Tomi's Reviews > The Fearless Baker: Scrumptious Cakes, Pies, Cobblers, Cookies, and Quick Breads that You Can Make to Impress Your Friends and Yourself

The Fearless Baker by Emily Luchetti
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's review
Apr 14, 2011

it was amazing
Read in April, 2011

Kudos to Luchetti and Weiss for some of the best advice ever: "Don't improvise on the instructions at least the first time you make a recipe. You can make substitutions in ingredients if the recipe says you can, but don't otherwise." I cannot begin to tell you how many times I've substituted this for that in a recipe and wondered why it didn't turn out right. Okay, I get it now and hereby pledge to follow recipes to the tee - the first time I make them.

I love the neighborly feel of this book. I didn't feel like the poor, little kitchen chemist when trying some of the recipes. The text is comfortable and easy to understand and offers some wonderful baking tips and some fab recipes. Luchetti and Weiss do a great job explaining the differences in some commonly used baking items such as vanilla beans and chocolate. I learned the difference between cacao and cacao mass. I also learned how to determine whether to use bittersweet and semisweet chocolates when baking.

Most recipes begin with a brief story about why this recipe was chosen, the baker's connection to the recipe or something about one of the featured recipe ingredients. Some of these were quite informative, while others added a sense of comedic element to the cookbook. I like that Luchetti and Weiss called in friends and family to assist with the project. Each recipe features a friend or family member, a Fearless Baker [FBs], and their conversations are highlighted throughout the book. For example, one of the FBs was making biscotti and wondering whether or not it was time to add a certain ingredient. Luchetti reminded her to ALWAYS read the recipe completely before you start and explained why adding this ingredient at this time would make the dough dry. In another conversation with an FB we are given a lesson in what makes a convection oven different from a regular oven and why you may need to tweak the recipe a bit when cooking in a convection oven. GREAT INFO!

Besides being informative, The Fearless Baker is full of great recipes including a recipe for Ranger Cookies, one of my absolute faves. I'd never made them prior to receiving this cookbook because I'm the only one in the fam who loves them. The recipes I tried turned out perfect and although I may not try all 175 of the featured recipes I'm pretty sure I'll get around to at least half of them.

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