Tuesday, March 20, 2018

10 Great Baking Books I Own, More I Wish For!




Baking books from well known authors are something you must absolutely own if you are 
seriously interested in baking. You can, of course, find thousands of recipes on the internet, 
but having these books on your shelf and baking from them is something else. Here are a few books I own and some on my wish list, hope it helps you get an idea and start your collection. You will cherish these books for years. You can get these online here in India or from the USA if someone can carry them for you. (Depends on where you live and the prices too) am giving links to buying in both countries below.


Do watch the video here for some stunning photographs from some of the books.




I am often asked to suggest books for beginners in baking. Am not really aware of books  specifically meant for beginners. Most books mostly have both easy and involved recipes.
Most of the books will have recipes using eggs,I haven't really bought any books on eggless baking, so it would be hard to tell.


Let me start with one of my all time favorite books. 





1.The Cake Bible By Rose Levy Beranbaum. As the name suggests, the book is a whole lot of 
cake recipes, from pound cakes, sponge cakes, showcase cakes, special occasion cakes 
and even wedding cakes (all with eggs). There are recipes for cake icings or frostings, different types of 
buttercreams and ganache, recipes for making your own fondant, marzipan and other 
embellishments. There are also fruit preserves, purees you can use.

There is a special section for professionals, baking, storing and transporting wedding cakes.You can find extensive tips on cake decoration. Detailed information on baking Ingredients, baking equipment and a lot of science behind cakes if you want to get into it, this book is 
truly a bible. Each recipe has serving suggestions, storage and serving instructions, and 
pointers for success  This book is a must for every home baker, especially if you aspire to 
bake commercially. 

Buy in India*
Buy in the USA*

2. Chewy gooey crispy crunchy melt in the mouth cookies by Alice Medrich. 




An amazing 
and extensive collection of  cookie recipes with different textures from chewy, gooey, crispy ,crunchy, melt in the mouth kinds as the title suggests. This book goes beyond the 
ubiquitous chocolate chip cookies and butter cookies. Delicate tuiles, biscotti, macaroons, 
brownies, cookies with puff pastry and filo pastry and so much more.  With this book, you 
will never really run of out a new recipe for cookies.

Buy in India *
Buy in the USA*


3.Baking With Julia






This book is based on the very popular PBS series hosted by Julia Child,the author is Dorie Greenspan. The recipes in this book are from 27 well known bakers and chefs.The book has some basic but super versatile recipes such as puff pastry, pie crusts, 
brioche, choux pastry,Danish pastry and such. If you learn these building blocks as they call, you can do a whole lot. There are breads,, morning pastries, cakes, pastries and stunning desserts. You can follow recipes as they are or try putting together different components. That is the fun of baking at home!   

Buy in India
Buy in the USA*


4.Ready for dessert 





One of my favorite favorite authors, there can never be a dull moment with David Lebovitz, the American author who lives in Paris. He has a great sense of humor,it is always entertaining to read his blog and books. Most importantly, his recipes work so 
well for me! Baking , desserts, custards, cookies and candies, basic sauces and preserves, ice creams, sorbets and lots more in this book. 

Buy in India*
Buy in the USA*



5. Chocolate holidays :'




 We can never get enough of chocolate can we? Not surprisingly, 
there are books for chocolate based recipes exclusively. This book by Alice Medrich has 
recipes categorized according to seasons summer, winter, spring and fall and occasions  If 
you love chocolate, here is a good one to start with. Her recipes gives detailed instructions which are easy to follow.  

Buy in USA*
Buy in India*

6.Baking Bible 






This again is by Rose Beranbaum.  If you want a book which covers a good 
range of categories cakes, cookies, breads, pies and tarts, cheesecakes, cookies and candy this is a great book to start with. Each section has Rose’s golden rules for baking, special tips and 
troubleshooting. The recipes again are extremely detailed with explanations at various stepsThe kind of research and dedication which goes into Rose's books always gives me the goosebumps! You will always learn a lot from Rose,keep referring her books, definitely worth buying.

Buy in India*
Buy in the USA*




7.King Arthur flour Whole grain baking book : 






You must have come across their website 
and blog . They also retail a lot of products like flours, ingredients, kitchen tools, baking pans and stuff. They also have a helpline (yes!)for bakers. Though all recipes are not 100% whole grain, All recipes in this book 
contain whole grains such as wheat, barley, oats. Every day baking like pancakes, muffins, cupcakes, a whole lot of breads, pizzas, puff pastry, Danish pastry, puddings etc . The book is packed with useful information, illustrations and tips, extremely educative. I love this book!

Buy in India*
Buy in the USA.*  



8.The Bread Bible: 







A book dedicated to breads, the author none other than Rose Beranbaum. It starts with an 
extensive and extremely informative chapter on Essential steps to baking breads with lots of illustrations. Then there quick breads, muffins, biscuits,sourdough breads, flat breads and so much more!

