Thursday, September 27, 2007

A Passion for Baking

A Passion for Baking is a new cookbook from Montreal author Marcy Goldman which I highly recommend. Cookbook fans will recognize from her Julia Child Award-nominated book A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking as well as her popular website, When this book appeared in a catalogue, my immediate response was 'why yes, I do have a passion for baking', followed shortly after by 'I MUST get a copy of this book as soon as possible'. Try as I might to give up carbs, I can't go more than a few weeks without getting itchy to fire up the old oven and cover my kitchen with flour.

Make sure you take the time to read the first section of the book, which is packed with Goldman's advice on ingredients and equipment. Goldman shares her trick of using shredded butter in recipes that call for softened butter, which is perfect for bakers (like me) who always forget to take the butter out of the refrigerator in advance. I've already used her shortcut to room temperature eggs and have a new wish list of baking tools and bakeware.

Next comes the over 200 recipes accompanied by 160 colour photos. There are chapters dedicated to breads, scones, muffins, cookies, squares, cakes, pies, a chapter on cooking with whole grains, and a chapter of baked goods for cooks in a hurry. I started flagging recipes to try and had to stop as I found myself marking every page! I have already tried the Blueberry-Blackberry Honey Butter-Glazed Scones and the Lemon-Yogurt-Poppy Seed Muffin recipes, which both produced excellent results.

My birthday is coming up in the next few weeks, and I've decided to make one of the cakes in this book for my family. The Italian Cream Wedding cake and the Fallen Souffle Chocolate Torte were contenders, but I've decided on 'La Diva Chocolate Cake'. Aside from the name, what convinced me that this would be the perfect cake for a chocolate lover like myself is that the cake is topped with TWO ganaches (milk chocolate & dark chocolate) and leftovers can be frozen for two to three months. Perfect for unexpected dinner guests (or late night chocolate emergencies)!

Other recipes that are on the 'need to make soon' list are 'The Skinny Jeans Cookie' (for after the birthday cake), and the Cheesecake Truffle Bombs (frozen cheesecake tidbits coated in chocolate) which would be perfect for a potluck I'm going to next month. I usually make biscotti as holiday gifts for people in my office, and now I have ten delicious-sounding new recipes to try.
This cookbook make a perfect gift for anyone who loves to bake. I know I'm going to be baking from these recipes for years to come!


Bee said...

I purchased this book last week, I love it. On page 238 "Hummingbird Carrot Cake," there are no carrots listed in the ingredients. How can this be a carrot cake without carrots?

Rosalyn said...

Good catch bee! I looked into this and it turns out that there was a printing error on this recipe (which will be corrected in future printings). If you want a copy of the corrected recipe, please send me an e-mail at and I'll send it to you.