You Asked For It: Twistie’s Baking Library

(Actual illustration of Twistie at actual size… only two hundred and fifty years ago and much smaller)

In response to my harrumph of last week on the response my week’s worth of baking delicious things for the annual block party, several of you (and you know who you are) begged for the recipes.

Darlings, I love you all like Plummy loves her granny pants, but I’m not typing out that many recipes. I made four fabulous treats, three of which required a minimum of two recipes to assemble. In fact, two of them took three each. That’s a lot of typing of other people’s copyrighted materials.

Instead, I’m going to reveal the sources of all the recipes, tell you where to get copies, and leave it to your own ingenuity and budgets to get them or not. I will further recommend that any of you who enjoy baking more than once in a very, very, very blue moon pick up at least one of these three volumes. Every one is brimful of clear recipes for delicious treats for all occasions.

The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum is one of my all-time favorite baking tomes. This is where the white chocolate layer cake and its accessories came from. The recipes you’re looking for are: White Chocolate Whisper Cake, the Classic Buttercream (lemon variation) and the Lemon Curd. Seriously, though, there’s not a bum recipe in the book. Cover to cover, it’s all good. If you love cake, you need this book.

Get it from Amazon for just $20.98 (list price $35.00).

I got the scones and the ricotta galette out of Baking for All Occasions by Flo Braker. Braker has long enjoyed a reputation among bakers for delicious recipes practical enough to bake often. This volume is chockfull of delightful and tasty ideas. You’re looking for the Apricot Flaky Scones and the Double-Crust Sweet Ricotta Galette… but don’t stop at those two! I, for one, can’t wait to try out the Brown Butter Pear Tart and the Pumpkin Ice Cream Profiteroles with Caramel Sauce.

Get it from Amazon for just $23.10 (list price $35.00).

Last, but far from least, I got the Malted Milk Chocolate Tart and the crust for it from The Art and Soul of Baking. If you haven’t done much baking before but really want to learn, this is a fantastic investment. If you’re already a dab hand at baking but looking for an excellent compendium of recipes, both classic and innovative, this is a fantastic investment. It covers both sweet and savory treats and features lots of handy tips for making your baking life easier and more successful. I’ve been baking for more than forty years and I learned some tricks that I’d never heard of before!

Get it at Amazon for $26.40 (list price $40.00).

Oh, and remember, all of these books qualify for Amazon’s free Super Saver Shipping with purchase of $25.00 or more.

Happy baking, everyone!

Got a favorite baking book? Share in comments! I’d love to know what books you love, too.

8 Responses to “You Asked For It: Twistie’s Baking Library”

  1. Debs September 29, 2012 at 11:46 pm #

    Well, I loved particular recipes , not books exactly. I loved the sugar cookies (with oil) from “The Joy of Cooking” (edition circa 197?). My first dessert was the chocolate mousse from Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”. (I was 11 and my mother had made it before her death). For books, I don’t bake anymore but I LOVE “Home Cooking” and “More Home Cooking” by Laurie Colwin.

  2. TeleriB September 30, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    My mother was more a cookie baker than a cake baker. I grew up with “The Betty Crocker Cooky [sic] Book.” Ethel’s Sugar Cookies from there are the only ones that taste right to me.

  3. joods September 30, 2012 at 1:46 pm #

    Thank you Twistie for sharing your sources. I have (and love) “The Cake Bible”. I’ve put the other 2 cookbooks on my “Santa Baby” list. :)
    I love reading cookbooks…yup, I’m kinda kooky that way. But I love baking even more. I have a few recipes/cookbooks that I use regulary. “The Silver Palate Cookbook” (original) is wonderful for both baking and cooking. “Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter Fresh Cream Sugar-Packed No Holds Barred Baking Book” is TDF.
    Truly, each book has amazing recipes, from more basic to kinda fancy shmancy. In addition to baking, The Silver Palate also has some wonderful recipes for appetizers, meals, brunch, etc. I highly recommend both.

  4. Julie September 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Another baker here, I bake more in the style of traditional food made with simple (natural) ingredients some of my favorite cookbooks are:

    Joanne Chang’s “Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe”
    Marion Cunningham’s “The Fannie Farmer Baking Book”
    Piper Davis’ “The Grand Central Baking Book: Breakfast Pastries, Cookies, Pies, and Satisfying Savories from the Pacific Northwest’s Celebrated Bakery”
    “The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book”

    And as a reminder for people who are put off on the idea of spending $35 for a recipe or two… many public libraries have excellent cookbook selections, all available for free! I usually checkout a cookbook out several times, before deciding I need my own copy.

  5. Astra October 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm #

    It’s interesting what a broad range of interests can fall under the umbrella of “cooking” or “baking.” I love both but found I don’t like the detailed, multi-part, elaborate preparation of the recipes Twistie presents. I understand why she loves them — how wonderful to create things of beauty and great taste — but it got to be too much for me. I gave away my Flo Braker cookbook.

    My favorites: Paris Sweets (Dorie Greenspan, Home Baking (Jeffrey Alford & Naomi Duguid), and Baking with Julia (Julia Child). I tend to make simple, homey desserts these days. Or just go straight for bread.

  6. jenny October 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm #

    Twistie,
    You are an angel. I am so psyched to have a new hobby, bibliographied by you, as the fall approaches! This is going to be fun. Thank you.

  7. Constance October 1, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    High five for the late, great Laurie Colwin. Her books have been read many times.

  8. April D October 12, 2012 at 10:51 am #

    Those are totally going on my birthday wish-list :) Not least of all because the cake on “Baking for all Occasions” looks scrumptious!