In anticipation of the various gatherings that occur around this time of year, we've pulled together five of our favorite cookbooks from recent months. Each day this week, CH will feature a different cookbook and a recipe, the sum of which will make up a complete holiday meal. Our final recipe: a sweet finish from "Bouchon Bakery."
From the boulangerie-style outpost in star chef Thomas Keller's restaurant empire, Bouchon Bakery, comes a self-titled cookbook. Filled with the recipes the chef has become known for including such classics like Oh Ohs, his take on Hostess Ho Hos, as well as traditional recipes from Keller's extensive French background like macarons. Perfect for the season are Bouchon's pumpkin muffins—on their own, they're delicious, but with Keller's typically sophisticated fondant shell transforming them into sugary little pumpkins, they're a baked autumnal masterpiece.
Keller's French pastry training comes through in the precision and detail of the cookbook's recipes, whose measurements are all calculated in both grams and cups. As pastry novices, we were intimidated by Keller's specificity at first, but as we started the recipe, we found the detail informative and reassuring. Efforts to follow the instructions carefully will be rewarded with a beautiful batch of nicely spongy, slightly sweet muffins. The ambitious baker can go on to attempt the book's challenging but beautiful fondant variation to truly wow their guests.
Images of the book by James Thorne