly complicated, although the novice baker might be somewhat intimidated.
While everything looks delicious due to the very appealing photographs, it does take a bit of (eating) experience to determine in advance whether or not one will find the finished product tasty. For instance, I personally don't care for the current trend of salting sweets, so I would not make the salted chocolate chip cookies or the caramel bacon hot tarts. Others I'd have to guess at, such as the pistachio cardamom cupcakes or peppery pistachio brittle. Still, there are enough traditional recipes in this book to satisfy everyone.
These are not "diet" recipes. Everything is full fat, with heavy cream and butter and eggs used generously. So far I have made the very scrumptious goat cheese, spring onion, and chive quiche, but I have my eye on the feta, basil, and scallion muffins next. Just haven't figured out a way to keep trying recipes without gaining 100 pounds. :)
Overall, this book has a "cool" vibe. The recipes are modern, and a step above what I think of as "Betty Crocker recipes."
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Creative culinary concoctions cookbook of sweet and savory desserts2 Oct. 2014
If you're looking for straight up takes on popular pastries, look elsewhere. Just about every recipe in this cookbook is a hipster mashup of two things you wouldn't normally put together, whether it is an odd pairing of ingredients or mixing sweet and savory. Some work for me like Black Chocolate Stout Cake which I definitely want to try, others make me think "eh" like Bloody Mary Scones, while a few sound gross like Pumpkin Olive Oil Loaf. It's a beautifully photographed and laid out book, so you may enjoy it just as much for the reading and viewing as the recipes themselves.
If you are looking for something a little edgier than your typical cookbook, this is a pretty good choice for you. The authors embrace a trend I greatly approve of, which is moving away from pretty and excessively sweet desserts and focusing on flavor. While not quite a savory desert book, is does lean towards a more rustic and European style of baking, with a heavy dash of ubran hipness. For example their espresso-burnt sugar shortbread recommends you use Stumptown's Hair Bender Expresso and Stumptown Cold brew if you can get it. Unless you live in New York or Portland, those are probably a little hard to come by.
The recipes range from simple to complex. The photography is good, and for particularly complex steps (such as making pie dough by hand) there are special sections with step-by-step instructions and photographs. So while not really for the novice baker, any modestly skill baker will have no problem using this cook book and my wife and I have found it to be a nice way to "up skill" our baking a bit.
Overall this is a great cookbook for people looking for something a little different without getting into crazy-complex baking. I do wish they included weights, but not many recipe books do so I can deal with that. For recipes I really like I end up weighing the flour on my first batch and put sticky notes in and adjust as I go along. Mostly I just deal with it. I'm not a professional baker and I'm not trying to be.