Baking has always been a hobby of mine. When some people think it would be a chore, I find it fun and relaxing and it helps me to de-stress. Most of the time I just bake and bring it for others to taste. Sometimes, I don't even try a piece. Either way, who doesn't like cake, cookies, something sweet every now and again. And I have to say it is rewarding when friends and family enjoy and appreciate your creation.
This week I am highlighting the MARTHA STEWART BAKING HANDBOOK. This is a great reference book to have on hand for baking anything. I can't say that I have tried every recipe. I'm not sure I want to. However, it's just one of those books that you want to have in your collection in case you need a recipe for scones, biscuits, tarts, pies, cakes, or bread. I guess being a cook and a baker and a librarian, there are just some cook books that you need on hand.......just in case.
Some thoughts on a few recipes.
Tomato Tart: This is a great tart to serve at a brunch especially in the summer when tomatoes have the best flavor. Roasted garlic is spread on the bottom with fontina cheese, tomatoes and basil. Yum!
Linzertorte: All the flavor of a linzer cookie without all the work of rolling out the dough, cutting the tops, cutting the bottoms, baking, putting them together...ugh I'm getting tired just thinking about it. It is less time consuming, has the same raspberry jam with hazelnut flavored crust and is best eaten the day it is made.
New York Style Cheesecake: I would skip this one. Maybe it's me but seven....count them SEVEN 8 oz packages of cream cheese is just way too much! Not to mention what the cost of the cake will be if you don't get the cream cheese on sale. If you decide to make this one, please let me know how it came out and if you had to break your piggy bank.
This weekend I decided to try the Classic Pound Cake. For one, I almost always have butter, sugar, flour and eggs on hand. Two, I am always drinking coffee and pound cake goes well with a cup of coffee. You can just smell the butter in the batter. My dogs did and came running. They always seem to know when I am finished making a cake batter or ice cream for that matter. And who doesn't like to lick the spatula? It was 7 am and my kids were still asleep so Xavier the GSD and Mr. Chad the greyhound got first dibs.
I brought the Classic Pound Cake to work. Some people liked the buttery taste. Others thought it was good but not as good as other pound cakes I have made. Overall, I think it is a good recipe if you want a dense cake that's not too sweet that you can have with coffee or tea. Plus, you can make it with staple ingredients that can be found in most kitchens. Next time I think I will pair it with fresh whipped cream and strawberries!
Martha Stewart's Classic Pound Cake