It's been a little while since we last brought you a fantastic new cookbook review. We've just been over here in Toronto, storing up all of our culinary excitement for this fabulous new book by local author and former Associate Food Editor of Canadian Living, Daphna Rabinovitch. Go follow her on Instagram - stat! Our friend Natasha seemed like the perfect person to help us give it a food allergy custom-fitting, having formerly worked in PR at Whitecap, Daphna's publisher. Ever since attending the launch party for this title and seeing the incredible amount of effort Daphna put into baking for the event, Jo and I knew this book had to make it on our list.
The Baker In Me is a comprehensive guide to baking including technique, terms, and tons of helpful tips and advice. This is not a trendy book; it'll live on your shelf for years and you'll refer to it every time you need a trustworthy recipe. Actually it'll probably replace my copy of Better Homes and Gardens Cooking that's covered in oil splatters and my mom's hand-written notes. This will be my new staple book, soon to be covered in applesauce and cocoa powder and a smidge of sweat and tears.
We decided to make Double Trouble Chocolatey Chip Cookies, pg 78. They sounded just right for a Sunday afternoon with friends and great paired with a cup of tea (which we're never short on). The original recipe called for dairy ingredients (butter, chocolate, white chocolate) which we replaced with allergen-free ones. Earth Balance Organic Whipped Spread took the place of butter, and we used both Enjoy Life chocolate chunks and chocolate mini chips instead of two kind of chocolate chip. We did use egg however you can easily substitute with a quarter cup of applesauce and a quarter tsp of baking soda per egg in the recipe. That's my standard replacement for cookies and quick breads so long as the recipe calls for flour. For gluten-free recipes it becomes a little trickier.
Natasha began by mixing the dry ingredients together, taking a minute to smell the rich dark cocoa. I buy Rodelle because they take care to test for allergens on their production lines and kindly confirmed that for me when I contacted them a while back.
Next she beat the wet ingredients using a fork - because I don't own a mixer - and then folded in the dry along with both types of chocolate. The batter became so rich and fragrant at this point.
Jo couldn't resist snagging a few bites of raw dough because, really, who can?? The best part about baking is eating it all raw and licking the spoon. Somehow the whole raw egg thing doesn't seem to matter when it comes to cookie dough! And if you make yours egg-free then you can eat as much as you want!
We baked the cookies for 9 minutes at 350F until they were soft and chewy. Then we poured another mug of tea and snacked away. They were so fudgey and delicious, I'll definitely be making these again.
I think the thing I love most about this book is that it feels nostalgic even though it's new to me. Like an old friend it feels like I've had forever even though it's a recent addition to my shelf. And isn't that the best part about baking? It's meant to share with your friends and family, to make memories, and to bring people together.