Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I'm In Love

Vanilla Pound Cake. Triple Lime-Chocolate Crunchy Feet. Cranberry-Lemon Pound Cake Loaded with Chocolate. Coconut-Pineapple Crunchy Feet. Chocolate Butter Cake. I could go on.

We just got in a fantastic new cookbook--CakeLove by Warren Brown. Mr. Brown owns CakeLove, a bakery with locations in DC, VA and MD that's won numerous awards and he hosts Sugar Rush on the Food Network (Maybe I can convince him to open a Boston outpost of CakeLove? Maybe I can convince him to marry me? Just kidding. Sort of.)

I'm really impressed with this cookbook for a few reasons. First off, the recipes just sound delicious and have flavor combinations that are actually unique (which is hard to come by. The last baking book that had recipes that had me sit up and take notice is Regan Daley's 2001 In the Sweet Kitchen, which I still think is the best resource on baking and sweets out there. Period.).

Secondly, perhaps most importantly, Mr. Brown really does a great job of providing clear and descriptive instructions that also have a personal voice, something I love in a good cookbook--especially since (embarrassing confession alert) I read them way more than I actually cook from them. For example, he explains creaming butter and sugar in a way that totally opened my eyes to what to look for during the process (in case you were wondering: dancing--what a great term!, clumping, and coating). And here's his instruction for transferring batter to a pan: "Fill the prepared pan about three-quarters full. Even though this batter is a bit runny compared to the others, don't pour the batter into one spot and let it ooze around the pan. Instead, deposit the batter with the rubber spatula in small clumps around the pan." This is exactly the kind of stuff I want to know.

Finally, I think the idea of "crunchy feet" is just the best thing ever. Crunchy feet are pound cakes baked in little brioche pans that give you a quick hit of deliciousness and don't require frosting, which I have to admit, I don't usually much care for. As an added bonus it makes the baking process super-quick--generally just 15 minutes--which is fantastic as delayed gratification is not my strong suit when it comes to baked goods.

Going on...Sassy Cake with mango puree and cayenne pepper. Maizing Cake with fresh corn. No-Mixer Chocolate Cake. Cherry-Chocolate Chip Cupcakes...

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