Winner of the 2018 James Beard Foundation Book Award (Baking and Desserts)
A New York Times bestseller and named a Best Baking Book of the Year by the Atlantic, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, Bon Appétit, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Mother Jones, the Boston Globe, USA Today, Amazon, and more.
"The most groundbreaking book on baking in years. Full stop." —Saveur
From One-Bowl Devil’s Food Layer Cake to a flawless Cherry Pie that’s crisp even on the very bottom, BraveTart is a celebration of classic American desserts. Whether down-home delights like Blueberry Muffins and Glossy Fudge Brownies or supermarket mainstays such as Vanilla Wafers and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream, your favorites are all here. These meticulously tested recipes bring an award-winning pastry chef’s expertise into your kitchen, along with advice on how to “mix it up” with over 200 customizable variations—in short, exactly what you’d expect from a cookbook penned by a senior editor at Serious Eats. Yet BraveTart is much more than a cookbook, as Stella Parks delves into the surprising stories of how our favorite desserts came to be, from chocolate chip cookies that predate the Tollhouse Inn to the prohibition-era origins of ice cream sodas and floats. With a foreword by The Food Lab’s J. Kenji López-Alt, vintage advertisements for these historical desserts, and breathtaking photography from Penny De Los Santos, BraveTart is sure to become an American classic.
Parks, a senior editor at Serious Eats and the creator of the Bravetart blog, has written a cookbook that is as interesting to read as it is to cook from. Home cooks will stock up on butter, sugar, flour and other baking necessities before diving into the cookbook, as the recipes here are ones readers will want to make immediately. If they don't rush to the kitchen after seeing the recipe for glossy fudge brownies with swirls of condensed milk, it's only because they've decided to make the red-wine velvet cake or souffl ed cheesecake instead. Tricks such as roasting sugar or adding browned butter to brownies for a richer, nuttier flavor make Parks's recipes more complicated than those in some other cookbooks, but recipes are written simply enough that an ambitious beginning cook can succeed. Each recipe also offers possible modifications: a simple white cake with marshmallow buttercream can, with a few tweaks, be transformed into an apple-cider spice cake, a hazelnut torte, or lemon-sunshine cake. Wherever possible, Parks offers gluten-free substitutions for her recipes. Parks is known for her recreations of iconic American supermarket treats, with recipes for such indulgences as fudge stripes cookies, Twinkies (hint: use club soda to keep them soft), and even homemade Cool Whip. From elegant homespun desserts to homemade Wonder Bread, Parks's cookbook offers a Cracker Jack blend (yes, there's a recipe for that, too) of ingenuity and whimsy.
Great Book with Formatting Issues
If I were rating this just based on recipes it’d be 6 stars - however, I have to knock it way down due to all the missing links & wrong page numbers. Recipes frequently refer to a variation on a specific page, but the page number refers to the print version. If they added links to the digital version, all the problems would be solved, but it’s frequently unusable as is and some recipes are off limits cause I can’t find the right base recipe.