Review of Modern Baking by Donna Hay
Reviewed by Kateri Kramer
Donna Hay begins her beautiful new book, MODERN BAKING: CAKES, COOKIES, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN with “Anyone who knows me will tell you baking is my therapy- it’s my own form of mindfulness meditation! Plus, it’s the way I nurture the people I love. When I can’t sleep, I often tiptoe into the kitchen and, in the calm quiet of the early morning, will begin to measure and mix- maybe a batch of oat cookies for my boys, a cake for a girlfriend’s birthday, or some raw caramel slice for my team at the office. Surely it’s good for the soul!” After flipping through the absolutely stunning, moody photographs by Chris Court, Ben Dearnley, William Meppem, Con Poulous, and Anson Smart, this intro sold me. I’ve always felt the same way, that baking is my way to unwind and show love. It’s the way I nurture those I love too.
Fourth Estate (an imprint of Harper Collins) and Donna Hay have teamed up to create, possibly my favorite baking book of all time (and I have baked my way through my fair share of books!). It really does have everything, from beautiful cakes (see below for an Almond and Orange Blossom Layer Cake that I LOVE) to delicious cookies (my favorites are the Vanilla Spice Cookies, that my 11-year-old cousin claims “taste just like Christmas”) to coffee cheesecakes that are the perfect after dinner dessert for a crowd.
Almond and Orange Blossom Layer Cake with Vanilla Ricotta Icing
Wow, this cake was so good! I’d never used (or tasted) orange blossom before and it was so delicious. With the deep flavor of the almond, the orange blossom is light and floral and brings a pretty balance to the cake. Check out the full recipe on Donna Hay’s Website.
Vanilla Spice Cookies
My 11 year old cousin helped me make these and claimed that they “tasted just like Christmas.” This recipe (along with about a million other AMAZING recipes).
Coffee Cheesecake with Coffee Syrup
I’m not sure one needs anything else in life other than coffee cheesecake with coffee syrup.
Order the book here.