Irresistible, mouth-watering, and finger-licking recipes

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Irresistible, mouth-watering, and finger-licking recipes

Bigger Bolder Baking: A Fearless Approach to Baking Anytime, Anywhere by Gemma Stafford, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, US $30.00, Pp 320, September 2019, ISBN 978-1328546326

Gemma Stafford grew up watching and helping her mom — who was an amazing cook — in the kitchen. Baking, in her family, has always been about making do, about turning out something completely delicious no matter what obstacles lie in the way. In Bigger Bolder Baking, Gemma Stafford says, like her mother, she has set the bar high for herself and other moms. She says she knows how to improvise and work with whatever resources she has at her disposal. In other words, she can make almost anything, even with a practically bare pantry, and only a bowl, a whisk. At nineteen, she went off to study professional cookery at Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin, an institute that focused on catering and hospitality. From there, she got an opportunity to attend Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork. She was trained under celebrity chef, acclaimed cookbook author, and TV personality Darina Allen who had been named 2005’s Cooking Teacher of the Year by the IACP. The greatest lesson learned was “Do not cook by halves. Your ingredients and how you manipulate them are the only things that matter in the kitchen. Everything else is a distraction.” She says that she always had an eye on living in the United States and when she was offered a job as a bread baker at a South Lake Tahoe Casino in California, she readily accepted. In the kitchen of the casino, she perfected the art of baking bread. Her next move was to take up a job of a pastry chef at Spruce, a Michelin-starred restaurant in San Francisco. In 2014, she started teaching people how to bake online. This is how ‘Bigger Bolder Baking’ was born. It soon became an online food show. In Bigger Bolder Baking, Gemma Stafford shares her best recipes. She says, “They’re the recipes I make every day in my home… Bigger Bolder Baking is about getting back to the essential, simplest components of baking — flour, sugar, butter, heat — and delighting you with more than one hundred utterly marvelous things you can make with them.” The reason why Bigger Bolder Baking has become popular is that the recipes are very simple to make. It illustrates how Gemma Stafford combines her food expertise with awareness of your palate. It is a practical, informative cookbook. You just cannot go wrong with her recipes.

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