Bake the Book: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Bake the Book: Baking Out Loud (courtesy of Serious Eats, September 10, 2012)

Are you a bold baker? One who doesn’t shy away from flavor and uses their technical skills to enliven and elevate their creations? Then you’ll be pleased with Baking out Loud, the latest book from James Beard nominee and pastry chef of Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, Hedy Goldsmith.

The theme here is confidently simple. The recipes feel (and often are) pared down to the essential components of flavor, texture and enjoyment. But once made, the desserts themselves often taste like more than the sum of their parts. Goldsmith has eschewed fancy or fussy in favor of delicious, and it’s a smart move. For example, in our first feature choice, lemon ricotta pancakes, she devotes a step to rubbing the lemon zest and sugar together, creating a lemon sugar that serves as the flavorful base for a delicious breakfast. Clever tricks like these can be found all over the book, which serve as both smart shortcuts and inspiration. For example, lemon sugar makes a perfect tea sweetener.

While her oven-baked treats are sure to find their way into your list of favorites, the chapter devoted to frozen treats really shines. A recipe for buttered popcorn gelato is a great example. There’s also licorice gelato, for those with different tastes.

Every arena of dessert is covered here, from popcorn bark to bacon praline. For any simple dessert with serious flavor, Baking out Loud is a great guide. We’ll be kicking off this feature with lemon ricotta pancakes, and juxtaposing that with a ridiculously rich yet easy-to-make bourbon chocolate tart.