“Bigger Bolder Baking: A Fearless Approach to Baking Anytime, Anywhere” by Gemma Stafford, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 320 pages, hardcover, $30

Both beginner and experienced home bakers will love Irish-born celebrity chef Gemma Stafford’s debut cookbook, “Bigger Bolder Baking: A Fearless Approach to Baking Anytime, Anywhere.” Her book’s 115-plus recipes are those she grew up on and those she has invented, perfected and shared on her popular online baking show, “Bigger Bolder Baking.”

Stafford has worked in a variety of kitchens, from that of a monastery in Dublin where all she had in the kitchen were some bowls, wooden spoons and a small, handheld electric mixer to a Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant. Through it all, she writes, she’d been collecting recipes and wishing she could share the tips and tricks she’d taught herself. In 2014, she and her husband started creating videos in their Santa Monica, California, home and launched their online show.

Side Dish: Recipe for Five-Ingredient Coconut Kisses

The book’s recipes are simple — most call for less than 10 ingredients and require no special equipment. Stafford says her idea is to restore “baking to an everyday art rather than relegating it to a weekend-only indulgence.” To that end, Stafford has organized the book’s chapters by tools: Wooden Spoon and Bowl; Pots & Pans; Rolling Pin; Baking Pans; Mixer; No Oven Needed.

The book opens with information on ingredients, techniques, tools and substitutions and its last chapter covers Bold Baking Basics like frostings, glazes, sauces and DIY recipes for pantry staples like brown sugar and buttermilk.

Recipes range from easy-to-make Chewy, Gooey Oatmeal Raisin Cookies and the classic last-minute dessert, Bourbon Bananas Foster, to Simplest Vanilla Swiss Roll and Salted Caramel & Peanut Chocolate Tart.

With Stafford’s “Bigger Bolder Baking” cookbook even a beginning cook with a minimally equipped kitchen will be turning out impressive desserts.


Cheramie Sonnier is a food writer and columnist. Email her at sonnierfood@gmail.com, and follow her on Twitter, @CheramieSonnier.