03 September 2009
The Edible Word: Confessions of a Master Baker
Okay, the Internet's being a bit funny so let's see if I can get this out without having to look anything up. The Edible Word is a foodie book club hosted by The Happy Sorceress and A Blithe Palate, and this round we're reading Confessions of a Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado. Whew. Did it. Okay! So I read the book a few weeks ago and I found it quite enjoyable. It's a light, easy read, and like most foodie memoirs has a recipe at the end of every chapter. Film fans may enjoy the Hollywood references (Gesine being the sister of Sandra Bullock), but for me the best part was the family stories about food and Gesine's German heritage. I spent some time in Germany as a teenager and I studied German for a long time, but the same could be said for French. My high school German teacher and I used to tease each other about my liking French more, including (especially) French food. She was always trying to open me up to the joys of German cuisine, and even gave me a German cookbook as a high school graduation present. Thus, it was fun for me to read about some of the delicious German treats like Mandelhörnchen (literally, little almond horns) made with marzipan. I thought about trying one of those, but I ended up really intrigued by a savory scones recipe. The first time I tried scones, you may recall if you've been reading for a while, they fell rather flat - quite literally. This time, I used a very gentle hand, and they came together perfectly. I left out the ham in the recipe, of course, and used shaved parmesan rather than grueyere. It worked out just fine that way! I love the feel of the heavy, elastic dough with big chunks of butter in it, and these scones are heaven just out of the oven with a pat of butter or margarine. They're sweet, but subtly so, and fluffy with crisp bottoms. Though any baked good is best right out of the oven, these also freeze well and warm just fine in the microwave. Thanks, Cath and Steph for hosting, and thanks Gesine for the lovely stories and the great recipe!