This has been the year of some fantastic cookbooks for me. I’ve bought them by the dozen at bookstore sales, received them as gifts and best of all, with the start of the Bread Baker’s Apprentice
Challenge, I discovered that I could get my hands on books that are hard to find without having to plead with relatives and friends coming down from the 1st World! ‘Twas the moment of epiphany.
Some books have been exceptional reads and have inspired me either to bake something from it that very moment or live in Paris! Below is a round-up of my favourite books I’ve read this year and what makes them so special:
Baking From My Home to Yours, Dorie Greenspan
– This book is without a doubt, the most special book in my collection. Not just because it’s such a brilliant book and that I don’t need to refer to any other baking book, but also because attaining this book has been so hard. Let me tell you the story, I’d asked my cousin to order it for me and send it with her friend who was coming to India last
year. That didn’t happen. So when I went there earlier this year, I got it back with me – and this my friends, was a huge ordeal! My luggage was overweight by almost 40 pounds and playing the I’m-a-young-girl-travelling-alone card didn’t really work. I sat with open suitcases at the airport and got rid of the heavy stuff – bags of nuts, chocolate, tart pans, cooling rack, etc. The book had to come out as well –after all, it weighed almost 5 pounds! But since there was no way I was leaving that behind, I
juggled with a giant laptop bag, a trolley bag and a box of donuts through three airports. My arms were so sore by the end of it!
Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
– This book will make you want to get up and start baking, at least that’s what it did to me – the gorgeous photos along with unconventional ideas is totally worth the book. I always like a book that has personal tones to it, so I enjoyed reading how they setup their bakery. I’ve made their black forest cookies as well as brownies, both of which were phenomenal. I’m surely going to be making a lot more treats from this book in 2010!
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Ina Garten
– On the same trip to the States, I enjoyed tuning into Food Network. What I enjoyed the most on Food Network was Ina Garten’s show, so I decided that I must get this book of hers that has received such rave reviews.
Bittersweet, Alice Medrich
– Although I’ve just begun reading this book, I have to recommend it because I love how it’s packed with so much information about chocolate. It answers questions like why single origin doesn’t always mean quality chocolate, why you should you cut white and milk chocolate very finely before melting, amongst other things. I like Alice Medrich’s take on bringing out the true flavour of the chocolate by reducing the fat, sugar and eggs so the chocolate can shine (and it didn’t even seem like she’s trying to put me on a diet). This book has such delicious sounding recipes that I ended up leaving post-its on every other page to come back to, truffles being the ones that are on top of the priority list! My only grouse – I wish this book had more photos.
A Homemade Life, Molly Weizenberg
– I read this book for so many days on my way to work because just when I thought I’d read too much, I’d stop because I didn’t want this book to end! I love how Molly combines her life experiences with some very delicious recipes. And the illustrations in the book are just so adorable!
The Sweet Life In Paris, David Lebovitz
– Who doesn’t want to live in Paris? The hilarious book talks about the quirky side of Parisian culture and David Lebovitz’s life in La Ville-Lumière
and the home of croissants.
The book has got a recipe at the end of each chapter as well! I love that David put a list of resources and places to visit at the end of the book, this was especially helpful when I made a map of places for orangefoodie to visit in Paris for Christmas.