Everyone Can Bake: Simple Recipes To Master and Mix

S. & S. Apr. 2020. 352p. ISBN 9781501194719. $37.50. COOKING
Acclaimed pastry and cronut chef Ansel (Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes) presents a fun, well-organized, and slyly titled collection. Eschewing the skill-based organization of his first pastry book, Ansel instead tempts bakers of all levels to learn “the building blocks of baking:” go-to recipes for bases, fillings, and finishes that can be creatively varied, combined, and assembled to produce delicious desserts with professional flair. A simple vanilla pound cake recipe, for instance, is easily transformed into a lemon or ginger pound cake (“Bases”); is optionally elevated with curd, gelée, or mousse (“Fillings”); and is delicately completed with fruit, streusel, glaze, or Chantilly cream (“Finishings”). Mouthwatering photographs of adventurous recipe combinations help further stir readers’ imaginations.
VERDICT A delightful and inspiring cookbook that guides bakers of all levels through the mix-and-match mentality of experienced pastry chefs. Highly recommended for established fans of Ansel and creative recipe construction.

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