Category: The Bookshelf

The Bookshelf: Sally’s Baking Addiction by Sally McKenney

The Bookshelf: Sally’s Baking Addiction by Sally McKenney

After last week’s Monster Bar’s I thought it was only right to dedicate the second Bookshelf review to Sally McKenney’s first cookbook (and to give it its full title!); Sally’s Baking Addiction: Irresistible Cupcakes, Cookies, and Desserts for Your Sweet-Tooth Fix.

As I mentioned last week Sally is a baking inspiration to me, and one of the first baking bloggers I subscribed too. I love the way she writes her posts; she’s chatty and informal whilst also sharing her wealth of baking knowledge including all the geeky science bits that I love! Her Baking Basics series has been one of my favourites in learning the alchemy of baking – and how to make the perfect pie crust!

So as soon as Sally’s first cookbook came out, of course I was first in line! Its packed full of American classics and a lot of M&M’s and sprinkles! Just like my review of Patisserie Made Simple, I’ll be taking you through my favourite recipe, three more challenging recipes and three perfect for a beginner!

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Kicking off with my favourite recipe from the book is Grandma’s Sticky Pecan Rolls, named so as Sally’s grandma would make them every Thanksgiving morning. I LOVE pecans, and pecans topped onto warm sticky rolls just can’t go wrong! Am I right? The dough is really easy to make, and including proving time the whole recipe takes under 3 hours. They’re also best eaten on the day they’re made, which is just the best excuse to eat the whole pan…!

Now onto the recipes that are slightly more challenging – I say this pretty loosely though, as I haven’t really found Sally’s recipes to be particularly hard! This is a testament to how good her recipes are though – who says tasty treats need to be tricky right??

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First up, is Sugared Lemon Bars – these are shortbready, tangy and deliciously moreish! The key to these is getting the filling to set exactly right – I have had one batch turn into a rubbery mess. Don’t ask, it was a very sad day! But when these work, oh boy are they good! Who knew zesty lemon and shortbread would work so well?

Next up, Jumbo Blueberry Streusel Muffins. In my eyes, streusel makes everything better and on top of a muffin? Its just a winning combination. Sally has a top tip for ensuring your muffins are always sky-high and reminiscent of a bakery muffin. It always works, and makes you look like a baking professional! You’ll just have to buy the book to find out for yourself though! 😉

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Now what could make cinnamon rolls better? Turn it into a blondie you say? Oh I think so! I’m a huge sucker for a blondie – theres another recipe further down! – and this Cinnamon Roll Blondie recipe just knocks it out the park. They’re not sickly like you might imagine, just a perfect chewy blondie packed full with cinnamon flavour.

So, now we’re onto the slightly easier recipes, with the first up being last week’s recipe post the Fudge Ripple Monster Bars. Now you’ll know from last week how much I love these bars, but if you haven’t already made them then this is my second implore to PLEASE MAKE THEM! They’re super moreish and so easy to make!

http://bakingwithaimee.com/2016/02/21/fudge-ripple-monster-bars/sallys-baking-addiction-sally-mckenney

Next up is the book covers photo, Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookies! I made these on the blog back in November, and mine did not look anywhere near as pretty as Sally’s do! Practise makes perfect? I’m gonna say that anyway…! Check my post out here though, and please do make them for yourself! Everyone always dreams of eating the cake batter out of the bowl right? So why not eat it in cookie form?

Finally, here is my second favourite blondie recipe! The classic White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Blondies are just a dream to make and of course to eat!! Who doesn’t love the classic twist on a brownie? And macadamia nuts just add the perfect crunchy texture.

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So there we have it, a glance into Sally McKenney’s first cookbook! I hope it enticed you into some American baking, or into buying her cookbook! She also has a newer cookbook out dedicated to candy which is definitely on my wish list!

I’ll be back with another review in a fortnight! 🙂

 

Disclaimer: Please note that some links are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I only endorse products that I myself use and would recommend.

