Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients is the third cookbook from the bakers behind the popular Brooklyn bakery, Baked. The book follows in the footsteps of Baked, which showcases popular recipes from their bakery, and Baked Elements, which focuses on reinvented American classics. Baked Elements is flavor centered – meaning that it is divided up into chapters that each focus on one delicious ingredient and and every recipe in that chapter showcases it.
The chapters are Peanut Butter, Lemon & Lime, Caramel, Booze, Pumpkin, Malted Milk Powder, Cinnamon, Cheese, Chocolate and Banana. Lemon and lime are, admittedly, two different ingredients, but their flavors are similar and they can typically be used in the same ways. There are six to nine recipes per ingredient, and they range from simple and straightforward sauces to decadent cheesecakes and layer cakes. Each recipe uses the featured ingredient in a different way, so that you get a good variety of treats and not just the same basic recipe with different flavor frostings on top. The recipes are clearly written, so they are easy to follow along with even if they have several components. The stories that accompany the recipes and beautiful photographs make all of the recipes sound and look irresistible, too.
Sorting the recipes by featured ingredient is a great way to layout a cookbook – especially if you have ever flipped straight to a cookbook’s index to see what recipes they had that showcased a particular flavor. When you have a flavor in mind (rather than a type of recipe like “cookie” or “cake”), being able to easily find that flavor makes it easy to decide what to bake. It also makes you that much more likely to start baking right away, since the recipe will sound so tempting. The only reason not to pick up a copy of this cookbook is if you don’t like some of the main ingredients featured in it because you’re not going to get quite as much use out of the book as you would if you liked all of the featured ingredients.