Special tools and equipment have to be bought. A long list of ingredients has to be shopped for and then precisely measured out. Then a complicated process has to be followed, involving exact times and temperatures. And all this just to make a little cake!
Step-By-Step Baking By Caroline Bretherton DK Publishing, 544 pages ISBN: 978-140-536-8230 Available at Asia Books, 1,195 baht
For the novice cook, baking can indeed seem like a daunting, almost impossible proposition.
But Step-By-Step Baking aims to help you overcome the hurdles and make the task a whole lot easier. This tome is packed with recipes which are copiously illustrated. There are more than 1,500 photographs in total and some of them can really make the mouth water.
There are easy-to-follow instructions for 12 categories of baked goods - everyday cakes, celebration cakes, small cakes, patisserie, biscuits, cookies and slices, meringues and souffles, cheesecakes, sweet tarts and pies, savoury tarts and pies, classic and artisan breads, flat breads, and, finally, quick breads and batters.
Each recipe starts with information on the number of servings, preparation and baking times and indications as to whether it will be possible to freeze the finished item or freeze the mixture of ingredients at an intermediate stage for defrosting and completion at a later time. The detailed, step-by-step procedure for making the various sweet and savoury offerings ends with advice on how best to store the finished product as well as tips from professional bakers on how to maximise flavour and texture.
The book includes recipes for complicated treats like croissants, meringues and a Normandy-style pear tart, but the instructions are made easier to comprehend by the use of photos showing the different stages.
Inside the front and back covers are useful conversion tables for oven temperatures, volume and weight measurements, cake-tin equivalents, yeast and pastry quantities.
Banana, yoghurt and honey pancake stack.
Chocolate and hazelnet brownies.
Swiss chard and gruyere tart.
Giant pistachio meringues.
Devil’s food cake.