Baking

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Baking With Bruno

A French Baker's North American Love Story
edition:Hardcover
tagged : baking
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A blast of fiery heat transforms batter — an embryonic mess — into something completely different, something that gives pleasure and joy. That is the magic of baking. It's like the story of pastry chef Bruno Feldeisen's life and livelihood. Raised by a drug—addicted mother, his childhood in France was a baptism of fire. And yet here he is, a celebrated pastry chef who believes in the sweet, healing power of baking, his stretchy smile broadcasting a happy place in life. At 16, he endured the hard knocks of being a chocolatier's apprentice like his life depended on it. In retrospect, it did. It transformed him. I once interviewed him for a story for the Vancouver Sun and he shared how that apprenticeship was his salvation. "I was part of a family...That kitchen helped me become a man. The kitchen is a little society. It's life. The table is designed to bring people together. There is something primal, emotional and raw about it. Kitchens became an escape for me and when I was younger, the chefs I worked for were like father figures." Maybe you'll find that magic, going on this baking journey with him. Most people bake in anticipation of sharing or giving, and the process itself is therapeutic. There's nothing like pulling out the mixer to soothe the soul. For Bruno, this cookbook honours the kitchen and the craft that gave him a notable life, and he shares that "little society" that nurtured him as a 16—year—old.

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Duchess at Home

Duchess at Home

Sweet & Savoury Recipes from My Home to Yours
edition:Hardcover
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Introduction

If somebody had told me 25 years ago that my life would be what it is now, I wouldn’t have believed them. Baking has always been with me, but never would I have imagined that it would become my career and life’s work.

As a teenager, I didn’t excel at anything specific and my grades at school weren’t great, but I did know what made me happy—it was the time I spent at home, baking. I cherished my mother’s copy of Company’s Coming Desserts and looked forward to the holidays when I would be helping her make treats. I thought of becoming a pastry chef, but was encouraged to go to university instead. Yet even after several years of study, I was still really only thinking about pastries—and slowly but surely, my skills and confidence in the kitchen were improving.

At 24, I decided that I was going to open a pastry shop. It took six more years for Duchess Bake Shop to finally come into being and nothing could really have prepared me for what it would be like. Overnight, I went from being a home baker to a small-business owner, with all the stresses and responsibilities that come with it. At first we worked 20-hour days, seven days a week. Doing payroll, paying bills, and bookkeeping were all skills I had to learn on the fly. Those first three years were the most exciting and the most difficult of my life.

With the flurry of the Bake Shop, I completely stopped baking at home. It was when Jacob and I had our children, Benoît and Rose, that I realized how much I missed it. I’m at my happiest when I’m in my home kitchen baking for my family.

It’s been five years since Duchess Bake Shop was published. In that cookbook I shared the recipes for our most popular pastries at the bakery and tried to bring what we do in a professional kitchen within reach of the home baker. But when I bake at home, the things I tend to make are more often a reflection of me as a person. My French-Canadian heritage, my passion for France, the traditions passed down in my family, and the things I grow in my garden all influence what I like to bake at home.

All of the recipes in this book are truly ‘me,’ each chapter representing an important part of my life. From old family recipes to new creations, this collection is my heart in a book. I hope these recipes will become your family favourites as well.

Bon appétit!

—Giselle

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The 3-Ingredient Baking Book

The 3-Ingredient Baking Book

101 Simple, Sweet and Stress-Free Recipes
edition:Paperback
tagged : baking, desserts
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Bake the Seasons

Bake the Seasons

Sweet and Savoury Dishes to Enjoy Throughout the Year
edition:Paperback
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Introduction
Ever since I was sixteen, I would tell anyone who’d listen that one day I would write a cookbook. Though I said this often, a big part of me never actually expected it to happen. After I graduated from university, I moved to downtown Toronto with high hopes and big dreams of a career in media, but ended up working at the Eaton Centre for minimum wage. If you had told me back then that today I would have my own life­style blog and be sharing my recipes with the world, I would have called you crazy and returned to folding underwear at my retail job.
 
