Love Is a Pink Cake: Irresistible Bakes for Morning, Noon, and Night

Norton. May 2023. 288p. ISBN 9780393541113. $35. COOKING
Born in California, where she honed her culinary chops at Alice Waters’s Chez Panisse, and then moving to England, where she opened Violet Bakery in 2010, food writer and stylist Ptak (The Violet Bakery Cookbook) has a culinary philosophy that reflects both geographic locations. Her latest cookbook perfectly illustrates this with its two sections: California and England. Further divided by time of day, the book includes 75 recipes with a range of sweet and savory treats, including brown-sugar Victoria sponge, double-chocolate sea salt cookies, and old-fashioned doughnuts, all of which embrace the author’s core culinary mantra about the importance of flavor over form and using the best possible ingredients. A smattering of gluten-free, vegan, and processed white sugar–free recipes are also folded into the mix. Those new to the kitchen may find Ptak’s occasional use of less accessible ingredients such as fernet and jostaberries in her recipes—not to mention her mix of U.S. and British cooking terms—challenging.
VERDICT Home cooks with some experience with a whisk and spatula will likely be inspired to branch out into new baking adventures by Ptak’s charming, warmly encouraging writing style and methodically laid out recipes.
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