Saturday, May 2, 2015

Crumb - Cookbook Review

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


  1. Ha - this is definitely not the cookbook for me! I don't bake at all - I get annoyed with measuring and don't like how you can't adjust along the way. But, I do like to eat baked goods that someone else makes for me :)

  2. Oh muffins with grapefruit, now that's worth investigating.

  3. Surprise, I also do not bake. Lol. But my best friend does, and I'm constantly giving her recipes to make for me. That's what a BFF is for, right?
    Bread is a weakness of mine. Who doesn't love a just baked loaf of bread? Nobody! And than add cheese or many cheeses and done. I'll eat the whole loaf in one sitting. Lol.
    Once again, I now need to get a snack.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  4. I don't usually get baking books. I love to cook but focus more on the dinner menus rather than sweets. But, that being said, today I checked Martha Stewart's Pies and Cakes out of the library. The photos in baking books always make me drool (damn sweet tooth!) but I don't make much from the books.

    I guess I will get Crumb from the library, you have me sold.

  5. Not one for me - I'm just not exact enough to bake! Cheers from carole's Chatter

  6. Mmmm yum! I love all those things. Especially the bread that can have multiple forms. I wish I was better at bread making.

  7. I used to love to bake. Your review makes me want to start again!

  8. I'm another one with too many cookbooks, but just the sound of that sour cream Madeira cake had me wanting some.

  9. The cover is total eye candy.