The cookbook Gingerbread, by by Jennifer McGlinn, is dedicated to all kinds of recipes that use the spicy, molasses-rich ingredients that come together to make gingerbread. It showcases these flavors in various forms, from waffles for breakfast to all kinds of cakes, cookies, candies and ice creams for dessert, and it turns out that gingerbread can be a very versatile thing! Of course, I’m still partial to spicy and warming treats when the weather is cold, so even though you can make these all year round, the holidays are a perfect time to start cooking your way through a book like this one.
It starts out with an introduction to gingerbread, starting with images of the moist and dark gingerbread cake that springs to mind for many of us when we hear the word. From there, the author points out that similar dishes – spicy, dark and rich – exist in many different food cultures. As a result, the recipes include baked goods with French, German and English influences in addition to many American classics and their many variations. The recipes range from easy baked goods that can be mixed up in one or two bowls, to desserts worthy of a five-star restaurant. They’re well-explained, however, and a novice baker shouldn’t have any trouble following along with the directions for anything in the book. The recipes are accompanied by little anecdotes about their origins, as well as some baking notes.
All of the photography in the book is excellent – as is to be expected, since Tartelette was the one who worked on the styling and took the shots! She also tested every recipe in the book as she photographed them with good results. That’s quite a recommendation, since it is very rare that you actually get that kind of feedback on a cookbook!