Of course cookbook week has to end with desserts and baking books. As you all know I love my baking cookbooks. So far this year there have been a few great ones including a number of ice cream cookbooks as well as one from my friend Amanda of I am Baker.
And, like previous cookbook reviews here in Cookbook Week, I am giving away a copy of one of the books. At the end of the post read how you can enter to win a copy of Amanda Rettke’s Surprise Inside Cakes, a super fun cookbook that will impress all your friends![THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED]
“I can’t even reverse engineer that in my head…” said my friend Sean when I instagrammed the book Surprise Inside Cakes by Amanda Rettke when I got it. Amanda is the fabulously talented blogger behind the awesome blog I am Baker. I can’t blame Sean because the cover photo showcasing a rainbow heart inside the layer cake, something that looks nearly impossible to create by human hands. But fear not fellow mortals as Amanda has given explicit step-by-step photos and instructions on how to make it and every other complicated looking cake in the book. Granted many of the cakes in the book are designed to be a “project” and not the sort of cake you just whip up right before a casual dinner party. But then the effort involved in making the cake is bound to be worth it when you slice in and your friends ooh and ahh and look at you baffled at how you did it. Cakes like her maypole cake with it’s multicolored buttercream frosting inside or her super cute daisy cake look both festive and fun on the outside and inside. And lest you think every cake is a crazy labor of love, there are a few cakes included that look easy and equally impressive to make like her Oreo cake, her opposite cake and her Neapolitan hi-hat cake.
I discovered Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches when my friend Sharon hired their ice cream truck to give out ice cream sandwiches at her wedding years ago. The offbeat flavor combinations were not only uber hipster cool (exactly like my friend getting married) but they were insanely tasty. So when I found out Natasha Case and Freya Estrelle were releasing the Coolhaus Ice Cream Book I was super excited. With recipes for ice cream flavors like brown butter candied bacon, white chocolate & olive oil, and pistachio black truffle ice cream, this cookbook loves to play around with flavor! Interspersed between recipes are little bios of architects (one of the founders of the Coolhaus is a former architect and their name Coolhaus is inspired by the architect rem Koolhaas) who inspired the names and flavors of their sandwiches (Mies Vanilla des Rohe). I can’t wait to get churning!
I’m always a sucker for a story of the little guy turning down the big paying job to follow his dream. That’s exactly the story behind Ample Hills Creamery based out of Brooklyn and it’s pretty awesome. Owner Brian Smith was offered a full time job at a major book publisher a week before he opened his ice cream shop with his wife Jackie Cuscuna. Thankfully he turned it down because their popular ice cream shop has lines out the door with people clamoring for their chunky mix-in ice creams that they are known for. With their cookbook Ample Hills Creamery, you don’t need to make a trip to Brooklyn to make their super fun flavors (and names) like Sunday Brunch (maple cinnamon ice cream with baked French toast), Drunk Thanksgiving (pumpkin bourbon ice cream with molasses cookies), and their most popular flavor Salted Crack Caramel (salted caramel ice cream with milk chocolate dipped buttery caramelized saltine crackers). Ice cream making aficionados might also note that Ample Hills’ ice cream base actually uses powdered milk in it, a slightly different method for making a creamier ice cream without the heavy weight of more egg yolks or more cream.
If anyone is the queen of dairy desserts it’s Jeni Britton Bauer. The founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream and a James Beard Award winner, has already released a New York Times bestselling cookbook and her second one Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts is equally, well…splendid! I was lucky meet her a few years ago in Columbus, Ohio and she’s as sweet at her ice cream creations. With her signature focus on seasonal and local ingredients as well as her innovative flavor combinations (juniper and lemon curd, black forest cake, double toasted coconut-cajeta) this is the sort of ice cream cookbook to reach for when you want to reach beyond vanilla bean or salted caramel. But what has me super excited about this book is her “Bakeshop” section that includes recipes for baked goods that make for awesome sundaes, mix-ins or toppings for your ice cream. Stone ground-grits pudding cake, apple rhubarb bette, and kataifi nests all sound pretty awesome with a scoop or two of ice cream. I think I’m going to have to get into my fat pants now and start baking and churning…
Some people divide themselves between male and female or Republicans and Democrats. I divide people between those who love cake and those who love pie. For pie lovers First Prize Pies by Allison Kave is a prize all by itself. It’s filled with clever techniques and tips on how to make the best pie crust such as using milk with a little apple cider vinegar in it instead of plain water for a more tender dough pie crust as well other variants for other crusts like cookie, graham cracker and cornmeal. But the greatest part of the book is how the pies are organized by the month that the filling is in season or makes the most sense. June has strawberry basil pie while September has candy apple pie and February features margarita pie. This is the sort of pie cookbook that you want to work your way through front to back throughout the year. Unless, you know, you’re a cake person.
William Morrow has generously offered to give away a copy of Surprise-Inside Cakes to one lucky reader. To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment below and tell me your absolutely favorite type of cake or pie. Are you a devil food’s lover? Do you crave red velvet? Or is your obsession lemon meringue pie or strawberry rhubarb pie? For me I’m slightly in love with a really good strawberry shortcake cake made with a light spongy white cake and puffy fluffy billowing whipped cream and lightly sweetened strawberries. Dang it, now I really want to make one. Someone do that for me please? Thank you.[THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED] The fine print – PLEASE READ
By leaving a comment below to enter, you are agreeing to the Official Rules.
▪ NO PURCHASE NECESSARY
▪ VOID WHERE PROHIBITED
▪ You must be over the age of 18.
▪ This contest is only open to U.S. Citizens. Sorry non-US people!
▪ The contest starts as of today, and will run until Friday, August 29, 2014, 9am PST.
▪ The retail value of Surprise-Inside Cakes is about $30.00.
▪ The winner will be chosen by a randomly selected comment. All comments will be numbered and I will use Random.org to pick a random number.
▪ The number of eligible comments below determines the odds of winning.
▪ If there’s a problem with contacting the winner, I reserve the right to award everything to someone else randomly chosen. So in other words, make sure you type in your correct email address if you want the membership and respond within a week to me when I contact you or I’ll give everything to someone else.
▪ The prize is being delivered directly from William Morrow. If they have not delivered the prize to you within three weeks of me notifying you of winning, please reach out to me again and I will do follow up to make sure everything is OK. Please keep in mind we are all human and things happen. I will do everything within my power to make sure the prize is delivered in a timely manner.
Special thanks to Artisan; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Stewart, Tabori & Chang; and William Morrow for review copies of the books in this post. Though they provided the books complimentary, I was not monetarily compensated for this post and all opinions above are my own.
This blog currently has a partnership with Amazon.com in their affiliate program, which gives me a small percentage of sales if you buy a product through the links above (with no added cost to you). If you are uncomfortable with this, feel free to go directly to Amazon.com and search for the book yourself and purchase it that way.