Today’s post is an homage to one of the leading ladies of the online gastronomia, Joy Wilson of ‘Joy the Baker’. Here, I will give you my ‘two cents’ on her first cookbook endeavour, ‘Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes’. If you are not familiar with her already, Ms Wilson is a thoroughly cool lady. She has given me so much delight and inspiration over the years, that it is only fair that I honour her with my very first blogging endeavour. Enjoy!
Yours, with fondant.
Title: Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes.
Author: Joy Wilson
Retailers: Amazon online.
I only have one rule when it comes to birthday presents. No books, please. I just don’t read them. I have been exactly half way through J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ for six years, and I have no plans to finish it any time soon. But with every rule, there is always an exception: cookbooks.
Buy me a cookbook, and I am your friend for life. I love everything about them, and it is fair to say that I have read a few. With only photos, a well-written recipe and a touch of humour, cookbooks create the perfect place to be on a rainy Sunday afternoon.
For anyone who is familiar with the online world of food blogs, Joy the Baker (a.k.a. Joy Wilson) is quickly becoming the people’s princess of all things butter and sugar. With accolades under her belt such as the The London Times ‘Top 50 Food Blogs’ and Saveur’s 2011 award for ‘Best Desert and Baking Blog’, Wilson is firmly established as one of the leading ladies of cyber-gastronomia.
The good news: Wilson has released her first book, ‘Joy the Baker Cookbook: 100 Simple and Comforting Recipes’ which hit the shelves of the USA this February.
The bad news: It is not available in Australia yet. However, the minimal shipping cost and strength of the Australian dollar makes ordering it online worth it.
Described by Wilson as “a celebration of butter and sugar”, it is easy to think that this book will not disappoint. And it doesn’t. The food between the pages of this book is unapologetically indulgent. Wilson writes with humour and honesty, which makes a refreshing change from recent food writers who take their Crème Brule a little too seriously.
Recipes begin with pancakes ‘and other lesser breakfast items’. These beauties are so visually morish, they would have even the most diligent health-nut reaching for the maple syrup. Between the sweet ‘single lady pancakes’ and the savoury ‘zucchini and potato pancakes’, recipes are simple, but never boring.
For those days when a little more emotional support is required, the next chapter will tick every box. For those who like their comfort to be light and fluffy, the ‘grapefruit soufflé pudding’ is worth a look. But for the more ‘hell for leather’ types, the heavy ‘s’mores brownies’ will hit the spot. Hard.
Her next chapter is one of ‘celebrations’ and stay true to her motto that life and love are both made better with sugar, butter and cream. Here you will find a cake for everyone, from vegans to dairy intolerants, to peanut-butter enthusiasts.
Wilson ends with the trump card of baking ingredients. Chocolate. From the more conventional recipe for chocolate fudge brownies to the less traditional chocolate and black pepper goats cheese truffles, Wilson’s take on even the more basic aspects of baking is neither boring, nor off-putting.
While it would have been nice to see her take on more savoury items, I’m very aware that it is a self-professed celebration of butter and sugar. So, what can I expect? If we’re lucky, ‘savoury’ might be the angle Wilson takes in what I hope will book number 2. I’m looking forward to it already!
Throughout Wilson’s book is a clear message, that when it comes to food, “it’s the emotion that inspires something beautiful and delicious”. Wilson’s philosophy towards her food adds inspiration to everything she touches. That all-important ingredient makes the recipes in this book an absolute pleasure to read, make and to share.
You will love it: if you are particularly fond of peanut butter
You might not love it: If you are afraid of calories.
Must-try recipe: “Man Bait” Apple Crisp.
Price ($, $$, $$$): $
Fodder: Sweet treats and baked goods
Character: Fun, witty and warm
Recipe difficulty: Easy
‘Joy the Baker Cookbook’ is available online at Amazon for $19.99 plus international shipping.
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