The Great Scandinavian Baking Book (Anglais) Broché – 1 septembre 1999
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First of all, it is written by Beatrice Ojakangas who, in my opinion, is the queen of all recipe book writers:) I own a number of her cookbooks and she writes in a very clear, concise way. All of her recipes are accompanied by a cultural anecdote or an informative note or two about the recipe so that you feel that you own more than a cookbook - you gain an insight into the Scandinavian culture and way of life.
Secondly, and just as important, the recipes in this book are simply delicious. They run the gamut from breads and rolls to mouth watering pastries, both sweet and savoury. I had seen the many shapes that Danish pastry came in and they looked somewhat daunting to prepare but, in her book, Ms Ojakangas provides easy to follow diagrams that made them a breeze to shape. Being a chocoholic, I never thought that desserts could be tasty unless they were loaded down with the stuff. I stand corrected!:)
Again, I highly recommend this book. The recipes are delicious and it is an excellent book for anyone who has ever felt daunted by baking. Well done!
Although most of these recipes came down through the family, I now always double-check with Ojakangas' book. She's accurate, clear, easy-to-understand, and everything we've ever baked from this book has turned out just as well, if not even better than when we use the family recipes.
I always measure the quality of my cookbooes by how grungy they get from spilled incredients, etc. Well, this one's a winner, with the pages automatically falling open to all our family favorites.
Also I really like the flavor of cardamom :)
This book served both purposes. I've made some great items with wonderful results. I'll be honest, some of them sounded quite difficult and I didn't have a lot of confidence in my abilities. I'm a great cook (if I do say so myself) but baking - following directions really - is not my forte. But Beatrice Ojakangas' instructions are so precise, yet natural that I got things right the first time.
The first thing I made was an Icelandic coffee wreath. No, it's not Norweigan like my Mom. But it did make a great and beautiful pastry fit for serving at a holiday potluck at work. Everyone was impressed. It was so simple to make but it looked like a million bucks. That's the impression I want to make with my food at work, you know?
Then I made Norweigian butter cookies. Oh my gosh. How can a 6 ingredient recipe turn out something so lovely and melt-in-your-mouth good?
The real payoff was Crispy Krumkake. My Mom still has Grandma's Krumkake iron, but doesn't ever make the cookies because, well Mom is into lots of domestic arts, but cooking isn't one of them. So I gave Krumkake a shot and the recipe was fantastic. Light delicate cookies, made pretty by the iron's design, they were a hit! Unfortunately the German side of my family filled them with Cool Whip which made me cringe, but they liked it so I guess it's okay.
So why did I remove a star? Well the book has this gorgeous photo on the cover but no photos inside. There are some line drawings where appropriate (like explaining how to slice and shape that coffee wreath), but no inspirational photos. And the book isn't bound so as to be very useful in the kitchen. It's a paperback that isn't heavy enough to stay open. Not that format is everything, but transcribing or photocopying recipes isn't my idea of a good time. Overall it is a minor thing, but still worthy of comment.
If you like the flavors of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, butter, almonds - you'll love this book whether you have a Scandinavian history or not.
Chapters: Breads for Meals, Breads for Coffeetime, Cookies and Little Cakes, Cakes and Tortes, Pastries and Pies, Savory Pies and Filled Breads. Chapters about mail order sources, baking tips and ingredients are also included.