I received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.
Title: The Messy Baker
Author: Charmian Christie
Publication Date: August 26, 2015
Summary (from Goodreads): A celebration of real baking in all its messy, boisterous, and delicious glory Since when did every cookie on the plate have to be just like the next? Or each layer of cake exactly the same height? Each piecrust an impeccable work of art and encircled by stunningly perfect pastry leaves? To the uninitiated, all that fastidious, spotless baking is intimidating, not to mention exhausting. The Messy Baker celebrates baking as it happens in the real world—sweet, messy, fun, not always gorgeous, but a way to show love. Which doesn’t make it any less delicious; to the contrary, Charmian’s flavor combinations rise far above the ordinary. Why have a raspberry galette when you can enjoy a raspberry-rhubarb galette with drippy, unctuous walnut frangipane? Or brie and walnut whisky tart? All without the rigid perfectionism or complicated instructions of other gourmet cookbooks. Charmian’s warm, irreverent voice brings the fun back into baking at a time when home cooks—pulled from pillar to post by jobs and errands—need to have fun. The Messy Baker is a full service book that not only guides the reader through simple, delicious recipes, but is also there to help out when things wrong. For anyone who has given up in frustration when that crust has collapsed or the frosting smears, Christie’s warm, practical advice is here to rescue even the worst disaster and inspire bakers to try their next recipe.
The Messy Baker is a cookbook that is sure to delight both the novice cook and the experienced chef. This book includes useful tips within its quirky and colourful pages. The recipes contained within are simple and classic, which makes this an instant go-to family cookbook.
One of the biggest draws for me when opening a recipe book is its layout and design. The photographs in The Messy Baker are absolutely gorgeous, leaving one to drool over the many deliciously depicted treats. Also, the sections are divided into different styles of food, as opposed to main dishes, desserts and sides. For example, foods that are crumbly, smudgy and drippy are sectioned into different groups, giving this book a real sense of fun and whimsy.
I absolutely adore the multitude of tips and cooking techniques that Charmian Christie has included in The Messy Baker. There is a detailed introduction and basic tips at the beginning of the book and a very comprehensive appendix that includes all kinds of tricks and conversions. I am certain that I will be referring back to these tips for years to come!
Many of the recipes in The Messy Baker are simple and use ingredients that are typically on hand in many kitchens. I loved assembling the Boozy Chocolate Torte, Chewy Crystallized Ginger Cookies and the Either Way Marinara Sauce. Each recipe was detailed, effortless and tasty.
I would highly recommend The Messy Baker to anyone looking for a beautiful, whimsical cookbook that includes recipes that are simple to make. This is going to be one book that is going to fill many stockings in my house this year!