Monday, April 18, 2011

Book Review: The Fearless Baker


I have been reading a lot of cookbooks lately.  I am getting kind of tired of making the same thing over and over again – it is getting too monotonous.  I would like to try new meals and new treats; however, I am not a confident cook/baker.  There are only a couple of things that I am completely confident in making because I have been making them for years, including banana bread and pineapple upside-down cake.  I hate to admit it, but the oven makes me nervous.  This is why “The Fearless Baker” was a perfect read for me.  The Fearless Baker was written by Emily Luchetti and Lisa Weiss.  Luchetti and Weiss say, “Anyone can learn to bake”.  There’s hope for me then!! 
This book contains a huge number of mouth-watering recipes!  The chapters include Cookies, Bars, & Bites; Cakes; Pies & Tarts; Fruit; No Oven Required; Best Dessert Sauces; and Breakfast.  As I read each chapter and perused the recipes, I envisioned who would love to try the recipes as well and what holidays, parties, get-togethers I could bring them to.  I have a special breakfast coming up next month at work and I think the Cinnamon Coffee Swirls or the Apple Turnovers. 
The Fearless Bakes provides a ton of practical information about baking, the utensils used, why certain techniques are used, etc.  This information is helpful because I want to get back to the basics so I can practice those and feel more confident to try other things.  The tips are provided right before the recipes for that section.  This is what sets the book apart from your typical cookbook.  It explains baking to you, not too simplistically and not too wordy.  The only thing I wish The Fearless Baker had are more pictures.  I am a visual learner and I love cookbooks that show me not only what I am supposed to do, but what the food is supposed to look like when I am done.  Not everyone will feel the same as me, but again, I am still a “fearful baker” at this point.  I need to put some of these tips and recipes into action and then maybe someday I will consider myself a “fearless baker”.
More About the Author:
Emily Luchetti has developed a nationwide following for her innovative yet approachable dessert creations. She is executive pastry chef at Farallon and Waterbar in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has authored five successful cookbooks, and contributed to The New Joy of Cooking and The Farallon Cookbook. She won a 2004 James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Lisa Weiss is a food writer and stylist whose work has appeared in such publications as Cook's Illustrated and Cooking Light. She has co-authored six cookbooks, including The Farallon Cookbook, the James Beard Award-nominated The Seventh Daughter: My Culinary Journey from Beijing to San Francisco with Cecilia Chiang, and the bestselling Complete Meat Cookbook with Bruce Aidells.

Audio and Video

Thank you to the Hachette Book Group for allowing me the opportunity to review The Fearless Baker!
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