cover image Chetna’s Easy Baking: With a Twist of Spice

Chetna’s Easy Baking: With a Twist of Spice

Chetna Makan. Hamlyn, $29.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-600-63739-4

Makan, alum of the Great British Bake Off, leads with seasonal ingredients featuring tropical touches and textural contrasts in this savvy inventory of easy-to-execute recipes that cover savories as well as sweets, with vegan options. Seemingly serendipitous ingredient combinations include caramel laced with star anise in a pear, chocolate, and hazelnut tarte tatin, or a tiramisu flavored with rosewater in addition to the typical instant espresso. Plenty of playful options include the Banoffee Chocolate Pavlova, a deconstructed twist on the Banoffee pie, which uses a pavlova as the base instead of a butter biscuit. A black tahini tart is perhaps the signature bake of the book with its inky-black filling of sesame paste sweetened with honey. Indian-influenced savory options include a fresh-take assortment of pies, pizzas, and pasties. Paneer is added to cheddar cheese scones, yogurt to the dough for a “Chilli naan” pizza (topped with chutney), and fenugreek to the crust of a curried chickpea cauliflower pie. While the collection is put together with simplicity in mind, the results are alluring for both the eye and the palate. Beginners and experienced bakers alike will feel a thrill of anticipation browsing these recipes, which perfectly combine the promise of familiarity and adventurousness. (Sept.)