The Joys of Baking: Recipes and Stories for a Sweet Life

Samantha Seneviratne. Running Press, $30 (206p) ISBN 978-0-762-49253-4
Food writer Seneviratne (The New Sugar and Spice) begins her soulful, accessible baking collection with the story of her divorce and her brother’s death. The recipes are divided into chapters designated Courage, Grace, Bliss, Love, and Wisdom, and open with tender, down-to-earth essays detailing food-centered moments from her life. Stories and food come together in headnotes, including a remembrance of working at a doughnut shop that introduces glazed pear fritters and the early days of motherhood and nuzzling with her newborn that inspired her “pillowy” coconut buns. Sensory details often set the scene, such as her recalling how the music of Enya coupled with the smell of lavender relaxed her as a child, and how she now finds stress relief in baking pain au chocolat topped with an Earl Grey cream. Comfort for Seneviratne is found in baked confections (the closest to savory here are barley oat biscuits that can be paired with cheese), such as a company-worthy Sunshine Wreath—a roasted plum cloud cake, which is Seneviratne’s easy-to-prepare antidote for a cloudy day. This is a solid choice for those who want to share comforting, home-baked dishes. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 10/16/2019
Release date: 10/08/2019
Genre: Lifestyle
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