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From a small shop in Melbourne, Australia, Natalie* Paull and her crew serve a fetching array of sweet delights. One of the things that make this book distinctive is how imaginative Paull’s recipes seem, at least to those of us who are not Melburnians, to whom these things are perhaps everyday items (but we doubt it): baked chocolate mousse tart with spiced date caramel and peanut crust; ricotta crostata with spiced quince; cocoa meringue roulade with mascarpone and toffee figs. It’s hard to dispute the appeal of ideas like these.
But more significant is Paull’s mindset. She likes the act of baking, not simply the end result. She’s willing to undertake an extra step for a better result, whether that means toffee-ing some figs or making four different components to assemble a sandwich cookie called Calamity Janes.
She’s also quite eager to provide you with the inspiration to adapt her ideas to your own ingredients, including “Adaptrix” sidebars to suggest variations and sometimes going so far as to provide a pie chart to illustrate all the possibilities. (It’s almost as if she’s never had the chance to experiment as much as she really wants to, so she’s releasing her ideas into the world to see them flourish.)
One of the most distinctive baking books we have seen in years.
Hardcover. Color photographs throughout.. Dry measurements are by weight.
*Who is Beatrix, you ask? Beatrix is the feminine form of “beater,” that essential baker’s tool.