The Violet Bakery Cookbook – Claire Ptak – Square Peg
Violet is a bijou cake shop and café in Hackney, east London. The baking is done with simple ingredients including wholegrain flours, less refined sugars and the natural sweetness and muted colours of seasonal fruits. Everything is made in an open kitchen for people to see. Famed for its exquisite baked goods, Violet has become a destination.
Owner Claire Ptak uses her Californian sensibility to devise recipes that are both nourishing and indulgent. With real thought about taste and using the purest ingredients, she has created the most flavoursome iterations of classic cakes, as well as new treats for modern palates. Over 100 recipes include nourishing breakfasts, midday snacks,teatime treats, puddings to share, pantry preserves, and stylish celebration cakes.
I found this to be an interesting cookbook. It felt like a mix between healthy and indulgent, artistic and homey and basic.
The recipes are divided into morning, midday, afternoon, evening and party. Each section is then divided again into subgroups, such as cookies and bars, tea and loaf cakes and tart in the afternoon section. Most of the recipes are sweets or baked goods, but there are also a nice collection of quiches in the midday section.
There are some very interesting recipes in this book. Take the prune, oat and spelt scones or the chocolate oat agave cookies. I found that a number of the recipes would require a special trip to the shops, while others would be completely impractical for me, such as fig leaf ice cream. Other recipes were simpler and used basic ingredients, such as the chocolate sandwich cookies. But my favourite part of this book was the last two sections. The party collection of recipes are indulgent and delicious, and I liked the range of icing recipes included, such as coconut milk or loganberry icing. The very last section was also helpful. Entitled The Violet Pantry, it includes basics such as making vanilla extract, candied citrus peel and a range of jams.
The publishers provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Format: Hardcover, ebook. 272 pages. Colour photographs.