Wait! Don’t run! We’re not talking about Aunt Patty’s brick-in-a-box.
Here’s a stunner of a book by Jason Schreiber. He’s a favorite food stylist of Martha Stewart (she wrote the foreword).
It’s not the cookbook you might imagine. The book could just have easily been called Fruit with Cake, or Cake and Fruit, or even Rad Fruitcakes (note that fruitcake and fruit cake are both accepted spellings).
In the book, Jason shares 75 recipes he’s created for fruited cake delights that are beautifully imaginative and wildly tempting.
You won’t find anything usual or expected in Fruit Cake; every recipe is new, exciting, and something most of us would never have thought of.
Divided into six chapters, each contains a multitude of answers to specific baking fancies and desires, depending on your mood, your stomach’s mood, or your desire to impress.
Do you want a snack now, no waiting? Chapter 1, “Constant Cravings” has little delights that are simple to make: Hazelnut Plum Snacking Cake, Raspberry Tea Cake, Banana Tiramisu…
They all are “fruit with cake,” and all perfect for an afternoon break.
No Forks Needed
Onward through the “Out of Hand” chapter: treats that need neither fork nor knife (our favorite: “Strawberry Tamales de Dulce,” sweet, gingery tamales with jam and cream).
The “Showstoppers” chapter presents an out-of-this-world world of roulades, multi-storey layer cakes, plus single layer dwellers like “Ume-Shiso Watermelon Frozen Yogurt Cake” made with dried and fresh red shiso leaves, and “Guava Crepe Cake.”
“All Rise,” applauds the heights of “Bourbon Peach Kugelhopf,” “Blood Orange Bee-Sting Cake” and their like. They make your kitchen pulsate to that aromatic yeasty beat.
Want a happier-than-ever-after ending? Find it in “Soaked.”
Big and boozy, be warned: In Jason’s own words, “some of these cakes pack a punch, so you might want to designate a driver to take you home.”
Or just stay home and drown yourself in “Flaming Figgy Pudding,” “Stout Cake,” or “Fig, Port, and Chocolate Cake,” for starters.
Yet the best treat in Fruit Cake is the person who conceived it.
Jason Schreiber’s voice is light but highly and accurately informative. It’s also friendly, clever, and often downright funny.
His introductory and final notes on basic techniques, kitchens, and tools are dead-on.
He gives you everything you need to become a professional-quality baker. Read, and you will be fully informed.
Sprinkled throughout are delightful reminiscences, nutty poems, and great little tips.
There’s glorious, unusual colorful photography with a retro vibe that manages to also be oddly “today.” It perfectly reflects the author’s approach to contemporary, imaginative baking, and thinking about baking.
Fruit Cake is a wildly wonderful keeper. Go stain those pristine pages!
Great for gifting, or for your own baking adventure, get the cookbook from your local bookstore or from Amazon.
Here are classic pairings for classic fruitcake—the ones with dried fruits, winter spices and alcohol.
Consider pairing them with other cakes-with-fruit, like those in the Fruit Cake cookbook.
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