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I've only just received this so I have yet to bake any of the cakes, cookies etc but they look promising. The US measurements (cups) doesn't bother me as I have US measuring cups. I wanted to see the author's take on cornbread and I'm looking forward to doing her version of madeleines too. The moonpies remind me of chocolate Kimberley biscuits sold in Ireland (manufactured and sold by Jacobs) - the story behind their prominence in New Orleans around Mardi Gras was interesting. Another thing I like are the tips under "What's mine is yours" - one I remember from earlier today was in relation to treating a scald on a finger or hand from sugar based syrup, to touch a piece of cloth like one's apron, do not suck it (as I would tend to do) because now the mouth is also scalded. Thank you Kelly and I hope I keep this in mind!
I Love this book there’s so much information at the beginning that tells you all about the different kinds of ingredients you’ll be using and the reason why and gives lots of background information about how they work and cake and pastry making. This book has a lot of recipes and it really does feel like good value for money. There are the simple things things that you can knock up quite quickly, what I would call an intermediate and then an advance section although it’s not split out like that in the book - there are definitely some recipes that will be a stretch for the average home cook. It really depends on what your skills are but by its nature pastry is a tricky beast and I’m sure you can have a lot of fun stretching your skills making delicious things. My only criticism and it has been mentioned before is that the book uses the American cup measurements all the way through instead of metric. now it’s not too much of an issue as you can now buy American cup measures very cheaply in the UK however pastry and cake making is quite a precise thing so it does seem strange that there is no gram equivalent. There are some pretty wacky measurements in the book such as one cup +2 tablespoons +1 tablespoon which is just really quite alien to people in the UK but you know it’s really not that too bad of a problem to have. When dividing recipes you can end up with some strange measurement such as one cup plus the half of whatever one third of a cup is. That’s the only reason why you don’t get five stars from me but I am extremely excited to use this cookbook the recipes really do look delicious and there is a wide range of things that you can do very very very tasty. Photo is the oatmeal cookies - first recipe I’m trying!
I was so excited to get this cookbook and I sat down and sticky tabbed so many of the recipes. I know I will try many of them. I especially liked the front section detailing types of flours, chocolates and other baking ingredients - I learned quite a bit after baking myself for nearly 50 years. Much of what I learned came from my grandmother and mother just like author, Kelly Fields. I know this is how many bakers are born.
My frustration is with items like Valrhona cacao. I have high end stores in my area but they don’t carry all of this Valrhona cacao. If I attempt to have it shipped to me with the required UPS two-day shipping, there is a $59.95 shipping fee. I may like to bake, but I’m not independently wealthy and I am not going to sell my cookies for $8.00 apiece or more to make my money back for the ingredients. So, I will be using lesser quality ingredients as I assume most folks will do. I guess I just wish that Kelly would have suggested some other options, Guittard? Ghirardelli? Others? It is, afterall, unlikely that Kelly’s grandma, like mine, had access to Valrhona cacao 40, 50, or 60 years ago. I have no doubt that Valrhona is wonderful but for most of us, it is just not an option.
I was thrilled to receive this cookbook for my birthday a few days ago. My son's birthday is today and I made him the Chocolate Doberge cake. I'm an experienced baker, baking a wide array of cakes, breads...even my own croissants for many years. There's never been a cake I've had such a disaster with until now.
The pudding was terrific but the cake itself is absolutely terrible. I was surprised to see a cake with 18 eggs in it but I thought I would give it a go. It ruined the cake. Rubbery, awful. My eggs were not deflated but still, rubber through and through. I should have started over the cake layers but after spending some $50+ on ingredients and running out of time, I went with it. The cake is maybe the worst chocolate cake I've ever made.
I made a half recipe of the buttercream in the cake because again, 4 cups of butter? 2 pounds? I was shocked and thought it must be a typo. I frosted the cake 3/4 of an inch thick and had buttercream to spare.
I am left wondering if the book had a terrible editor who put in an odd number of ingredients (I have seen sponge cakes with 8 or 10 eggs but never 18, the butter would make sense with 4 sticks but not 4 CUPS of butter). All that is to say, can this cookbook be trusted? Has anyone else noticed editing errors? Having wasted more than the cost of the cookbook on ingredients for this one cake (thank heavens I didn't include the ganache, which added another pound of valrhona chocolate plus 2 cups of heavy cream, easily another $20 an 30 minutes down the drain) nevermind many hours of putting it together, I am now very concerned that the book may be full of editing errors given at least 2 major ones in this one recipe.
I also HATE that this book lists ingredients in cups, even when things like sticks (butter) or grams or ounces (3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons of butter again elsewhere in the recipe) make so much more sense to any seasoned baker. Bad, bad move.
I do hope that subsequent recipes will prove less of a disaster than this one. Until then, I'll stick with Bouchon Bakery, Flour, Ottolenghi's Sweet and other tried and true baking books that perhaps had a better editor in charge.
I wish in the description of a book they would tell you that you will need special ingredients. The different flour types I can get in my town but the other things, no. Writers seem to think the ingredients they are use to using all the time are available everywhere. Yes I know I can special order these things but when the mood strikes to bakes it’s frustrating.
Written by arguably the Best Pasty Chef in the country and James Beard Award Winner, Kelly Fields, I was inspired to try to find a better way to bake. The techniques and recipes that Kelly shares, allow me to improve my baking skills by many, many notches. I have eaten at her restaurant in New Orleans, Willa Jean, and could not believe how much better things like cornbread, muffins, and cookies could be. The general tips include things I had never learned or tried. The combinations are familiar, and yet sometimes unusual. For example, I started with her Willa Jean Cornbread and Cane Syrup (Just Phenomenal) and look forward to working my way through most of the recipes. I will have to social distance from the kitchen if I get too carried away. It's that good!
I buy a lot of cookbooks but rarely review them. This one is truly five stars. You can tell she put her passion in this book and the recipes are the real deal. Best biscuits I have ever made. This book is on the level with BraveTart. I like recommend it. Full of great biscuit, cornbread, and sweets recipes. The instructions are clear and easy to follow.
This is the best baking cookbook I’ve ever used. Makes really complicated things easy and not overwhelming. Every recipe I’ve made has been delicious and Kelly’s tips are incredibly helpful. I would buy this for anyone who like baking or eating breakfast treats, cakes and other dessert.
This book is STUNNING. Gorgeous pictures, great baking tips, and mouth watering recipes. I am a sucker for coconut cake and it was the first page that I opened to. I take it as a sign that this will be the baking cookbook that I use over and over, and will buy this gem for family and friends as gifts. Kelly Fields knocked it out of the park with this one.
This book is a fresh take on southern baking. The authors down to earth and humorous perspective really shines through and adds extra interest to what otherwise could be some very basic and dull subjects. The layout and photography is also outstanding. Would highly recommend for any baker or aspiring baker!