Saturday, 5 September 2009

Confections of a Closet Master Baker, and a Canadian Give-Away!

Being a member of the Cook the Books bookclub has its rewards. This month, on top of the regular wonderful reading selection, we were given the opportunity to read a new book just hitting the shelves, Confections of a Closet Master Baker.
The author, Gesine Bullock-Prado, is the sister of movie actress Sandra Bullock. Having had her fill of Hollywood life, she traded in the artifice and frustration of the business for the rather daunting task of opening up her own bakery in Montpelier, Vermont.
The book follows her journey of redefining who she is through her passion for baking, the hard work and hilarity of starting a bake shop in a quirky small town, and glimpses into the past that track the journey of her sugar-loving life.
This is a fun, light read. Perfect for anyone who loves the idea of starting fresh and following their passion, especially food related. The descriptions of encounters with sweet confections are rich in meaning and sentiment, and each chapter contains a recipe for a corresponding treat.

Encouraged to bake something from the book or inspired by the book, I made Zwetschgendatchi, a plum tart favoured by her mother, that she bakes for a gentleman who is mourning the loss of his wife. The tart is to be made with mindful attention, with love.
We greatly enjoyed the simplicity of the tart, the tang of the plums and richness of the shortbread dough. My tart pans have low sides, and the crust and filling are of rather generous proportions, so I baked mine in a springform pan. Lovely with coffee, I am still enjoying this delicious pastry.

To join us in our foodie bookclub, Cook the Books, click here. Currently we are reading Peter Mayle's "French Lessons".

The Canadian Give-Away.

I received both a galley copy and a hardcover edition of this book. I had already finished the galley copy when the hardcover arrived, so I thought I would send it out to another pastry-eating, book-loving foodie.

This give away is for Canadians for two reasons. 1. I am watching my pennies, and 2. We are excluded from most U.S. give-aways! I promise to have more worldly give-aways in the future, but this one is for the Canucks.

So for all my Canadian friends, let me know that you are Canadian in your comments, and your go-to bakery item in times of love, loss, stress or joy.