BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts

Stella Parks. Norton, $35 (400p) ISBN 978-0-393-23986-7
Parks, a senior editor at Serious Eats and the creator of the Bravetart blog, has written a cookbook that is as interesting to read as it is to cook from. Home cooks will stock up on butter, sugar, flour and other baking necessities before diving into the cookbook, as the recipes here are ones readers will want to make immediately. If they don’t rush to the kitchen after seeing the recipe for glossy fudge brownies with swirls of condensed milk, it’s only because they’ve decided to make the red-wine velvet cake or souffléed cheesecake instead. Tricks such as roasting sugar or adding browned butter to brownies for a richer, nuttier flavor make Parks’s recipes more complicated than those in some other cookbooks, but recipes are written simply enough that an ambitious beginning cook can succeed. Each recipe also offers possible modifications: a simple white cake with marshmallow buttercream can, with a few tweaks, be transformed into an apple-cider spice cake, a hazelnut torte, or lemon-sunshine cake. Wherever possible, Parks offers gluten-free substitutions for her recipes. Parks is known for her recreations of iconic American supermarket treats, with recipes for such indulgences as fudge stripes cookies, Twinkies (hint: use club soda to keep them soft), and even homemade Cool Whip. From elegant homespun desserts to homemade Wonder Bread, Parks’s cookbook offers a Cracker Jack blend (yes, there’s a recipe for that, too) of ingenuity and whimsy. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/01/2017
Release date: 08/15/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 512 pages - 978-0-393-63427-3
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