03 July 2010

Weekend Cooking: Review: The Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer

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One of my best finds at BookExpo America (BEA) last May was The Kosher Baker by Paula Shoyer. I just happened to be looking around the University Press of New England booth when my eye was captured by the cover of Shoyer's book. When I asked if I could have an ARC to review, I was greeted by Paula herself.

The cake on the cover of the book looks so good that Mr. BFR requested that I bake it sometime this summer. I told him that was already in the plan.

There several aspects of The Kosher Baker, besides the absolutely yummy recipes, that will make it a much-loved cookbook in my house. First, Shoyer has organized the recipes by the amount of time and skill needed to make them. As the introduction points out, Part I recipes take 15 minutes or less in preparation time, and Part II recipes take 15 to 30 minutes. Part III desserts and breads take more time. Part IV is all about Passover baking and concludes with a section of sugar-free recipes.

Second, the novice baker will find a great section on ingredients (including brand names), equipment, and tips and techniques. Each recipe includes information about storage, and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.

Finally, and most important to many people, every recipe is dairy free and many recipes are gluten free and/or sugar free. And you wouldn't believe the variety of desserts Shoyer has developed. Whether you have a dairy allergy or are lactose intolerant or keep kosher, you no longer have to feel as if your sweet treats were second best. Here are some examples:
  • Lemon Rosemary Biscotti Sticks
  • Orange Tea Cake (the cover recipe, which has Earl Grey tea as an ingredient)
  • Vanilla Sheet Cake
  • Far Breton (a French dessert similar to clafouti)
  • Peanut Butter Cookies
  • Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Scones
  • Dark Chocolate Mousse Layer Cake
  • Crème Brûlée (yes, you read that correctly)
The secret is to use kosher products, which include nondairy cream cheese, rice and soy milk, margarine, and nondairy whipped toppings. Using these products means that you can finally serve beautiful and tasty desserts to your family and friends who must carefully watch what they eat.

For the rest of us, the treats look delicious, even in the black and white photos in my ARC. I plan to take advantage of the storage information, and stock my freezer with some goodies for my gluten- and lactose-intolerant friends and family. The cookbook comes out in mid-September, and I am going to buy a finished copy.

To learn more about The Kosher Baker and Paula Shoyer and to find a recipe for Berry Bars, visit her blog, check out her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter.

The Kosher Baker at Powell's
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by Brandeis University Press / UPNE, September 14, 2010
ISBN-13: 9781584658351
Challenges: 100+
YTD: 59
Source: Review copy (see review policy)
Rating: B+
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)


Marg 7/3/10, 6:35 AM  

I can see why that cover caught your eye. That cake looks gorgeous!

My Weekend Cooking post is a trip down a French memory lane this week!

caite 7/3/10, 6:51 AM  

oh my..I went to her blog and saw those raspberry bars and I was sold. but I agree with the need for a finished book with those colored photos.

Beth 7/3/10, 7:46 AM  

This sounds like a great find, particularly because of the dairy free recipes. My nieces and nephews are all dairy free, so it would be nice to have recipes to bake for them!

bermudaonion 7/3/10, 8:50 AM  

Yummy! That cake looks delicious! I love the way the cookbook is arranged by time involved in fixing the recipe.

Sandy Nawrot 7/3/10, 9:28 AM  

I need to bake NOW. That cake looks amazing. How cool that you were able to meet the author at BEA!

Rikki 7/3/10, 9:28 AM  

I agree, the cover alone looks so enticing you want to start baking right away. I don't think I've ever baked anything dairy-free. Definitely worth a try.

Chrisbookarama 7/3/10, 9:30 AM  

I agree that cake looks good!

JoAnn 7/3/10, 9:59 AM  

That cover is amazing - it would have grabbed my attention, too! I can see why Mr. BFR wanted you to make that cake.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 7/3/10, 10:30 AM  

Yum! our local farm has already harvested all their strawberries for the seaon, but we'll get blueberries this month ... look out Berry Bars!

(I have two posts this week, a bookstore visit, and a cookbook review)

Margot 7/3/10, 10:31 AM  

This book looks like a great find. I like the way it's organized for the time and skill factors. Sometimes I just want a quick dessert and other times I want to go all out.

Molly 7/3/10, 11:25 AM  

My mother-in-law was lactose and gluten intolerant which made holiday baking very difficult. How I wish there was a cookbook like this about fifteen years ago.

Zee 7/3/10, 11:55 AM  

Lactose-free baking I am SO there. I will have to get a copy of this!

Julie P. 7/3/10, 12:00 PM  

I'm anxious to take a peek at this one and see if there are any recipes that I could make for allergy boy!

Peppermint Ph.D. 7/3/10, 12:04 PM  

I suspect one of my daughters is lactose intolerant...as a cookbook addict, it's very helpful indeed to find a book that doesn't shy away from great recipes even when leaving out certain ingredients...thanks for sharing this.

Margaret at BooksPlease 7/4/10, 8:57 AM  

What a good idea to organize the recipes by time and skill needed.

Heather 7/4/10, 12:33 PM  

My sister is gluten intolerant so I have added this to my shopping list. Thanks so much.

Louise 7/4/10, 12:37 PM  

I love reading the weekend cooking posts! Wish I could find the time to do them myself :-)

Robin M 7/4/10, 1:36 PM  

Wow, just what I need. My dr just told me to cut down on my sugar. Happy 4th!

Michele 7/4/10, 7:52 PM  

Scones? Did someone say scones? Be still my rumbling tummy!

Esme 7/5/10, 3:37 PM  

This book looks great. How did I miss it?

Miri 7/6/10, 3:11 AM  

Looks delicious!

Miri 7/6/10, 9:40 AM  

Looks delicious!

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