I spent my nights baking and my days off exploring the city, spending every cent I could spare at the latest trendy restaurants. It wasn’t long after moving to Toronto that I met Justin. On our third date, I made us dinner, and he brought banana bread for dessert. A slight miscalculation had resulted in Justin doubling the required amount of butter—this was a man after my own heart! My lonely nights of baking were soon replaced with Food Network binge-watching with Justin over a plate of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. But my baking journey started long before Justin, with many turns and detours. Let’s go back to the beginning . . .
 
Growing up in a traditional Italian family meant spending hours in the kitchen with my mom and grandmothers. From an early age, I played with pasta dough instead of Play-Doh. My grandmothers were happy to take advantage of my tiny thumbs and kept me busy rolling tray after tray of cavatelli and gnocchi, and before long, I was rolling out fresh pasta dough with a hand crank from the 1960s. We also spent lots of time outdoors, picking strawberries at neighbouring farms (although, honestly, more of them made their way into my mouth than into the basket) and canning a summer’s worth of peaches and tomatoes from our garden. As I got older, and my overprotec­tive grandmothers finally allowed me to use the stove and oven, I fell in love with baking. Of course I wanted to learn my grandmothers’ cherished recipes. However, as you may know, Italians take their recipes to the grave. I remember one day helping one grandmother to make her famous braciole, and she sent me to get more flour. When I returned, I saw that several more ingredients had been added to the mixing bowl, and when I asked what they were, she told me, “Don’t worry about it.”
 
So I learned the basics from my grandmothers, but I also knew that I would have to create recipes of my own. The main lesson I took away from my years spent in the kitchen with my mom and grandmothers was how to make simple dishes with fresh, seasonal, local ingredients. No two ways about it, fresh produce tastes best when it’s in season. Bonus points if it was grown right in your own backyard. When fruits and veg­etables are at their best, they are the star ingredients in any dish.
 
When I headed off to university, I quickly found myself daydreaming about reci­pes when I should have been paying attention to my economics professors. My sister was in her third year, which meant her dorm had a kitchen, so a few times a week I would go to her place and bake cakes, cookies and other tasty goods while she stud­ied. While my friends went out to bars and clubs on the weekends, I was watching the Food Network—Bobby Flay, Ina Garten, Michael Smith, Giada De Laurentiis, Anna Olson—I couldn’t get enough. I admired Bobby’s love for grilling and using blue corn in just about everything, Giada’s spin on the Italian dishes I grew up eating, Ina’s . . . well, I love everything about Ina Garten. Her confidence in the kitchen and her clas­sic approach to cooking mixed with her enthusiasm for quality ingredients captured everything I wanted to be. When I discovered that Anna Olson lived just around the corner from where I grew up, I felt a flicker of hope: if she could do it, maybe one day I could too. But I didn’t want to just mimic recipes I had seen on TV; I wanted to create my own, with the same finesse as the chefs on the Food Network. (Except for Ina—no one can compete with the Barefoot Contessa.)
 
I was always excited to return home to help prepare our annual Christmas din­ner, and I begged my mom to let me help with the cooking—I didn’t want to just wash fruit and peel potatoes. No surprise, Mom was reluctant to give up her reigning title as the best cook in the family, but after much back-and-forthing, we came to an agree­ment: she would cook and I would bake. And so began a new tradition. While the first few years were a little rocky (there was a pumpkin pie fiasco I will never live down), the more I baked, the better I became. Through trial and error, practice indeed made perfect. Each year I would come up with an even fancier and better dessert than the year before. What started as Christmas baking turned into baking cakes for every family occasion.
 
