Category Archives: Ginger

A Sweet Visit to Batch Pastries

Owner and baker Emily Buysse hard at work in the kitchen of her Batch Pastries.

Owner and baker Emily Buysse hard at work in the kitchen of her Batch Pastries.

 

Emily Buysse is an avowed cookie monster.

So much so that when she was working for an IT company in Berkeley, and couldn’t find a decent cookie to nibble on during her breaks, she took matters into her own hand. She started baking, baking, and baking.

In fact, it snowballed into a sweet new career, launching her first into her own wholesale baking business before she decided to take over Montclair Baking in Oakland two years ago and rechristening it Batch Pastries.

A perfect spot to take a load off with something sweet.

A perfect spot to take a load off with something sweet.

This would almost make me take up running again.

This would almost make me take up running again.

Situated in a small strip mall atop a hill, it’s a bakery small in space but big in heart. Regulars gather on sunny days to relax with coffee and a cookie, which she considers the perfect treat because it’s the ideal size to satisfy without overwhelming.

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Carrot Cake Perfection By The Artful Baker

A carrot cake recipe that will replace any other you used to use.

A carrot cake recipe that will replace any other you used to use.

 

Simply put, “Carrot Cake with Blond Chocolate Frosting” is perfection personified in every single forkful.

Like the creator of this recipe, the uber talented baker Cenk Sonmezsoy, I, too, was skeptical that a carrot cake made without walnuts would prove completely satisfying. After all, I love nuts in almost anything for their added texture, richness and flavor.

But in his cake, you don’t miss the walnuts at all. That’s because browned butter takes its place, getting incorporated into the batter to add a divine nutty aroma and taste all its own. Moreover, the frosted cake gets ringed with toasted pumpkin seeds, which add a big dose of toastiness and crunch.

Artful-Baker-Cover

This dynamite recipe is from “The Artful Baker: Extraordinary Desserts From An Obsessive Home Baker” (Abrams, 2017), of which I received a review copy.

You may already know Sonmezsoy for his award-winning food blog, Cafe Fernando. If you don’t, it’s high time you got to know this Instanbul-based writer, photographer and food stylist, who received his MBA from the University of San Francisco before going to work for a high-tech PR firm.

Ironically, during his time in San Francisco, Sonmezsoy lived in an apartment so small that he never cooked or baked. It was only when he returned to Istanbul that found himself longing for the food he left behind in San Francisco. So, he began baking like crazy, starting with brownies. He started his food blog in 2006, which took off like mad, capturing the fancy of so many influential bakers and publishers that he quit his corporate job in 2010 to devote full-time to blogging.

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Getting Saucy For Ginger Carrot Fixer

A healthier take on your favorite Japanese restaurant salad dressing.

A healthier take on your favorite Japanese restaurant salad dressing.

 

My friends and relatives have been known to ask for extra dressing on their salads at Japanese restaurants. That’s how much they love its creamy, nutty taste.

Of course, drowning your greens in dressing, and probably one made with a generous amount of Kewpie mayo, may not be the most heart-healthy action.

That’s why they’re sure to be as glad as I am to find this alternative recipe that has all the delightful flavor they’re accustomed to, but makes use of canola oil and carrots to create its sweet creaminess.

“Ginger Carrot Fixer” is from “Secret Sauces” (Kyle), of which I received a review copy. The book, which contains 65 recipes, is by Vanessa Seder, a recipe developer and tester for cookbooks, and magazines including Martha Stewart Living, Ladies’ Home Journal, and Cooking Light.

SecreteSauces

She understands how a great sauce can transform even the most basic of ingredients — be it “Avocado Green Goddess,” “Fig and Balsamic Agrodolce,” “Waikiki Teriyake,” “Secret Ingredient Caramel” and many more. Seder also provides recommendations on what to use each sauce for.

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Brooklyn Crafted Delivers On A Potent Ginger Taste

Unfiltered and with a nice burn down the throat.

Unfiltered and with a nice burn down the throat.

When it comes to food, I am not a fan of blow-your-brains-out spiciness.

But when it comes to ginger beer, well, that’s another story.

Bring it.

When I was invited to try a sample of Brooklyn Crafted Extra Spicy Ginger Beer, that’s exactly what my response was.

The spicier the better, when it comes to my beloved ginger.

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You Barely Have To Lift A Finger For Featherweight Slaw

A crunchy slaw with loads of flavor to make in a flash.

A crunchy slaw with loads of flavor to make in a flash.

 

This slaw may be featherweight, but it’s a heavyweight in flavor.

With a flurry of napa cabbage, sesame seeds, almonds and green onions, it’s a little like Chinese chicken salad. But not.

The secret is freshly grated ginger that really gives a ka-pow of bright, sharp throaty warm heat. Since I’m an avowed ginger addict, I even added a little more ginger, well, because why not, right?

“Featherweight Slaw” is from “Food52 Mighty Salads” (Ten Speed Press) by the editors of Food52.

Food52MightySalads

The book, of which I received a review copy, features 60 recipes for an array of salads perfect for dinner or lunch. There is everything from leafy salads such as “Chard Salad with Garlic Breadcrumbs & Parmesan” and grain salads such as “Brown Butter Brussels Sprouts & Crispy Quinoa” to pasta salads such as “Half-Blistered Tomato Pasta Salad” and meat salads such as “Thai Pork Salad with Crisped Rice.”

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