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The messy baker : more than 75 delicious recipes from a real kitchen
2014
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  Publishers Weekly Review

Christie eschews the notion of precise baking and encourages readers to make it "messy" in this collection of over 75 recipes. Christie doesn't go rogue when it comes to quality output-she still touts tried-and-trued baking "musts," such as reading the complete recipe first, setting out ingredients before starting, and using the right ingredients-but her refreshing approach is apparent from the beginning, with chapters broken down into categories including "Crumbly," "Sloppy," "Gritty," and "Drippy." The "Dippable" chapter, for example, is chock full of hand-held baked goods ready for dunking, including espresso and hazelnut biscotti; the "Smudy" chapter is filled primarily with savory selections like bacon, cheddar, and thyme waffles. Family memories, along with helpful serving suggestions, prevail in the worthy headnotes, and tip boxes give added information and substitution ideas. Christie's approach to baking is fun and insightful. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
<p>Since when did every cookie on the plate have to be just like the next? Or each layer of cake exactly the same height? Each piecrust an impeccable work of art and encircled by stunningly perfect pastry leaves? To the uninitiated, all that fastidious, spotless baking is intimidating, not to mention exhausting. The Messy Baker celebrates baking as it happens in the real world--sweet, messy, fun, not always gorgeous, but a way to show love. Which doesn't make it any less delicious; to the contrary, Charmian Christie's flavor combinations rise far above the ordinary. Why have a raspberry galette when you can enjoy a raspberry-rhubarb galette with drippy, unctuous walnut frangipane? Or how about a Brie and walnut whiskey tart? It's all yours without the rigid perfectionism or complicated instructions of other gourmet cookbooks.</p> <p>Christie's warm, irreverent voice brings the fun back into baking at a time when home cooks--pulled from pillar to post by jobs and errands--need to have fun. The Messy Baker is a full-service book that not only guides the reader through simple, delicious recipes but is also there to help out when things go wrong. For anyone who gave in frustration when that cake collapsed or the frosting smeared, Christie's practical advice is here to rescue even the worst disaster and inspire the baker to try the next recipe.</p>
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