We can't stay away from pastry cookbooks! So, in this week's cookbook review, we bring you the first book from Vallery Lomas - Life Is What You Bake It.
Popular baking personality Vallery Lomas debuts her first baking book celebrating more than 100 recipes for everything from Apple Cider Fritters to Lemon-Honey Madeleines and Crawfish Hand Pies to her Grandma's Million Dollar Cake.
Vallery shares heirloom family recipes from her native Louisiana, time spent in Paris, The Great American Baking Show (which she famously won!), and of course, sweets and breads inspired by her adopted hometown, New York City.
Anyone who loves The Great American Baking Show knows who Vallery Lomas is.
Five months after winning the completion, Vallery quit her job as a lawyer to become a full-time Instagram baker, and almost a year later, she sold her cookbook proposal to produce Life Is What You Bake It.
In this book, you'll find a collection of recipes and stories that have inspired Vallery in his journey from growing up in Louisiana to being a practicing attorney in Manhattan and eventually following his passion for food.
As Vallery says, "I share recipes and stories from the people who made me and gave me the blueprint for everything from cake to kindness - my parents and grandparents. Granny Willie Mae with her big heart and green thumb - a petite but mighty woman who raised both produce and children. And Grandma Leona in the Midwest, who led a life with resilience and grace for the more than 100 years she blessed us with."
You'll realize how family and friends are essential to Vallery through this book. Without them, this book would never exist. Vallery's family, friends, and colleagues worked on this book as recipes testers. This book contains the desserts that disappeared first. The ones that people called the next day, week, month, and even year about, requesting it for their birthday. These are the dishes that people told their friends about.
Life Is What You Bake It is a book for all types of bakers. The recipes are labeled so that you can clearly see the difficulty level. The simplest are "mix and bake" - the recipes that even novice bakers can easily make. The medium and advanced-level recipes require a little more time and effort for those seeking a bigger challenge.
The directions are clear and easy to follow, and the ingredients are listed in volume and weight, which is important in a pastry cookbook.
The recipes don't usually require ingredients you don't have (although some specialty cookware is required for, say, madeleines), and some substitutions are offered (like the option to use a store-bought pie crust).
There are french and southern classics, unique showstoppers, unfussy, everyday desserts, breads, and cookies. We tried some of its recipes, like One-Bowl Blueberry Buckle and the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies, and they all came out perfectly.
In Life Is What You Bake It, Vallery thoughtfully and meticulously weaves her life’s greatest triumphs and greatest misfortunes to provide beautifully arranged baking recipes to allow even the novice at-home pastry chef to create professional works of delicious art to share with friends and family.
Vallery's "when life gives you lemons, make lemon curd" philosophy will empower legions of bakers and fans to find their inner warrior and bake their best life.