One of Food52's most popular columnists and a New York Times bestselling author, top food stylist Erin Jeanne McDowell shares her baking secrets and the science behind them
When people see Erin McDowell frost a perfect layer cake, weave a lattice pie crust, or pull a rich loaf of brioche from the oven, they often act as though she's performed culinary magic. "I'm not a baker," they tell her. But in fact, expert baking is not at all unattainable, nor is it as inflexible as most people assume. The key to freedom is to understand the principles behind how ingredients interact and how classic methods work. Once these concepts are mastered, favorite recipes can be altered and personalized almost endlessly.
With the assurance born out of years of experience, McDowell shares insider tips and techniques that make desserts taste as good as they look. With recipes from flourless cocoa cookies and strawberry-filled popovers (easy), through apple cider pie and black-bottom crème brûlée (medium), to a statuesque layer cake crowned with caramelized popcorn (difficult), and "Why It Works," "Pro Tip," and make-ahead sidebars with each recipe, this exciting, carefully curated collection will appeal to beginning and experienced bakers alike.