The Bookshelf: Patisserie Made Simple by Edd Kimber

The Bookshelf: Patisserie Made Simple by Edd Kimber

Collecting cookbooks has become something of a hobby for myself and Craig, with a third of our bookshelf dedicated to the art of cooking – both savoury and sweet. We’ve got books dedicated solely to chocolate, bread and even European baking and when ever I go to a friends house one of the first things I do is peruse their cookbook selection.

So, I thought why not showcase each book on my baking bookshelf with a review and a peek at my favourite recipes from each! I’ve broken it down into a few sections; my must bake recipe, three challenging bakes and three bakes more suited to a beginner. Hopefully this will give a good insight into each cookbook for any baker!

So to kick all this off, I thought I’d start with one of my favourite cookbooks; Patisserie Made Simple by Edd Kimber. I bought this back in 2014 at the London Cake and Bake Show, and managed to bump into the man himself whilst purchasing! Slightly awkward, but it was awesome to meet him and he signed my book which was so lovely.

The book is essentially a love letter to France, with both traditional and more modern recipes included. French patisserie is somewhat of an art form, but this book is totally accessible. Its not full of complicated recipes that you’ll coo at but never try. Edd makes you feel like you can tackle an opera cake, or a paris brest without wasting a load of expensive ingredients!

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So, what’s my favourite recipe you ask? It’s mine (and my nans!) much loved Pear Tart. This is such a fail-safe recipe. Pastry has never been my strong suit, but I’ve always produced a gorgeously crisp pastry, fluffy frangipane and perfectly done pear with this recipe. Its a total crowdpleaser, so much so that I’ve gotten on the train with this tart still warm from the oven just so my family could have it again! You can check out my blog post dedicated to this recipe here.

Now onto the more challenging recipes from the book. First up, a coffee tart that I made with my best friend one New Years Eve. Though it has many stages; chocolate pastry, sponge fingers, a ganache and mascarpone cream its actually pretty easy to put together. The piped cream finish also looks so impressive.

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Secondly, is a Christmas favourite the buche de noel. I made this twice for one Christmas it was that good. The sponge is so gorgeously light, and the frangelico syrup gives just the right warmth. Again, it’s not as hard as you’d expect to make, you just have to trust yourself with the sponge rolling!!

Finally, I’m talking about the glorious gateau opera! So far I haven’t actually plucked up the courage to make this, though its next on my list for a special occasion! The key to an opera cake is precision. Something that I struggle with a little aesthetically. The recipe goes across two pages, but I wouldn’t let that put you off. Its all about breaking it down into stages!

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So, now we’re onto the bakes that are a little easier and more accessible to the occasional baker. The first two are not bakes in the traditional sense. Pate de Fruit (essentially amazing fruit pastilles) and chai tea caramels, both of which I made as presents last Christmas. The pate de fruit can be quite time consuming as the fruit needs to passed through a sieve, but the fact that you’re making fruit pastilles totally makes up for it! A childhood sweet reborn!

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Caramels are deceptively easy to make, but everyone is always so impressed when they find out you’ve made them. A win win situation in my eyes! Chai tea gives a unique flavour to the caramels that you would only really find in a posh sweet shop. Wrapping them up in baking paper makes them adorable presents too!

Finally, the financier. Theres a market stall in Borough Market that first introduced me to the financier, and life has been better for it ever since! A treat first made to be eaten on the go by workers in the financial district of Paris, is a slightly denser and therefore crumb-free cake! My favourite is a pistachio version!

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So thats it! A glance in at one of my favourite cookbooks Patisserie Made Simple which I hope has enticed you to give French baking a try! I must also say, the photography and food styling throughout the book is gorgeous – which for someone aspiring to improve my food photography is a great inspiration!

I’ll be back in two weeks with another review 🙂

Disclaimer: Please note that some links are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I only endorse products that I myself use and would recommend.