Baked: New Frontiers in Baking Hardcover – 1 Oct 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 York-based photographer who specializes in photographing food and children. Her work can be found regularly in Food & Wine, Everyday with Rachael Ray, and Parenting magazines.
Top customer reviews
The chipotle scones are a big disappointment, after going to the trouble of specially ordering chipotle powder (chili or cayenne would work fine instead), they were very average.
I do like the red velvet recipe, but their cinnamon buttercream that goes along with it is too watery to ice a cake. The sweet and salty cake is amazing, but the directions for the cake are really complicated to follow...I think I would just follow their direction on how to make the saltly caramal sauce for the cake and use another chocolate cake recipe I have that is easier to follow.
The suger cookies with royal icing came out superb, as did the banana coffee muffins. There award winning brownie recipe is average, (although it does taste better cold then hot). The granola recipe is amazing, I make it on a weekly basis.
I can't help but feel the guys from the Baked bakery purposely left out or altered the recipes for this book. I really don't want to categorize it as one of those recipe books that doesn't work, but that is the impression I'm left with:( I will keep trying recipes from this book, but I can't help but feel that this book could have been so much more!
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 one of my favorite cookbooks ever, and I hope that it will become yours as well.
I have seen people complain about ingredients that you cannot get in the UK. The main one I have seen is corn cyrup which appears in many American recipes. This can be substituted by using honey or golden syrup in the same quantities, or you can make a simple syrup by reducing down sugar and water and again matching the quantity used in the recipe.
It's worth buying for the Brownie recipe alone, as they are absolutely amazing, perfectly chocolatey, fudgy and moist.
The book uses American measurements (cups, tablespoons for odd ingredients like butter, fahrenheit), but does have a conversion chart in the back; cup measures can be found in any supermarket.
Someone else has mentioned that there are some obscure ingredients; the only one I could see was corn syrup. You can simply substitute golden syrup and it works just fine.
Great recipes, have treid several, and all turned out very good, good tips too...can't wait to visit the actual Bakery in May!!
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