I collect baking cookbooks like they're going out of style; I absolutely love them and get so many ideas and inspirations for this blog. The most used and beloved book in my library, Baking Illustrated, is also the ugliest; a torn cover and well worn pages smudged and stained from flour, butter and chocolate are evidence of that.
You can't imagine how excited I was when I found out that America's Test Kitchen was publishing a follow-up, appropriately called The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book. Would it be as good - dare I say better - than it's predecessor? When America's Test Kitchen reached out to me to ask if I would like to review the book for the blog the answer was obvious and definite...YES!!! Regular readers know I pretty much love all things from America's Test Kitchen, let's face it I'm a bit of a groupie!, so the probability of me not liking the new book were slim to none.
After staying up late one night to read through the entire book I can honestly say I wasn't disappointed in the least. The Baking Book continues the successful formula synonymous with all ATK cookbooks; they do the testing (and hard work) and you get the fantastic results. With 450 delicious recipes, along with explanations and descriptions of why they work, home bakers of ALL levels, novice to expert, will find recipes to match their experience and comfort level. Baking can be daunting but I can assure you that this cookbook makes it less so.
As a monthly online subscriber to Cook's Illustrated magazine I have previously made several of the recipes featured in the new baking book and I can tell you from personal experience they definitely work. Among my favorites are these ones that I make repeatedly: Croissants (AMAZING!), Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes, Fluffy Yellow Layer Cake, Chewy Brownies and Blueberry Pie. I was delighted to discover so many new recipes, especially the breads and pizzas!
To celebrate the publication of The Baking Book I decided to make a real showstopper of a dessert that I haven't previously made, Chocolate Espresso Dacquoise. At first glance it looks like an intimidating recipe but in reality was actually quite straight forward. I followed the instructions to the letter and the results looked just like in the book. The crunchy, nutty meringue layered with bittersweet chocolate ganache and coffee buttercream was irresistible and surprisingly not too sweet. On top of that the recipe is 100% gluten-free. Think I'll be making it again for the holidays! Like I've said before, "ATK = SUCCESS!"
Now you can be witness for yourself...the nice folks at ATK have kindly offered to send a copy of The Baking Book to one of you!
Here's how to enter:
Contest is closed! The winner of the cookbook is Jan who loves to make cupcakes. Thanks to all who entered!