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Fearless Baking: Over 100 Recipes That Anyone Can Make

Fearless Baking: Over 100 Recipes That Anyone Can Make

4.0 1
by Elinor Klivans

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With recipes organized by technique and step-by-step instruction, Fearless Baking is the antidote to years of crumbly cookies, tasteless tarts, and burnt biscuits. If you're a first-time baker, you'll be amazed at the ease and speed with which you can turn out the same kinds of quality homemade treats you've envied in others' homes. If you're an


With recipes organized by technique and step-by-step instruction, Fearless Baking is the antidote to years of crumbly cookies, tasteless tarts, and burnt biscuits. If you're a first-time baker, you'll be amazed at the ease and speed with which you can turn out the same kinds of quality homemade treats you've envied in others' homes. If you're an experienced baker, you'll find focused instructions on each aspect of baking, and original fail-safe recipes that can broaden your repertoire.

Introductory chapters detail the basic ingredients used throughout the book, along with the appropriate pans and utensils. Each recipe begins with a helpful "Baking Answers" section to anticipate questions or problems and explain the baking ideas or techniques that the recipe introduces or emphasizes. In addition, the directions not only include tips for visual measurement but also often provide descriptive instructions for recognizing when a batter is properly mixed or an item is done.

Each chapter builds on skills and techniques that have been previously explained. Beginning with the simplest recipe (for Perfectly Easy Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Blondies) in "Just Stir and Bake," you progress to Glazed Fresh Raspberry Pie in "No-Roll Crusts with Simple Fillings," Butter Shortbread Cut-outs in "Mixing a Smooth Dough," and Deep South Pound Cake in "Mixing a Smooth Batter." Now go on to Cranberry Eggnog Cake with Bourbon Butter Frosting in "Putting the Frosting with the Cake," Apple and Hazelnut Macaroon Tart in "Rolled Crusts for Pies and Tarts," Orange Meringue Ice Cream Cake in "Whipping Eggs for Cakes and Meringues," and Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting in "Baking with Chocolate." Finally, wow family and friends with Aunt Elaine's Mocha Whipped Cream Shadow Cake from "Whipping Cream for Cakes, Pies, and Pastries," and the Pumpkin Pecan Praline Cheesecake from "Melting Sugar for Caramel and Praline."

This surefire guide to turning out delicious home-made treats should be on every baker's bookshelf.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
Are your cake pans gathering dust? Are you leery of turning the oven to Bake when flour and butter are involved? There are plenty of good cooks who feel that baking is beyond them, demanding a certain mix of patience, precision, and artistry that mere mortals do not possess. For this food group (and for experienced bakers looking for more good recipes), Elinor Klivans's cookbook is the answer.

Klivans assumes your baking knowledge is just about nil, and your baking confidence even lower. She understands that you don't know how to test for doneness and that you won't automatically know to bring butter to room temperature before mixing. By the end of the first real chapter, titled “Just Stir and Bake,” she'll have you turning out Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Brownies; Big, Easy Popovers; and Toasted Hazelnut Peach Crisp just by stirring ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon (and baking).

Subsequent chapters, again based on technique (“Mixing a Smooth Batter,” “Whipping Eggs for Cakes and Meringues,” for example), introduce Fifty-Fifty Crumb Buns, Pear and Gingerbread Upside-Down Cake, Chocolate Chiffon Cake, and Tiramisû Ice Cream Loaf, to name a few. The "Baking Answers" section of each recipe anticipates any questions and points out possible pitfalls. This step-by-step approach can make a few recipes seem much too long, but will nicely ease any baking-phobes into the fast lane.

Fearless Baking provides more than 100 recipes, many showcased with full-color photographs. Klivans also offers her thoughts on essential pantry ingredients, appropriate pans and utensils, and a basic baking glossary. (Ginger Curwen)

Publishers Weekly
Klivans, the no-nonsense author of, among others, 125 Cookies to Bake, Nibble and Savor, expertly provides recipes that will be easy for the most novice baker to follow but will also appeal to more experienced readers. Klivans has attempted to foresee and forestall any mistakes that could be made in following these recipes. In a recipe for Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Brownies, for example, she patiently explains how using chocolate chips rather than chopped milk chocolate will alter the results, and also mentions that they're cut smaller than might be expected because of their unusual richness. Background information on basic utensils and ingredients is very complete, and the recipes are extremely clear. In fact, if this book has one flaw, it's that Klivans occasionally provides so much information in the name of clarity that some recipes become quite lengthy. Each chapter is based around a technique: "Putting the Frosting with the Cake" includes Chocolate Texas Sheet Cake and Cranberry Eggnog Cake with Bourbon Butter Frosting. Savory dishes are included as well: Deep Dish Wild Mushroom Pie and Roasted Tomato, Basil and Parmesan Pie appear alongside Sticky Walnut Pie. Klivans understands that beginners may want to make more sophisticated treats than the traditional chocolate chip cookies (although Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies do appear), so she offers Tiramis? Ice Cream Loaf and Almond Crunch and Chocolate Confetti Chiffon Cake. 8 pages of color photos not seen by PW. (Sept.) Forecast: With Klivans's already significant following, and this book's adaptability to a wide range of skill levels, strong sales are likely. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Food writer Klivans here includes all sorts of baked goods, most sweet but a few savory, organized by technique and generally moving from simple to more complicated. The recipes are painstakingly detailed, and each one includes "Baking Answers," which deal with any questions beginners may have. Although some of the recipes are quick and easy, others call for long ingredients lists and a fair amount of time, and some are quite demanding, such as Coconut, Fig, and Pecan Cake, which includes both a cooked custard filling and a cooked frosting. Readers who want a collection of quick and easy desserts may prefer Lora Brody's Basic Baking (LJ 10/15/00) or Lauren Chatmen's Instant Gratification (LJ 5/15/00). More ambitious bakers, however, will welcome Klivans's book. For most baking collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.82(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.38(d)

Read an Excerpt

Introduction to Hummingbird Cake

My husband Jeff thinks that the purpose of cake is to hold cream cheese frosting, but even he admits that this moist banana, pineapple, and toasted pecan cake is good enough to serve without any frosting at all. The cake is a Southern specialty with a name that may suggest the sweet nectar that hummingbirds gather.

Copyright © 2001 by Elinor Klivans

Meet the Author

Elinor Klivans is an award-winning pastry chef trained in France and the United States. She is the author of several cookbooks, including Big Fat Cookies and Bake and Freeze Desserts, a Julia Child Cookbook Award nominee, and a coauthor of Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking. Based in Maine, Klivans is also a frequent guest on radio and television and has written for numerous national magazines.

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Fearless Baking: Over 100 Recipes That Anyone Can Make 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I got this book for Chrsitmas, and have been using it ever since then. the book is wonderful and there is only one recipe that has turned out badly. Everything else is wonderful!