I will always love baking for my family, yet what I really wanted was to make a career of it, and in 2013, Justin finally persuaded me to start a food blog. He wanted me to share with the world what makes me happy and what I do best. I never expected anyone to read my blog—other than my family and friends—but I dreamed that recipe developing would one day become my full-time job. I knew that success in this field would take hard work, but at the very least, having a blog would provide me with the creative outlet I desperately needed and would be the perfect place to document my latest kitchen triumphs.
 
The more recipes I created for my blog, the more I improved as a baker and recipe developer. I began breaking out of my comfort zone, working with ingredients and fla­vour combinations I would never have thought to try before. I developed my own style by modernizing rustic dishes, making these not-so-beautiful desserts beautiful. As the months passed and my blog following grew, not only did the cooking and baking moti­vate me, but I began to fall in love with the photography side of things. I could see how my photography was bringing my recipes alive and enticing people to bake alongside me, and so I taught myself everything I could about this second form of art.
 
As the years passed, I found myself growing tired of city life. I dreamed of cook­ing on my own Lacanche range, and that was never going to happen in a one-bedroom condo with the tiniest nook of a kitchen. My kitchen cupboards were overflowing with supplies, so much so that I was keeping things in the spare tub! I knew it was time for a bigger place—somewhere Justin and I could settle down with our family (of dogs). We found our dream house in the small town of Fonthill, and traded in our subway passes for a compact car. I don’t have the kind of backyard garden my grandparents relied on for their produce, but I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by the endless farms and orchards of the Niagara region, as well to have a mom who drops off a weekly supply of fresh herbs, tomatoes, zucchini and peppers throughout the summer.
 
Not everyone is lucky enough to have an orchard steps away from their front door, so I recommend exploring farmers’ markets and supermarkets for locally grown pro­duce. These flavours constantly inspire me, so much so that Bake the Seasons was born from that passion. Each chapter in this book explores how to bake with fresh, seasonal produce, as I let you in on my favourite sweet and savoury baking recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. I have even included my favourite baked comfort dishes, like Roasted Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese (page 171), because when it comes to baking, I don’t believe in limiting myself to just a traditional dough or batter.
 
Baking with seasonal and local ingredients works to the advantage of a home baker for a variety of reasons. Not only does in-season produce provide better flavour in a recipe, but it will be readily available at local grocery stores and farmers’ markets. There is nothing enjoyable about spending double the price on sour strawberries in the fall. And have you ever tried to make a peach pie in the winter? Let me tell you, I didn’t know a peach could be so dry. When a season like winter lacks produce, you’ll find that my sweet baking relies more heavily on the flavours of the season—like eggnog, spices and candy cane—and my savoury dishes centre around hearty greens, root vegetables and bread baking.
 
The recipes in this book may be arranged by season, but I encourage you to experi­ment with substituting one season’s produce for another. The Rhubarb Oat Squares (page 21) can be switched up in the summer with peach compote instead of rhubarb, and in the fall by using homemade pumpkin butter or apple butter. Dishes like Cherry Almond Dutch Baby (page 39) and Apricot Raspberry Clafoutis (page 84) will work beautifully with any sweet fruit you can get your hands on. The recipes for my baked goods are simple and involve only a handful of ingredients, so treat them as base recipes for whatever you dream up throughout the year.
 
The simplicity of the recipes in Bake the Seasons reflects the simple style of bak­ing I blog about each week. I want home bakers to be able to recreate these dishes without having to run to the store to purchase a long list of ingredients. While a few showstopper recipes do require a little extra love and elbow grease, and are perfect for special occasions, on the whole I like my everyday baked goods simple. Many recipes in this book are easy enough to whip up on a weeknight or on a relaxed Sunday morning when a brunch craving strikes.
 
