I’m back! Been out for a while, between school getting crazy both spring 2014 and fall 2014 semesters and this past summer not exactly being the most stress-free and easy summer (my wonderful grandfather passed away), I haven’t had too much time to read books, much less post about them. In fact, looking at my Goodreads challenge status, in my push to read 75 books this year, I’ve only read 34. So there hasn’t been much to write about, since all I’ve really read are A&P, health information management, medical terminology, and nutrition textbooks, and those aren’t exactly books I want to review. Although if you follow me on twitter, you did see my rants about my terrible Medical Terminology textbook! But today, I have a small review for you! The lovely wonderful people at Birchbox/Birchbloggers had a giveaway in November for Joy the Baker’s cookbook Homemade Decadence, and lucky me, I won a copy! So the weekend after I received my copy, I went out, bought some ingredients, and made a recipe from the book, as well as read all the recipes, since finals were finally over. So let’s get to what I think about it.
First of all, this book is gorgeous, and I love a gorgeous cookbook. I think gorgeous food photography is important in a cookbook, since it gives you an example of what your food should look like, and it makes you want to make and eat all the things in the book. This book accomplishes that on the cover. I want that cake in my life, please. Someone give me an excuse to make that cake.
And the pictures along with the recipes are all lovely too. The picture of the Brown Sugar-Rosemary Cheesecake with a pool of bourbon-burnt caramel sauce makes me want a slice. See:
And just seeing the title “Blueberry-Goat Cheese Ice Cream” made me know I was in dire need of an ice cream maker so I could have this amazing creation in my life (confession: I have a weakness for goat cheese).
The recipe from this book that I picked to make was the Underbaked Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet Cake. I picked this because it looked delicious and it also looked like a simple recipe, and while I want to make the more complex recipes in this book, the weekend after finals are over is not the time to do such a thing. this recipe looked like one that even my post-finals brain could handle. And it was. And when I took it out of the oven, it was perfectly gooey and chocolatey and wonderful. Full disclosure, the entire bag of chocolate chips may have fallen into the dough, but it called for a cup and when I measured out the cup, there weren’t too many left in the bag, so it worked just fine. Meera (you’ve seen her posts on the blog too) and I ate a few pieces of that cake ourselves, and I may have had a little bit for breakfast the next morning. It looked pretty and it tasted perfect. My version looked very similar to the cookbook version.
One of the things I liked most about this cookbook is how it was laid out. You have five categories: brunch; cookies, brownies, and bars; pies, crumbles, and cobblers; layer cakes, cupcakes, and skillet cakes; and ice cream social. At the beginning of each section was a list of the recipes within that section. And I loved that scattered through the sections were different tips to help you with the food in each section. In the brunch section there were ideas for toast toppings, in the cookies, brownies, and bars section there were tips for how to best ship cookies to make sure they arrive at their destination intact, along with what type of cookies are best for shipping, in the pies, crumbles, and cobblers section there were a bunch of different pie crust recipes and tips for how to make a perfect pie crust, in the layer cakes, cupcakes, and skillet cakes section, there were tips for how to get a cake out of the pan without loosing chunks of it (also know as one of the saddest baking tragedies) and how to frost a cake, and in the ice cream social section there were treat and topping suggestions to make your ice cream as awesome as possible, complete with the best matches for the different ice cream recipes.
And if you’re wondering if it’s all sweet recipes, no it isn’t. It’s mostly sweets, but in the brunch section there are drinks and recipes for savory things like roasted-potato breakfast nachos, braised kale and egg breakfast sandwiches, and french onion quiche. So there is a small amount of savory things in here.
Basically, Joy Wilson made a wonderful cookbook for us all to use, and I can’t wait to try more of the fabulous recipes inside of it. Thank you so much to Birchbloggers and Birchbox for selecting me as a winner for this cookbook! It had been hanging out in my Amazon shopping cart for a while, but I hadn’t been sure. Now I’m so glad that I have it!
Disclaimer: This was provided to me by Birchbloggers/Birchbox as part of a contest that I won. But the opinions in this post are all mine, I really think the food in here looks flawless!