In this, their third cookbook, Brooklyn-based baking dynamos Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito really hit the ball out of the park, or should that be Yankee Stadium?
Baked Elements: Our Ten Favorite Ingredients (Abrams, September 2012) is jam-packed with the authors’ highly original and decidedly tasty approach to baking and pairing flavors. This book is organized by their 10 favorite ingredients: peanut butter, lemon & lime, caramel, booze, pumpkin, malted milk powder, cinnamon, cheese, chocolate and banana. The ingredients that “we would take to a desert island or rescue from a burning house,” as the authors’ wittily write.
They traverse the landscape of Americana with soul-warming and regionally influenced treats like buttermilk donuts and devil dogs. Ironic, absent-minded professor humor (i.e., “If you have ever woken up with a slight hangover and a dubious, half-remembered, half-eaten jar of peanut butter at your side. We can empathize. We have lived this shame.”) that make this not only an extremely informed read, but an extremely fun one as well.
Beautifully organized and photographed by Tina Rupp, it is a must-read for Baked fans and bakers everywhere. Seventy five delicious recipes with fun names (Lacy Panty Cakes, Lemon Pecorino Pepper Icebox Cookies, Toasted Pumpkin Seed Brittle, Tunnel of Hazelnut Fudge Cake, Banana in a Blanket, and a luscious Cheddar Corn Souffle) are bound to bring out the inner baker in anyone.