Being an old school Gastropost-er means you’re rewarded with a collection of like-minded baking and cooking pals, so when one such pal approached me about her cook book The Messy Baker launching, I was hugging and high fiving her as her success is a win for us all!
I ravaged Charmain’s book over a weekend and chose my recipes right away. While I don’t have a huge sweet tooth this book features more than just your usual cookies, cakes and pies. Savoury dishes are just as notable so I was tickled to see the addition of Basil and Aged Cheddar Scones (page 74). My basil had a lucky summer this year, so I gave Walter (wait- you don’t name your herbs?) a proper hair cut and got to work. Scones aren’t much of a challenge for a seasoned baker, but making them into uniform perfect wedges is something I struggle with, and likewise, so does Charmain. Baking doesn’t need to be a frustrating OCD experiment on how to alienate your family and friends from your kitchen, and Charmain hones in on that in her book. Baking is more than just a science coupled with art, it is a labour of love, and I personally find it really relaxing (having never made macarons in all fairness).
The scones were fluffy and slightly salty, a perfect blend to go with a big bowl of chili, or even just as an afternoon snack with a hot cuppa. My kids loved them and wanted to pack them for lunch the next day, which made for a pretty good meal coupled with some meatballs.
Now even though I’m firmly in the savoury boat doesn’t mean I let my hubby and kids suffer with my bitter indifference. After creating a menu for a BBQ, we stumbled upon Deep Dark Cherry and Chipotle brownies
(page 91) and figured we would let the BBQ flavours dominate the entire menu and whip up a batch of these stunners. I loved the little tips Charmain mentions throughout her book, like covering the cherries in flour mixture so they won’t sink to the bottom, and variations on the recipe like throwing nuts in instead of cherries.
I have to admit, I’ve now made these brownies three times, all with subtle variations (doubling up the chipotle, pecans instead of cherries, and sea salt garnish) and each time they’ve turned out perfectly, especially a favourite of my two kids over top a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
This book is approachable, personable and just like baking exudes a warmth that you are compelled to share! Check out The Messy Baker at your local bookstore, or on-line.
Today is officially #messybakermonday (and national coffee day? sure…) so check out the links below to my fellow bloggin’ buddies and enter their giveaways for this fabulous book!
Jenny- Whisky Kissed Pecan Pie
Robyn- Blueberry Lime Cornmeal Muffins
Jan- Chili Cheese Twists
Brittany- Cherry & Lemon Macaroon Meringues
Rhonda- Ginger and Vanilla Scones
Tasty G- Piglet Muffins
Lou- Double-Stuff Über-Oreo Cookies
Christina- Savoury Pecan Cheddar Bites
Meg- Rhubarb Raspberry Galette with Frangipane
Jennifer- Tomato/Arugula Stuffed Focaccia
Stephanie- Smoked Paprika Corn Fritters
Valerie- Classic Welsh Griddle Cake
Liliana- Burnt Caramel and Sea Salt Sticky Buns
Disclaimer- Yes, I scored this tasty book for free. But the words and opinions would be the same had I bought the book, or like I usually do, take it out from the library. Free!