“Duff Bakes: Think and Bake Like a Pro at Home” by Duff Goldman and Sara Gonzales, William Morrow Cookbooks, HC, $27.50, 343 pages, hardcover
It might be weight loss resolution time in most of the country, but here in Louisiana, it’s time to eat king cake. Dieting has to wait until after Carnival season.
With Lent coming early this year (Ash Wednesday is Feb. 10), there’s not much time left to enjoy party foods. And cold weather is the perfect time for heating the oven and trying new baking recipes.
A new cookbook from Food Network star Duff Goldman, “Duff Bakes: Think and Bake Like a Pro at Home,” offers plenty of ideas and interesting recipes that will be welcome at Mardi Gras parties or any time.
The book, co-authored by Sara Gonzales, head baker and kitchen manager for Goldman’s Charm City Cakes West in Los Angeles, divides its 135 recipes into 10 chapters, beginning with pastry dough and ending with cake decorating.
That final chapter features three special projects, including Tie-Dye Peace Appliqué Cake. Other chapters look at various types of cookies and bars; muffins, scones and biscuits; bread; pie; “random yummy stuff” like doughnuts, fudge and marshmallows; vegan and gluten-free baking; cakes; and frostings.
Recipes are from both Goldman and Gonzales; they are identified in each recipe’s introduction. Among the treats are Sweet All-Purpose Pastry Dough, Old-School Sugar Cookies, Duff’s Cornbread, Simple White French Bread, Apple Crumb Pie, Vegan & Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins, and Hummingbird Cake.
Before getting to the recipes, the book provides a comprehensive discussion on ingredients, including the pros and cons of various flours, leavening agents and chocolates. It also looks at equipment and baking techniques.
Goldman’s fun personality comes out in the book, which is perfect for the home baker who enjoys watching him on Food Network shows, including “Ace of Cakes.” Goldman also was at City Pork Brasserie and Bar in Baton Rouge recently to guest-star on an episode of Food Network’s “Burgers Brew & ’Que.” That episode aired Friday night.
Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.