Festive baking – Cooking picks in December

The party season is coming up – included here are ideas to inspire you. Let your cake be the centrepiece at the next party or dress it up as a gift for family and friends.

Syndetics book coverPractically Raw Desserts : flexible recipes for all-natural sweets and treats / Amber Shea Crawley.
“Chef Amber Shea’s innovative “flexible” approach to raw vegan desserts that allows some cooking. Practically Raw Desserts is a trove of scrumptious raw cakes, cookies, brownies, pies, puddings, candies, pastries, and frozen treats. All of chef Amber Shea Crawley’s sweet creations allow substitution and adaptation for a non-raw kitchen. The recipes are free of dairy, eggs, gluten, wheat, soy, corn, refined grains, refined sugars, yeast, starch, and other nutrient-poor ingredients. Many recipes are also free of grains, oils, nuts, and added sugars…. If you’re looking for delicious and vibrant dessert recipes with maximum flavor and nutrition, then you’ll love Practically Raw Desserts .” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMagic Cakes : three cakes in one : one mixture, one bake, three delicious layers / Christelle Huet-Gomez ; photography by Valéry Guédes.
“Prepare yourself for an explosion of textures and flavors in a cake like you’ve never tasted before: a dense, moist cake base; a delicate cream filling; and a light and fluffy sponge to top it off. The magic in these cakes is in the separation of the egg whites and the low cooking temperature. During cooking, the cake mixture divides itself into three delicious layers, each with a distinct texture and taste–magic! Magic Cakes shares over thirty sensational recipes, from classic cakes to cheesecakes, brownies, tarts, quiches, and much more…Discover the magic for yourself!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlanet Cake : love and friendship : celebration cakes for special occasions / Paris Cutler ; photography by Chris Chen.
“Cake decoration for occasions that mark the milestones of love and celebrate friendship.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNaked cakes : simply beautiful handmade creations / Lyndel Miller ; photography by Mindi Cooke.
“Recipes and inspiration for making, decorating and displaying naked cakes.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNaturally Sassy / Saskia Gregson-Williams.
“Saskia’s delicious, easy-to-make recipes will prove to sugar addicts, hardened carnivores and dairy lovers that plant-based eating is delicious, fun and satisfying–as well as really good for you. Recipes are either quick and simple or can be made ahead, ingredients are affordable and easy to find, and you don’t need lots of expensive equipment to make this food. As a ballet dancer, this diet gives Saskia all the energy and nutrition she needs to train, recover and perform–but you don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from this book.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDeco Roll Cakes : let’s make decorated Swiss rolls! / Junko.
“Light, delicious and filled with fresh cream and cut fruit, Swiss rolls are a welcome treat for any occasion. Now, Japan’s favourite baking blogger Junko has taken the classic rolls one step further and made them utterly irresistible by adding decorative patterns. Learn how to make pretty patterns, such as strawberries, hearts and flowers, or designer motifs such as animal and argyle prints, on melt-in-the-mouth vanilla, chocolate, coffee or green tea-flavoured cake rolls. Master the basics, then go on to personalise these versatile cakes with a message or create your own patterns to celebrate special occasions.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFood52 Baking : 60 sensational treats you can pull off in a snap / editors of Food52 ; photography by James Ransom.
“A stunning collection of hassle-free recipes for baking cakes, cookies, tarts, puddings, muffins, bread, and more, from the editors behind the leading food website Food52. Whether it’s the chocolate cake at every childhood birthday, blondies waiting for you after school, or hot dinner rolls smeared with butter at Thanksgiving dinner, homemade baked goods hold a place in many of our best memories.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSweet Envy : deceptively easy desserts, designed to steal the show / Seton Rossini.
“Want your friends and family to gasp in awe when you bring dessert to the table? Here’s a secret: You can make wow-worthy cakes, cookies, candies, and more, in your own kitchen, faster and more easily than you’d ever guess. Seton Rossini provides step-by-step instructions and photographs to help you make 75 crowd-pleasing confections that are breathtakingly beautiful, and, most importantly, surprisingly simple.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverQuinntessential Baking / Frances Quinn.
“Frances Quinn wowed the judges with her imaginative showstoppers and extraordinary baking skill to win The Great British Bake Off in 2013. Here is Quinntessential Baking : a treasure trove of inspirational ideas to bring a spark of creativity and a teaspoon of wonder into your kitchen. Frances’ combination of ideas and ingredients will provide you with straightforward master recipes or ‘building blocks’, and she explains how to apply a little magic to turn them into beautiful bakes. Whether you’re a baking novice or an extraordinaire, you’ll find achievable bakes for all occasions.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHome Baked / Yvette Van Boven.
“Food stylist and cook Yvette van Boven has offered delicious seasonal recipes in Home Made , Home Made Summer , and Home Made Winter that highlight the fresh produce available throughout the year. In her much-anticipated follow-up, Home Baked, she celebrates the art of baking. Complete with her signature illustrations and scenic photographs of Ireland and Paris, Home Baked is a beautiful collection of van Boven’s favorite baked goods–warm bread from the oven, sweet banana bread, a gooey cinnamon and caramel pull-apart loaf, rich chocolate cake, shortbread cookies, and more. Her inviting voice, easy-to-follow recipes, and beautiful photographs make Home Baked a staple for every kitchen and lovely enough to show off in other rooms as well.” (Syndetics summary)