The Violet Bakery Cookbook

Ten Speed: Crown. 2015. 272p. photos. index. ISBN 9781607746713. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781607746720. COOKING
Before opening Violet bakery and cafe in East London, pastry chef Ptak honed her skills in some of California and London's best restaurants, including Chez Panisse, Moro, and St. John. In this cozy collection of rustic baked goods from quiches to cupcakes, Ptak teaches readers to prepare simple, ingredient-focused recipes (e.g., buckwheat, apple, and creme fraiche scones; melon granita; chocolate, prune, and whiskey cake) that often feature fresh fruits and vegetables. Visually sumptuous, which is no surprise given Ptak's tenure as a food stylist for chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Simon Hopkinson, her book recalls photo-rich collections like Nigel Slater's Ripe, as well as elegant bakery/cafe cookbooks likened to Rose Carrarini's Breakfast, Lunch, Tea. Recipes are given in metric and U.S. measurements, with the metric appearing first.
VERDICT Highly recommended for fans of baking books such as Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson's Tartine and Zoe Nathan's Huckleberry. Aspiring pastry chefs will find inspiration in Ptak's impressive career highlights.
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