Top positive review
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Great addition to any food enthusiast's collection
on 11 April 2012
For a British buyer, there are 2 things you need to know about Joy The Baker:
1 - Joy is a blogger. This means that in this cookbook, her recipes are accompanied by the kinds of things she talks about on her blog. Sometimes she talks about relationships or future children, sometimes she will recall childhood memories, sometimes she will declare her undying love for peanut butter, sometimes she will be having an imaginary conversation with you and sometimes she will just be writing about how much she loves the recipe on that page. Her style is sweet, chatty and fun. The advantage of this is that you get the feeling that Joy is there with you, telling you how to make these gorgeous recipes and that everything is going to be alright. However, if you're just wanting a book that simply gives you instructions on how to make something, each recipe's introduction may get on your nerves.
2 - Joy is American. This means that all her oven temperatures are given in Fahrenheit and her measurements are in cups or ounces. If you're not familiar with these measurements, find a conversion chart (easily done through a quick Google search), print out and keep inside the cover. Small hint, don't try to convert cups to grams - volume to weight rarely works well! The fact Joy is American also means that sometimes she uses spice blends that you can't get in the UK. Again, this is something that you can Google and find out the ingredients to replicate or alternatively, use your intuition and make up your own spice blend. Despite these transatlantic technical issues, the fact that Joy is American means that she does amazing things with bacon, peanut butter, buttermilk, avocados and popcorn - the kinds of which we don't often see over here.
To me, Joy the Baker, is all about fun twists on old recipes, comfort baking and good writing. I've made a few of the recipes already and they're turning out really well (man-bait apple crisp was a big hit with my friends and I discovered how addictive bacon peanut butter cookies can be...!). I also found the kitchen tips section at the beginning really useful with really good advice on things like what to do when you can't get hold of buttermilk, how to make your own vanilla extract, how to get the most flavour out of citrus zest, etc.
As you can tell, I really love this book. Whether you're just getting into baking or if you already have an abundance of cookbooks (like me!) I'm sure this will be a welcome addition to your collection.