Buy in the USA*
Buy in India*


9. Rose's Christmas Cookies





Christmas is synonymous with cookies and Rose gives us this collection of them for the season (and all year round too).I just got this book ( luckily at a good price, hey today its even less!)  and the recipes seem to be simpler than her usual involved ones. Of course I am not going to wait until Christmas to bake some cookies which have been calling out to me!

Buy in  India*
Buy in the USA*

10. Baking Chez Moi Dorie Greenspan   




Having lived in France for nearly 20 years, Dorie shares recipes from all over France with us in this book. Written in her trademark style, she keeps reassuring that you are doing it right! 

Buy in India*
Buy in the USA*


Here are a few on my wish list

11. Baking - From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan

Buy in India*

Buy in USA*







12. Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Beranbaum

Buy in India*

Buy In USA*






13. Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Beranbaum

Buy in India*

Buy in the USA*






14. The Bread Bakers's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart 
Buy in India*
Buy in the USA*





15. Room For Dessert by David Lebovitz
Buy in India*





16. Ripe For Dessert by David Lebovitz

Buy in India*
Buy in the USA*




17. Bittersweet by Alice Medrich

Buy in India*
Buy in the USA*





18. The Great Book of Chocolate by David Lebovitz

Buy in India*
Buy in the USA*




Phew! And there actually are a few more!

There is no dearth of recipes on the internet, but books are books and they are for a lifetime.Do start collecting your books, have fun baking!

Please note:*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and buy through the link, I will earn a tiny commission on the same. I recommend products and things which I have used and found good.You will be paying the same price as mentioned on the website, there won't be an extra cost here. This commission will help me bear costs of running the blog and channel. Your support will be greatly appreciated!







Friday, March 9, 2018

Smooth As Silk Chocolate Pudding. Eggless,No Bake!



Smooth as silk ,uber chocolaty, super easy and quick, make ahead, no bake! Phew! Forgive me for all that drama, but how else do I get your attention? Summer has officially started and its not exactly enjoyable to be in the hot kitchen for long periods of time. Those scheduled and unscheduled power cuts,mess up all plans of baking. But of course, it only means more of no bake stuff and desserts like this one. Chilled desserts? Yes please!

Puddings can be easily made to serve 2 or 4 or 40. It usually be made ahead and chilled, they can be made with eggs and without. This one here is without eggs, nevertheless very rich and indulgent. Chocolate puddings can again be with just cocoa (not if I can't avoid) or cocoa and chocolate or only chocolate. Clearly, the last kind is my first choice and preference.



Everyone must have a recipe for chocolate pudding in their repertoire. Since I do not have a heirloom recipe handed down to me and I was not happy with a couple of recipes I tried, I had to kind of come up with my own. We loved this pudding - super smooth, indulgent and satisfying. Be warned - this recipe below is only for serious chocolate lovers!

Take this recipe as a guide and tweak it to your taste altering the amount of cornflour, chocolate and sugar. Add a dash of coffee/orange zest/brandy perhaps? Do come back and let me know what you did. 

I usually have tetra packs of whole milk and cream at home, chocolate of course. So this becomes a sort of store cupboard dessert that can be put together any time.



Watch me make it. Have you subscribed yet?




Ingredients: 
(to serve 6, double the recipe if you wish)

Whole milk,cold (3.5% fat) - 1 cup / 240 ml 
Cornstarch/Cornflour - 1 tablespoon
Cream ( I use Amul 25%) 6 tablespoons / 90 ml
Instant coffee - 1/2 teaspoon(optional)
Salt - a tiny pinch
Sugar - 1 - 2 tablespoons
Dark chocolate - 150 grams, very finely chopped
Soft unsalted butter - 1 tablespoon
Pure vanilla extract

Method: 

  • Take about 1/4 cup of the cold milk from the recipe in a small bowl. Whisk in the cornstarch, ensuring no lumps.
  • Transfer to a heavy saucepan, add in the rest of the milk.
  • Add the cream, sugar, salt and coffee if using. Whisk well to combine.
  • Heat on low heat for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is slightly thick. The mixture will leave a track on the back of a spoon.
  • Take off the heat. Immediately whisk in the chopped chocolate followed by the butter so they melt completely.
  • Add the vanilla. Strain the mixture, helps get rid of any lumps or bits of chocolate.
  • Pour the mixture into small dessert glasses. Press clingfilm on the surface of the pudding or a 'skin' will form.
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours,overnight is best. The pudding will thicken further as it cools.  These can be stored in the refrigerator for 2 days. 
  • Just before serving, top with some fresh berries(photogenic) or chilled whipped cream(yum!)

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