cover image Fruit Cake: Recipes for the Curious Baker

Fruit Cake: Recipes for the Curious Baker

Jason Schreiber. Morrow, $32.50 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-297745-8

Food stylist Schreiber debuts with an inspiring collection of recipes for cakes enriched with fruit that will be a revelation for fruitcake skeptics. The volume opens with snackable desserts like poached pear and quince crumb cake, followed by handheld cakes that include delicate raspberry almond petit fours. Schreiber shines in his “Showstoppers” chapter, which features complex creations like a peanut butter and jelly cake brightened with a layer of strawberries and a decadent four-layer key lime confection. Last but not least are a lineup of sumptuous fruitcakes, such as a stout-soaked cake with dried tart cherries, apricots, candied ginger, and milk chocolate that will convert even the most vehement soaked-cake hater. Schreiber’s chatty style keeps things relaxed, but can also distract, as in his chocolate caramel banana roulade, where he instructs bakers to refrigerate the filling “until you’re ready to fill the cake, which I realize you probably aren’t because I haven’t told you how to make it yet.” A sharp design comprising easy-to-follow ingredient grids and modern–vintage-feel photography adds a polished touch, and Schreiber’s explanations of commonly misunderstood baking concepts (on room temperature: one’s kitchen is not guaranteed to be it) round things out. This will tantalize bakers seeking a modern approach to classic desserts.[em] Agent: Sharon Bowers, Miller Bowers Griffin Literary Management. (Nov.) [/em]