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The Craft of Baking: Cakes, Cookies, and Other Sweets with Ideas for Inventing Your Own

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  663 ratings  ·  27 reviews
James Beard Award--winner Karen DeMasco, who first came to national attention as the pastry chef of Tom Colicchio's Craft, Craftbar, and 'wichcraft restaurants from 2001 to 2008, approaches the art of baking in a unique way. Building on the savory cooking philosophy of using seasonal ingredients to create dishes with pure flavors, Karen makes acclaimed desserts that are bo ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Clarkson Potter Publishers (first published 2009)
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  663 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Mar 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baking, read2010
I really like the perspective of Karen DeMasco and Mindy Fox in The Craft of Baking, where the baker is urged to make their own versions of the recipes they have provided. In general, the recipes are creative and a little trendy, which is good for a baker like me who doesn't simply want one more chocolate chip cookie recipe. You will find 'salted' and 'browned butter' spins on recipes, as well as some custards that I can't wait to try making. Since the recipes are so varied, you might find yours ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book for anyone who loves to bake or wants to learn.

All the recipes are east to read and the ingredients are easy to find, if you don't have them in your pantry.

Start from page 1 and try each and every recipe, they all are delicious!
Amanda Bright
Sep 25, 2020 rated it liked it
A somewhat boring read -- a few interesting things but certainly not written in a way to hold the interest of budding cooks.
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Karen DeMasco, once pastry chef for Craft and Craftbar, composes a baking book with a focus on simple and elegant seasonal desserts that verge beyond the traditional with unique, inspirational takes on classics. The book starts with a pantry primer which sticks with easy to find ingredients with the possible exception of vitamin c powder. Following this is a technique section, which is a nice introduction to basic baking techniques like how to prepare and clean up after caramel or temper chocola ...more
Mary McDonough
Feb 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
The title excited me, making me think that it would be more than a recipe book. The book does a fair job of laying out some fundamentals of a good baking pantry. However, there are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural and Dutch-processed, and the author doesn't specify which kind is called for. After I noticed that, I didn't trust the recipes. I finally chose the Lamington Cupcakes because I love things with specific names instead of modern titles such as "braised pork with carrots, ce ...more
May 16, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: bakers who want a little inspiration
The plus was there are some interesting flavor combinations and suggestions for changing some of the recipes to match what is in season.

We tried the graham crackers. Meh. I am not a fan of buttery graham crackers. They were more like honey shortbread. Short on graham flour, heavy on butter. We also tried the coconut marshmallows. They are pretty good, but just not something I think I will be craving. I also question how a batch of marshmallows that completely fills to the brim a 12 x 17 pan can
Krystl Hall
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks-i-own
Truly great cookbook. Clear and concise recipe writing, with good suggestions for using your own taste and instincts to expand on what's here. Several of these recipes have become favorites, and have made me the hero of office birthday parties. Some that I love: milk chocolate hazelnut panna cotta, cashew brittle, carmelized apple skillet cake, banana tarte tatin, raspberry granola bars, spiced caramel sauce. If you ever have occasion to make sweets, just get this. ...more
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: how-to
I read through these recipies and went "aha!" a lot, because there are tips on varying recipes with additives and how to adjust your basic crust/dough/etc for acid/liquid/etc content of said additives, as well as how to make things savory from sweet and vice versa. This is wonderful, wonderful. ...more
Aug 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Cashew brittle got a lot of compliments (even though I was afraid it would take out everyone's fillings!). Really want to try their recipe for brioche in a soup can, but don't have much time for baking lately! ...more
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
I made two different recipes from this book--the yellow cake and the carrot cake. Both were quite good. It seems like a trustworthy general baking book, and I like that it encourages you to be more creative and try new spins on things.
Mar 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cooking
Didn't really wow me and some of the items are very expensive to obtain. One of her sources has a minimum of $250 for an order! Seriously, for a home baker unless that is a bit steep unless you are baking for a business. ...more
Nov 05, 2011 rated it liked it
i liked the part of the book where the author gave explanation for the baking pantry and layed out all the different ingredients you have to have and the best brands for each.
the section of baking methodes was very informative.
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up at the library on Saturday, and have already bookmarked 6 recipes to try before I decide if I need this book in my personal collection. I like the tone of the book, and the pictures are gorgeous...
Jessica Evans
Jul 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
so far this is a pretty amazing cookbook for a baking beginner. The recipes are yummy and easy to read. Also, there are idea about how to change up the recipe if you wanted- the recipes then turn into blue prints for you to build a ton of things with.
Aug 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Beautiful pictures, good explanations of some techniques, and has some good recipes, but it's a bit inaccessible because some recommended ingredients are very expensive. Looks gorgeous on my shelf but I only use it a few times a year. ...more
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
I prefer my cookbooks to have more pictures and more recipe description than this one did, though I appreciated the pages discussing how to modify a certain recipe and would have liked to see more of those.
So I realize cupcakes are somewhat passe, but I'm still excited to make the gingerbread cupcakes (using Guinness) with candied ginger frosting!! ...more
Mar 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baking
I was especially fond of the "ideas for inventing your own." ...more
Spencer Beall
Mar 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Love this!!!!
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Interesting recipes!
Sep 22, 2010 added it
Shelves: cookbooks
anyone made the jellies recipe from this? I am trying to figure out "fruit paste" or "pate de fruit"-- or fruit jelly candies as she calls them ...more
Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is amazing! I've only made a few things, but they have all been delicious. I'll have to buy myself a copy. since I imagine the library will be wanting this back at some point... ...more
The pics are mouthwatering. Gonna show it to my sis for some food photography inspiration. :) But will most likely only dream about making the Nut & Cherry Nougat.
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Some incredibly delicious recipes, gorgeous and mouthwatering photos, and ideas for creating your own recipes. This is a must have.
Mar 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Droool.....Hence, my need for a tart pan
May 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Such a good reference book. Many of the recipes have a "perfecting your craft" addition that explains how to play with the recipe without goofing it up. I think its on my Mother's Day wish list. ...more
Audrey Mccambridge
rated it really liked it
Oct 27, 2012
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Nov 29, 2011
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Mar 27, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2015
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