The Craft of Baking: Cakes, Cookies, and Other Sweets with Ideas for Inventing Your Own

Sold by Clarkson Potter
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James Beard Award—winner Karen DeMasco, who first came to national attention as the pastry chef of Tom Colicchio’s Craft, Craftbar, and ’wichcraft restaurants from 2001 to 2008, approaches the art of baking in a unique way. Building on the savory cooking philosophy of using seasonal ingredients to create dishes with pure flavors, Karen makes acclaimed desserts that are both simple and elegant. Now, she shares her secrets and techniques in her first cookbook, The Craft of Baking, designed to help home bakers think imaginatively in order to expand their repertoires with new and fresh combinations.

Using the bounty of the seasons as inspiration and Karen’s clear instructions, both beginners and experienced bakers will find it easy to let their creativity take the reins. Learn how to make Karen’s celebrated sweets, such as Apple Fritters with Caramel Ice Cream and Apple Caramel Sauce, White Chocolate Cupcakes with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream, and Raised Cinnamon-Sugar Doughnuts. Then check out the tips on "varying your craft" to transform Grandma Rankin’s Cashew Brittle into Pumpkin Seed Brittle and to alter a cobbler recipe to make Rhubarb Rose Cobbler in the spring or Mixed Berry Cobbler in the summer, for example. Karen’s suggestions for "combining your craft"–such as serving Almond Pound Cake with Apricot Compote and Lillet Sabayon–reveal how easy it is to take desserts to the next level.

Karen’s ingenuity is boundless. All types of sweets, from muffins and scones to pies and cakes to ice creams and custards, are her mediums for exploring flavors. With Karen’s simple techniques, unique flavor combinations, and inventive ideas, The Craft of Baking will change the way you think about baking and equip any home cook with the skills and creativity to create amazing, one-of-a-kind desserts.
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About the author

KAREN DeMASCO was the pastry chef overseeing the desserts at Craft, Craftbar, and ’wichcraft from their opening in 2001 until 2008. The winner of the 2005 James Beard Award for Best Pastry Chef, DeMasco has worked in many of America’s most illustrious pastry kitchens, including Chanterelle and Gramercy Tavern of New York City and Fore Street restaurant of Portland, Maine. She is the pastry chef of Robert De Niro’s restaurant Locanda Verde in New York City.

MINDY FOX is the food editor of the magazine La Cucina Italiana and a former editor at Saveur. She has written for many magazines, including Saveur, Every Day with Rachael Ray, and Prevention, and she has collaborated on a number of cookbooks, including Olives & Oranges.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Clarkson Potter
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Published on
May 8, 2012
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780770433888
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Cooking / Courses & Dishes / Desserts
Cooking / Courses & Dishes / Pastry
Cooking / Methods / Baking
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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By the time she was a teenager, Sara Jenkins had lived all over the Mediterranean, from Italy and France to Spain, Lebanon, and Cyprus, in cosmopolitan cities and in rural hamlets. The family eventually put down roots in a ramshackle farmhouse in a small Tuscan village, where she learned how to make ragu and handmade pasta at the elbow of her Italian “grandmother” on the nearby farm. Meals came from the garden and the surrounding pastures, not the supermarket, and Jenkins grew up schooled in the tradition of cooking from what was on hand.
In Olives & Oranges, Jenkins shares the simple, striking dishes she learned at the source. Many, like Peppery Braised Short Ribs and Classic Tuscan Eggplant Parmesan, are favorites from childhood. Others, like Short Pasta with Mushrooms and Mint and Spicy Lemon–Chocolate Ganache Tart, have a contemporary sensibility. Jenkins shows how understanding the Mediterranean “language of flavor” can help you follow your instincts and make your own great meals based on what you have, too. You’ll see how salt and lemon juice bring out the natural sugar in Carrot Salad with Lemon, Sea Salt, Parsley, and Olive Oil, and how to use the same technique with lime, salt, and a Moroccan condiment called harissa for a completely different effect in Tunisian Raw Turnip Salad.
The opening chapter introduces “small plates”— easy, versatile dishes that can preface a dinner or be grouped together for a small feast, from Roasted Red Peppers with Garlic and Celery Leaves to Chicken Liver Crostini. Soups are spontaneous and flexible, whether they are cooling purées like White Almond Gazpacho or sturdy full bowls like Rich Chicken Soup with Greens. The incomparable pastas encompass fast every-night selections (Spaghettini with Burst Cherry Tomatoes) to complex celebration affairs like Braised Rabbit Ragu and Homemade Lasagna.
Fish, poultry, and meat chapters feature rustic preparations: roasted scallops capped with a pale green butter seasoned with parsley and garlic; an impressively big-flavored chicken smeared with a mixture of bacon and herbs and baked in a salt crust; and a spectacular staple of Roman trattorias, veal cutlets wrapped in prosciutto and sage and crisp-fried. Desserts range from fresh Strawberries with Prosecco to a sumptuous Coffee Cardamom Crcme Caramel to the rich but light Lemon Olive Oil Cake.
Each of the recipes in the book is identified as “Quick-Cook” or “Slow-Cook” so you can choose which fit best into your schedule. “Flavor Tips” throughout the book suggest ways to modify the dishes so you can use what’s freshest and most available.

The daughter of the noted food authority Nancy Harmon Jenkins, SARA JENKINS has earned raves at all the New York restaurants where she has been the chef, including 50 Carmine, Il Buco, I Coppi, and Patio. Her newest venture, Porchetta, is located in New York City’s East Village. This is her first book.
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