Bakers, cooks, stylists and photographers; many practice these disciplines individually, whereas others do it all. Cooking and baking assiduously every day of the week nourish my desire to style and photograph each of these processes.
I try to keep up (not always successfully) with newly-published cookbooks as they come out. A recently released book entitled Baking, authored by the creators of Food52, has seduced me. Perfectly balanced, with baking simplicity and a timeless assortment of recipes.
In the words of its editors, “treats you can pull off in a snap”! with “an unpretentious and comforting” approach to baking. If you’re a professionally trained pâtissier, an aficionado in the kitchen, or one for whom baking is a therapeutic and restorative process, Food52’s new baking book is in my view a great addition for every single one of us. Food52 is a familiar name; for many, it’s the premier online community for cooks, as it was created “to bring cooks together from all over to exchange recipes and ideas and to support each other.”
Editors Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs have meticulously curated this book cover to cover. In the foreword by Mrss. Hesser and Stubbs, they explain how the recipes in the book come from readers, contributors and team members. Baking opens with a feast of breakfast goods, and quickly dives into cookies, snickerdoodles and bars, then navigates the reader to a 35th iteration brownie recipe (unquestionably good!), arriving at the summery fruit galettes, and even a Blueberry Schlumpf on page 51 (the only complexity is in its name as the recipe is simplicity itself). The book tops it all out with puddings, cakes, and several savory flatbreads and other baked goods to closure.
The book makes judicious use of varied (and sometimes unexpected) and delightful ingredients such as cardamom, olive oil, black sesame, matcha, parsnip, balsamic, lavender and more. On page 72, I was gladly surprised by a classic clafoutis with raspberries, which I now share with you. Baking is in my view a very complete book with a diverse repertoire to please even the most skeptical baking and pastry devotees. Crowning the book and imbuing it with visual beauty, Baking has been exquisitely photographed by James Ransom. The images let the reader indulge their eyes in the collection, as mouths water as eyes move through its pages. A must have Baking book for our delight and kitchen shelves. I have received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.
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- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup half-and-half
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- ¾ granulated sugar vanilla
- ¼ tsp almond extract (optional)
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1½ cups fresh raspberries
- Confectioners' sugar for dusting
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Brush a 9-inch pie plate with the melted butter. I used a cast iron pan instead. In a large bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, eggs yolk, vanilla sugar, and almond extract. Add the flour and whisk just until smooth, being careful not to over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pie plate and scatter the raspberries evenly over the top.
- Bake for 30 or 35 minutes, until the clafoutis is jut set and the surface is gold brown. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve warm.