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Monday, October 21, 2019

The 3-Ingredient Baking Book: Book Review


I have always loved cooking and baking, but I started out as a baker, making both messes and marvelous things in the kitchen from the time I was about 5-years-old.

But many people, even those who love to cook, find baking intimidating. I have never understood why. Sure, there are certain things that can be tricky and require precision (pastry, souffle, etc.) but I have always found baking to be more forgiving than people often claim it is. After all, I rarely ever use recipes and just create them as I go, and for the most part they turn out great (I have had a few major failures, but that's all part of the learning process!).

I also love baking because many of the ingredients are non-perishable, so I generally have them in the pantry at all times. If you shy away from baking because it scares you but would love to overcome your fear, The 3-Ingredient Baking Book may be the perfect resource to help you get started.

The book is the latest one written by author, blogger, and fellow Canadian and cat lover, Charmian Christie, AKA the Messy Baker.

Perfect for newbie bakers, the book starts with a section outliving the necessary kitchen equipment, ingredients and pantry staples necessary for the recipes in the book. There are also some trouble-shooting tips.

Then there are sections for each of the following categories:

  • Cookies
  • Bars & Squares
  • Cakes, Muffins & Quick Breads
  • Pastries, Pies & Tarts
  • Chocolate
  • Fruit
  • Creamy Things
  • Candyland
  • Cold Things
  • Sauces & Toppings
Now, some of the single ingredients in the recipes are products you have made to stock the pantry that already contain multiple ingredients (i.e. vanilla sugar, self-rising flour, etc.), or store-bought ingredients (cereal, chocolate hazelnut spread, puff pastry,  etc.). But most are simple and provide detailed, easy-to-follow instructions. 

I would not, however, start with the candy recipes involved candy thermometers, etc., unless this is something you feel ready to tackle right away. Personally, it is still an area in the kitchen that I still feel a bit uncomfortable with. My experiences with candy making have been hit or miss, however, my tendency to modify recipes may have something to do with that. This is definitely an area where you want to closely follow the instructions.

Now, the recipes are pretty classic, which means they are based on sugar, butter and white flour. This is not a nutrition cookbook. Only 2 of the recipes, as is, are ones I would make, and in fact, have made before: 

  • Peanut butter cookies made from just peanut butter, sugar and egg (I think I made them with coconut sugar)
  • Oatmeal cookies made from just oats, bananas and raisins.
So when I initially finished reading the book and decided to try one of the other recipes, I realized I did not have the right ingredients (I don't keep butter in the house and I never buy generic chocolate hazelnut spread, etc.), so I guess that will have to wait.

Although not all the recipes are pictured, the book does have lovely photos. The recipe steps are thorough and there are lots of additional tips and tricks.

So do I recommend this book? It is definitely perfect for anyone wanting to learn the basics of baking but prefers simple paired-down recipes.

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review but all opinions on this blog are my own.

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