Review: Bouchon Bakery cookbook

April 22, 2013
BB-devils-food-cake
BB-devils-food-cake

The night after this book was delivered, I SLEPT WITH IT.

This is the next level of baking. As many of the recipes stem from a more commercial and skilled working environment than the average home kitchen, equipment above and beyond the bog-standard bowl and wooden spoon is required. As the book’s primary market is American, a Kitchen-Aid/ stand mixer is used in many of the recipes. Adapt for whatever you have at home/ can afford to upgrade, the results will be worth it. Depending on the recipe, hand mixing/ kneading etc is possible, it just takes MUCH longer…

A necessity though will be jeweller’s/ drug dealer’s scales, as everything is measured, even eggs, usually to the accuracy of 1 gram, for which standard kitchen scales will not suffice.

There are recipes for every level of baking, from simple cookies to macarons to bread, and for me, who does not have the funds or space for silicone moulds/ piping equipment, there is still plenty to try out and heaps more to aspire to. As well as baked goods, there are confections, frostings, sauces, and numerous accompaniments such as streusel toppings, nougat. This is the type of recipe book to sit on the couch with on a Sunday afternoon and dream.

The cake in the pic above was made for my Ma, who requested a cake that ‘looks like chocolate’ but doesn’t contain chocolate (she is allergic to chocolate). So the Devil’s Food cake contains carob, not cocoa. This I would not normally do, as, to be quite frank, carob makes for satanically shaded ablutions, but it turned out well. The cake mix used mayonnaise instead of butter/ oil and was incredibly moist and light.

Please note that the book itself has far more advanced suggestions for cake constructions, this particular delight was cobbled together myself from various parts of the book mainly selecting elements that suited my skill level (slightly moronic) and the equipment available (eg too drunk to find sugar thermometer).

The french buttercream was incredible, it tasted like the most decadent, melt in the mouth, frosting I’d ever had, what angels would munch on if they wanted to up a couple of cup/butt sizes. And that was when I’d put in 1/3 of the butter….

The cheat I used that wasn’t from the book was using Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry compote to flavour the buttercream, which is (I’m guessing) why the buttercream looks kinda gloopy…. If you do this, use the book’s recipes for purees, and don’t get squiffy with the mixer (my elbows were running out of grease by that point), but, it still tasted AMAZING. And heaps better than anything bought in (in London, anyway, as Bouchon Bakery don’t deliver here :( )

If you have ever dreamed of clouds made of cookies, made friends smile with cake, strived for culinary empowerment…. BUY THIS BOOK!!!!.

BANANA CAKE I – FRIENDS’ COOKBOOK

November 30, 2009
bananacake - friends
bananacake - friends2

On a quest to find the perfect Banana Cake recipe – last night tried an old favourites from the Friends’ Cookbook , ‘Marcel’s Banana Bread’ (yes, in honour of the super-cheesy TV series – Marcel was Ross’s monkey **ahem**).

This was made with the addition of dried cranberries, for which I have been chastened by the resident Banana Cake purist, but I think these turned out plump and juicy; I’d load up with choc chips and walnuts too if I had ’em **oink oink**.

Cake was moist, not too sweet, good subtle banana flavour

Verdict from the office: half a cake brought in , gone by lunchtime… A success, I think

Next installment: Edmond’s (NZ) cookbook recipe which I recall made for a moister and fluffier cake – possibly due to dissolving the baking powders in boiling milk prior to mixing?

The quest continues…..