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Book of the Week: The Cook and Baker by Cherie Bevan and Tass Tauroa

September 14, 2015

BOW trio Cook & Baker 1509Why We Love It:

The Cook and Baker is a cookbook as cookbooks used to be – brimming with delicious and decadent delights that you and your family will love. The authors are behind one of Sydney’s most popular cafes; The Cook and Baker is a little eatery in Sydney’s eastern suburbs that has crowds flocking from far and wide to taste Tass and Cherie’s famous treats. Luckily you don’t have to; now you can bake their famous treats at home yourself.

Beautifully illustrated and with straightforward recipes, The Cook and Baker is a must-have addition to any food lover’s kitchen. What makes this cookbook truly stand out from the crowd is its emphasis on pure, old-fashioned pleasure. There’s not a food fad in sight – this is not the place for green smoothies, quinoa or kale salad.

On the other hand, sumptuous and indulgent food leads the way, even in the chapter sequence: Cakes; Sweet Tarts; Slices; Biscuits; Donuts and More (yes, that’s the name of a chapter!) But there’s plenty of savoury too – there’s a tantalising chapter on savoury tarts and pies and a gorgeous look at some easy-to-make traditional sandwiches.

Each recipe is accompanied by a beautiful photograph and features simple, readily available ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions. With a whole chapter each devoted to festive baking and confectionary, The Cook and Baker will make a great Christmas book too. It’s all perfect, crowd-pleasing party food.

Chapter 10 is a really useful section on base recipes – those baking basics that any home baker will want to master, such as vanilla crème anglaise, berry jam, passionfruit curd and in the savoury section, old-fashioned tomato sauce, caramelised onion and easy pizza dough.

Tassie Turoa and Cherie Bevan are originally from New Zealand. Cherie (the Cook) grew up inspired by a mother and grandmother who were fabulous home bakers. For decades she has run landmark deli cafés in Sydney, while Tass (the Baker) spent his formative cooking years in the New Zealand Royal Navy and then in London under Michelin-starred chef Bruno Loubet. Returning to Sydney, Tass worked at some of Sydney’s best restaurants before establishing The Cook and Baker with Cherie.

With stunning recipes that offer a new twist on old favourites – such as Hummingbird Cake, Chocolate Lamingtons, New Zealand Lolly Cake, Beef and Ale Pie, and Reuben Sandwiches – you can expect squeals of delight from your friends and family when you present them with these goodies. Only one problem – they’ll be queuing up outside your door, just as they do at The Cook and Baker café.

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