This Saturday I woke up with a sudden urge for French cookies… This was a rather strange urge, at a rather strange hour I must admit. But it was persistent. So I caved and thought what better way to spend Saturday morning – not just morning, but MORNING, thanks to a little almost one-year old early riser – than trying out Dorie’s new issue Baking – from my home to yours, and realizing one of my blogging plans: posting review’ish posts about my ever increasing cookbook collection. The first result was these rather nice looking, if I say so myself, no-frill Madeleines.
I was one of the lucky winners of the great blog event Menu for Hope. The prize was a signed copy of Baking, a book that really has caught on fire in the blogging community. There’s even a weekly foodie event where eager bloggers try out recipes. And there are loads to choose from. Dorie hasn’t exactly been holding back as there are more than 500 pages of recipes and glossy pictures.
My copy had a little trouble getting here. Dorie was a little worried when she checked and it seemed that the book was enjoying some Brazilian sun in Sao Paolo in stead of Danish rains. But eventually it made it and as I opened the package I was a little surprised. It was bigger than I thought. Much bigger! So choosing the first thing to try was a challenge. Enter Saturday craving: I opted for Dorie’s version of the all time classic Madeleines and I wasn’t let down
The flavoring in this version is the classic lemon zest and vanilla. The cookies were fluffier than the ones I usually make, and that was a definite improvement. I managed to acheive the classic “hump” on the back of the cookies thank to a small but effective tip: Let the dough rest a couple of hours and fill the molds almost to the top. I didn’t have any linden tea around but I still think Proust would have been satisfied. I was.
As I haven’t tried more than one recipe from Baking it really isn’t fair writing a review. I have been spending quite a few evenings looking through the book, though, so by now I have a pretty good idea of what kind of book it is. Too me, one of its strenghts is the breakfast chapter. There are loads of different muffin recipes, morning loafs and crumble cakes. A category that uptil now has been sadly missing in my cookbook collection. That said, I think the next thing I’ll make isn’t from the breakfast section though, but Dorie’s version of lemon meringue pie. She uses a different technique when making the lemon curd using a tip from French pasty super star Pierre Herme that I’ll have to try. It involves a blender, something I don’t have around. But when I manage to get a hold of one, I’ll go for it.
Summing things up, Baking is highly recommended. It has an encyclopedic width covering both cup cakes and classy dinner party cakes. The thing that tie everything together is the homey feel in every recipe. No foam, fuzzy things or little neat art works of caramel. This is down to earth baking, and it has recipes I’m sure I’ll come back to time and time again.