Crumb: A Baking Book by Ruby Tandoh
I love cookbooks but I especially love baking books. Page after page of cookies, cakes, pastries, breads and other treats absolutely make my mouth water and I can never resist. But since I have quite a collection sometimes they run together. How many recipes for chocolate cake or scones does one need after all (current count is about 3 dozen but that's just me!) and do I really want to give precious shelf space to the same old baking book?
I'm not sure if Crumb will be taking up space on my shelf anytime soon but if it isn't it won't be because this book is the same old baking book! For starters this is a baking class in easy readable book form. She discusses the different kind of everything - tools, flour, sugar,yeast and whatever else you can think of. And she does it in such a way that makes it readable and interesting. I've been baking for awhile and still picked up some tidbits about storage or when to use what flour or yeast when and I think it would still be useful to a novice baker.
My favorite section was the bread section. Not only do we have various types of bread from rustic Swedish Carraway Rye, to a more gentle Milk loaf, to a delicious sounding Slow and Steady Three Cheese Brioche. What I really found intriguing was her recipe for the Everyday Loaf which is a fairly basic sounding bread but can be turned into everything from a standard crusty loaf to tasty little dinner rolls.
The sweets sections were also pretty tasty and the description and recipe of the sour cream Madeira cake make my mouth water. However, what really made me get up and cook was the Chocolate Fudge Cake iced with a rich Chocolate Fudge Ganache. I made this for Emma's birthday and it was a cake worthy of an 18th birthday. The cake was rich and chocolatey and the ganache was everything ganahce should be - rich, creamy and oh so fudgey. My one complaint was the cake itself was a bit dry.
I then moved on to the Morning Muffins. Normally when I come across muffins by this name they are essentially carrot cake muffins with raisins but these involve grapefruit. It's essentially a light oatmeal muffin brimming with grapefruit zest, a grapefruit wedge baked right on top and sprinkled with a nice pinch of demerara sugar. The muffins have all the tart sourness of grapefruit with a nice buttery undercurrent and just enough sweet crunch to not make my mouth pucker. Unfortunately, once again I had a texture issue. The texture of the uncooked oatmeal in the muffins added a strange chewiness to the muffin that didn't add to my enjoyment. If I make them again I'll grind the oatmeal up before adding it so that I'll have the flavor with out the oat texture.
Of the two things I've made from this cookbook both have been tasty but both have had some texture issues. However, the ingredients are easy enough to find and the instructions are easy to follow so I'm looking forward to trying out more recipes. Tiramisu cake anyone?
If you enjoy baking books this is definitely one to look for but maybe give it a trial run before buying.
I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads