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)

New Cooking books in November

This collection of cookbooks will inspire you to create wholesome, healthy meals easily and without stress.

Syndetics book coverThe Edible Atlas : around the world in thirty-nine cuisines / Mina Holland.
“‘A fascinating project, telling some fantastic stories about a broad range of cuisines. Mina’s style is engaging and illuminating and the food cries to be cooked.’ – Yotam Ottolenghi” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSalads in a Jar / Courtney Roulston.
“In our busy lives, we are always looking for nutritious, delicious, satisfying meals that are fast and simple to prepare. Salads in a Jar will show you how you can take it to another level, layering jars with salads to create lunches or breakfasts on the go….the salads are portable, the packaging is environmentally friendly and the recipes are delicious. Because the salads can last for several days in the fridge, you can always have yummy breakfasts and lunches ready to go.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFrom Venice to Istanbul / Rick Stein.
“From the mythical heart of Greece to the fruits of the Black Sea coast; from Croatian and Albanian flavors to the spices and aromas of Turkey and beyond–the cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean is a vibrant melting pot brimming with character. This book includes more than 100 spectacular recipes discovered by Rick during his travels. this collection of inspiring recipes evokes the magic of the Eastern Mediterranean at home.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJanella’s Super Natural Foods / Janella Purcell.
“With more than 150 fantastic recipes for healthy and delicious meals, desserts, snacks, drinks, and dressings,…Janella’s philosophy of using “food as medicine” is simple and easy to follow. Many of the recipes have been influenced by Janella’s travels to Italy, Japan, India, the Middle East, and South East Asia. Clearly marked with relevant codes–gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, raw, soy free, nut free, or grain free–each recipe also contains a few alternative ingredient suggestions to please all of the friends and family seated around your table. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Salad Bowl : vibrant & healthy recipes for light meals, lunches, simple sides & dressings / Nicola Graimes ; photography by Matt Russell.
“Fresh, healthy, wholesome, and delicious–there can be so much more to salads than just a few leaves on a plate. These tasty recipes will inspire you to nourish your body from the inside out with every delicious forkful. This delightful book showcases beautifully balanced salads, with chapters covering Meat and Poultry, Fish and Shellfish, Dairy, Grains, Beans and Pulses, and Simply Fruits and Vegetables…. With more and more people aspiring to eat healthier diets, and with such a large variety of fresh and interesting ingredients now readily available, there has never been a better time to experiment and discover some new favorites.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrew it Yourself / Nick Moyle & Richard Hood.
“Combining two of their passions–alcohol and gardening–authors Richard Hood and Nick Moyle take special care to explain the importance of the ingredients in each of their recipes–whether grown in the garden, foraged in the wild or bought from their local supermarket. With drinks ranging from a classic elderflower sparkle to homemade absinthe, Richard and Nick bring the art of brewing back to earth. Brew it Yourself also debunks myths, celebrates experimentation and takes the fear out of the science of fermentation. It proves that creating your own tasty alcoholic drinks doesn’t need to be complicated, doesn’t need to be costly and, most importantly, can be a whole lot of fun.” –Amazon.

Syndetics book coverClean Green Eats : 100+ clean-eating recipes to improve your whole life / Candice Kumai.
In Clean Green Eats, chef, health journalist, and healthy-living expert Candice Kumai offers more than 100 recipes that make clean eating easy, inspiring, and delicious. Her food philosophy is simple: Eat more plants, fewer animals, less dairy, low-sugar, low-gluten, and zero processed food. Candice shows you how to create meals you can feel great about eating and sharing with your family and friends.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBake and Destroy : good food for bad vegans / Natalie Slater ; foreword by CM Punk.
“Natalie Slater has been described as “Martha Stewart meets Iron Maiden,” taking vegan cooking to places it has never been before. Influenced by slasher films, pro-wrestling, punk rock and heavy metal, her quirky-yet-delicious comfort foods are a refreshing take on vegan eating with award-winning flavors. Along the way, her off-color humor, irreverent rants and density of pop-culture references will make you laugh out loud…Bake and Destroy was named one of the most anticipated cookbooks of the year by VegNews.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCitrus : Sweet & Savory Sun-Kissed Recipes / Valerie Aikman-Smith & Victoria Pearson.
“A visually stunning collection of 75 inventive, fool-proof recipes that highlight the use of citrus. This sunny, citrus-infused collection showcases lemons, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, and limes as well as out-of-the-ordinary kumquats, pomelos, Buddha’s hand, and yuzu in everything from breakfast to dinner, drinks to dessert…The photography captures the essence of citrus on the plate…the zesty, tangy flavors of Citrus will brighten up both your kitchen and your cooking.” (Syndetics summary)