Baked is a New York City bakery that has become more and more popular since its opening by appealing to our love for the familiar – and our desire for something new. They take popular flavors, from well-known candies or favorite childhood treats, for instance, and give them a twist. This could mean putting together a milk chocolate covered malt cake that tastes a lot like a Whopper (or Maltesers) or adding fleur de sel generously to caramel to give a plain sweet a more sophisticated finish. Their cookbook is Baked: New Frontiers in Baking and it contains some of Baked’s most popular recipes.
The cookbook has a wide selection of recipes and wonderful color photos to accompany them. The recipes are well written and very complete, ranging from very simple Peanut Butter Cookies to more complicated layer cakes. It looks like the authors took the time to cover all instructions step by step, especially for some of the slightly more complicated recipes, to help bakers at home get results similar to what they might get on a visit to the bakery.
To say that the recipes really explore “new frontiers” might be a bit of hyperbole – especially if you (like me) tend to get a lot of inspiration from food blogs, rather than just from classic cookbooks – but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t delicious or that they don’t offer anything new. They offer excellent, reliable recipes and a bit of fun to go with them. Just take the subtitle, like the caramel in the cookbook, with a grain of salt and enjoy the book as written.