More Than Cake: 100 Baking Recipes Built for Pleasure and Community

Artisan. Apr. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9781648290541. $40. COOKING
Pastry chef and bake-sale boss Pickowicz details her method of creating desserts of all sorts in this informative volume, her first cookbook. Putting people at the forefront, she believes dessert can stimulate community and includes information on supporting causes through fundraising with baked goods. From cookies to savory bakes with vegetables, with an ode to fruit desserts in between, recipes are often multi-step, even multi-day events, resulting in unexpected flavor unions, such as olive-oil cake with crispy capers. A formula for creating layer cakes (cake, soak, filling, then frosting) provides countless possibilities. Step-by-step photos help to explain an unusual process for building layers: Start with a thin sheet cake, which gets cut most often into circles, then swaddled in plastic wrap and stacked inside a tall cake pan. After all the soaking, filling, and layering, the cake is turned out and frosted. Tips, including variations and how to recover from mistakes, are sprinkled throughout the book.
VERDICT Best for those who like slow, meditative bakes and unique ingredient combinations.
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