Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Baking: From my home to yours

I had heard a lot about Baking: From my home to yours, so my expectations for this book we very high.

Overall I am delighted with it. I want to make everything. And there 12! 12! recipes for brownies. So far, I have made three things, and it has gone pretty well.

For Sunday dessert at my parents I made the berry tart. It was also just recently written up on Smitten Kitchen. Honestly, making the tart was a bit of a disaster. I made the pastry cream two days ahead of time and it curdled. Talking to my dessert guru Yannick, he declared such it "impossible" for pastry cream to curdle. He just may have been right - I later discover in the very helpful glossary section that if you leave the sugar sitting on top of the egg yolks, instead of mixing immediately, it will make small curds. I know that I did this, so I think this is the cause of the error. Fortunately, pushing the pastry cream though a sieve fixed everything.

The crust was also very troublesome. I think I have learned my lesson: doughs with instructions on how to make them in the food processor only probably won't work if you make them by hand. I added some water to the recipe and finished making the crust the way I usually do and it seemed okay - maybe a touch too tough.

Happily, there were no incidents slicing the strawberries. Once everything was put together it was delicious and fancy looking, so all was forgiven.

Next I attempted the marble loaf cake. Everything went fine with this one, the taste was good, the crumb nice, but maybe a little dry. My marbling technique might need a little practice too.

Finally, I made the Swedish Visiting Cake. (I know this seems like an insane amount of baking - but I have been invited out a lot. So I am not eating all these desserts by myself. Otherwise I would be super jumbo by now.) The Swedish visiting cake was super fast to make and had an awesome technique. The lemon zest was grated over the sugar and then the sugar and zest is rubbed together by hand until the sugar is damp. I really liked this technique and think it really released the lemon flavour well.
Of the three desserts, this was my favourite. It was the easiest and tastiest. I made it for a barbecue with my friends Evangeline and Mike and Mike ate three pieces - a clear indication of it's tastiness.

Overall, I really have liked cooking from this book. There is a good mix of recipes, from the fairly simple ones I have tried, to fancy fancy birthday cakes and even some ice-cream recipes. I have a few other things I will be making for sure - like the honey peach ice-cream. The dessert maker's glossary at the end of the book makes it accessible for beginning bakers, but still had helpful information for a more experienced baker.


Gretchen said...

YUMMY! That tart looks fantastic! Now I need to go bake something! Oh, yeah, and check the book out of the library

TF said...

...and Mike ate three pieces - a clear indication of his fatness