I hope you’ll find inspiration within these pages, and that you’ll find yourself switching on your oven all year round, whether you need a quick party appetizer in the winter (try my Roasted Garlic and Cheese Pull-Apart Bread, page 213), a flavourful addition to a neighbourhood potluck in the summer (I can’t speak highly enough of my Jalapeño Cheddar Cornbread, page 112), an Easter dessert for a crowd in the spring (my Maple Carrot Cake on page 25 is the perfect option) or a new, flavourful breakfast option to kick off the fall (you can’t go wrong with my Pumpkin Pie Granola, page 123). There really is nothing more satisfying and comforting than baking throughout the seasons.

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The Little Island Bake Shop

The Little Island Bake Shop

Heirloom Recipes Made for Sharing
edition:Hardcover
tagged : baking
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Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson

Set for the Holidays with Anna Olson

Recipes to Bring Comfort and Joy: From Starters to Sweets, for the Festive Season and Almost Every Day
edition:Hardcover
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THE MAIN EVENT

You get the call . . . this year it’s YOUR turn to host the big family dinner. No pressure, just make the best meal your family has ever had! I still remember the very first big family holiday dinner I hosted. It was my first Thanksgiving out of university, years before I studied to become a chef, and I was proud to have an apartment with a decent kitchen (even then, it was a priority for me!). I can’t recall the turkey and stuffing, although I’m sure there were phone calls home to Mom to guide me through it, but I do remember being immensely proud of the pumpkin pie—my first ever attempt. It was only as I was bringing it to the table that I realized I had completely forgotten to add any sugar to the filling! I made a 180 back to the kitchen, poked holes into the filling with a skewer and poured maple syrup overtop, hoping it would seep in. It didn’t.

On that note, I now share with you the wisdom accumulated over the years that have followed that very first festive meal. I’ve included three menus, one of them a vegetarian option, that will help you tailor the dinner to Thanksgiving or Christmas. I offer traditional preparations and some more unconventional ones, or combine a couple if you have both vegetarians and meat eaters in your group. This is your year!

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In the French Kitchen with Kids

In the French Kitchen with Kids

Easy, Everyday Dishes for the Whole Family to Make and Enjoy
edition:Paperback
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From the Introduction

There is a lot of joy in teaching kids to cook, but sometimes I’m so focused on getting everyone out the door on time that I don’t stop to take in all that we’ve accomplished. That we made pastry from scratch, and then we made quiches, and then while they were baking, we made more pastry and cleaned up, for example. In 60 minutes. But when I’m dismissing the boys and I stop to breathe, I look at their faces and I get it. Just like the parents when they pick up their boys. What’s going on is joy, creativity and, most of all, learning.

One of the greatest pleasures of teaching kids to cook comes from working with their can-do attitude, which has encouraged me in my own baking and cooking to just “have a go.” The boys NEVER think something can’t be done unless they’ve been told it’s supposed to be hard. Puff pastry? Choux pastry? Sushi? Molecular cuisine? Working alongside some of the country’s top chefs? No problem for kids who believe they can do anything. Teaching kids cooking is also about embracing their natural confidence and making them feel that anything is possible. That they can cook.

So, why a French cookbook for kids? Well, France is a country dear to my heart. I lived there for years in my late 20s and have been back countless times since I moved to Canada from my native Australia. We own a little house in southwest France, so a part of me is always there. I love writing about French culture and the French language. And, of course, I love teaching kids to cook, and I am always on the lookout for ways to incorporate a little cooking into the French as a Second Language curriculum because, well, pourquoi pas? As I’ve watched my cooking club evolve over the years to include more complex recipes that many people don’t think kids are capable of making (with a little help, of course!), the idea for this book was born. Kids can cook French food! Because despite what many people think, French food is not all sophisticated haute cuisine. At home, French people eat and cook mostly simple dishes. Dishes I know my cooking club members would love to make and eat. This book features real French food for kids, a little bit of culture, and some French language lessons too! I hope to take the intimidation factor out of French food through recipes for everyday dishes that children and their parents can make and eat together. Because you know what? Kids can cook. You just have to let them!

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Bakeland

Bakeland

Nordic Treats Inspired by Nature
edition:Hardcover
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