Comfort Baking, Feel Good Food To Savor And Share, is precisely what you need when you or somebody you know needs to feel bit better. Whether you’re the baker or the eater, both will find solace in this cookbook.
I’ve always heard of comfort eating, but comfort baking was quite new to me before this book. But I can really see how the act of baking can be just as comforting as eating the results. Beginning with an introduction, the author describes her rather roundabout way of getting into baking in the first place. Followed by her transition to her blog “Girl Versus Dough”, her definition of “Comfort Baking”, “Sharing Spiritual Gifts” and finally winding up with an explanation of how to use the book effectively.
After the Introduction, and the author explains her Baking Tips, Common Ingredients and Common Equipment. All of which are required reading if you want to make the best use of these recipes. The author not only shares her best tips for making life easier in the kitchen but also when and how to substitute (ingredients or equipment) and when you should not.
The recipe categories include:
- Quick Breads and Muffins
- Breakfast and Brunch
- Cookies and Bars
- Cakes of All Kinds
- Pies, Tarts, Crisps, and Crumbles
- Meals to Bring to Family and Friends
- Bonus Recipes
After a thorough reading of the Introduction along with the Tips, Ingredients and Equipment section I believe I have learned a great deal. Many recipes I’ve dealt with in the past have called for very specific specialty devices and I’ve never known whether or not they’ve been strictly required. There will be no hesitation in any of the recipes should you follow the introductory information because the author has very clearly spelled out what can and cannot be changed.
The Save For Later feature is one thing that I enjoyed most about these recipes. As part of a family of two I can’t normally justify baking an entire cake or a full set of muffins or whatever because it will go bad before it can be fully eaten. Many of the recipes include the Save For Later section describing what you will need to freeze or otherwise preserve your leftovers.
Because it is such an impressive looking cake, and deceptively easy to make, I chose the Iced Cherry-Almond Loaf Cake for the included recipe. Enjoy!
For the loaf cake:
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup butter one stick, unsalted, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs large
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 cups sweet cherries fresh, pitted and coarsely chopped, plus more pitted whole cherries for garnish
For the icing:
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Red food color optional
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Spray the bottom of an 8 x 4 x 2 1/2“ loaf pan with cooking spray. Line with parchment paper. Set aside.
First, Make the Loaf Cake:
- In a large bowl, whisk together all purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or in a separate large for using an electrical hand mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar at on high speed for 1 to 2 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until well combined, scraping down the sides of the pool as needed. Beet in almond extract.
- Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture; stir until just combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and stir just until smooth batter forms and no dry bits remain. Use a spatula to gently fold in cherries.
- Spoon and spread the batter into the prepared love pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. If the top of the loaf browns too quickly in the oven, cover the loaf with a tent of aluminum foil. Let the baked loaf cool in the pan for 15 minutes; use the edges of the parchment paper to transfer the loaf from the pan to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Finally, Make the Icing:
- In a small bowl, stir together powdered sugar and milk until thick but drippy glaze forms (add more powdered sugar or milk as needed to achieve desired consistency). Add a small drop of food color to tint the icing a light pink if desired.
- Drizzle the icing evenly over the top of the full call Fleet cooled loaf cake. Arrange a few extra whole cherries on top for decoration, if desired. Allow icing to set completely before slicing.