A Baker’s Passport Book Review – A Delicious Around the World Culinary Adventure (Recipes)

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A Baker’s Passport, from author Susie Norris brings the world of international flavors, culinary treats, and delectable delicacies to reader’s everywhere reintroducing the well-known, sublime, undiscovered and cherished indulgences to home cooks everywhere.

Norris, the award-winning culinary travel blog writer behind the acclaimed Food Market Gypsy, takes her life’s pursuit on the road chronicling her travels as she explores hidden treasures from all four corners of the globe.


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A Baker's Passport begins with "Quick Bread Viennoiserie and Yeast Loaves," "International Appetizers," "Dinners, Baked Main Courses and Savory Pies," "Vegetarian Dishes," "Sweet American Pies," "European Tarts and Custard Desserts," "International Classic Cakes," "International Classic Cookies," "Basic Recipes, Sauces and A Few Wild Things." She also includes an introduction that provides the home-schooled home chef with "Techniques, Tips and Baking Equipment" and ends with a "Shopping Guide and Indexes."

For those who prefer to live the exotic life and follow in her footsteps, at least to some parts, she provides exact locations to find the perfect, savory, sweet, bitter, salty, and sour treats the world has to offer.

At 245 pages, The Baker’s Passport is filled with mouth watering and tantalizing pictures of deep rich chocolates, perfect pink flushed raspberries, flaky phyllo dough peach popovers,  golden brown sautéed Baked Crab Cakes and to toast our culinary adventure a flute of champagne and the dense chocolate sponge cake with chocolate glacage, the official Sacher Torte from Hotel Sacher in Vienna Austria.


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A Baker's Passport is evidenced of a well traveled connoisseur of the delicious, delectable, delightful, the unknown, the traditional, the unusual, the avant-garde, the excellent, and oh so tasty global treats. 

Celebrate the Holidays with Savory and Sweet Dishes from Around the World

The holiday season is all about family and friends gathering together around the dining table.  Nothing says celebration like a recipe that was baked with love. Baking is an international language, an art form, and for some, a calling. The term applies to everything that comes out of the oven: soufflés, meat and poultry, cakes, sweet and savory pies, breads, and of course cookies. 

Food writer, pastry chef and educator, Susie Norris wants to help home cooks celebrate the holidays with home-baked meals and mood-lifting sweets from around the world.  In her new cookbook, A Baker’s Passport (Amazon/2019), Susie shares over 200 technique-driven recipes culled from her global travels and her award-winning blog, Food Market Gypsy, designed to inspire home cooks as well as experienced chefs.

“I’m a lifelong, culinary road-tripper traveling through the world’s great food towns and traditions to explore what is baking where. This book visits beautiful countries with artisan baking traditions,” says Norris. “By exploring recipes in their regions, we help keep those traditions alive and relevant.”


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A Baker's Passport presents recipes with easy-to-follow steps and measurements. The photography is beautifully simple and highlights the detail of each dish, often with travel photos from its region. Recipes include sweet and savory favorites perfect for the holidays such as:

-    Beef Wellington 
-    Black Forrest Cake 
-    Cranberry Loaf
-    Gourgeres
-    Macarons
-    New England Turkey Dinner
-    Oyster Stuffing
-    Popovers
-    Prime Rib Roast
-    Shaker Lemon Pie
-    Speculoos
-    Sticky Toffee Pudding with Whiskey Sauce 
-    Sweet Potatoes with Agave & Pecan Crust
-    Yule Log (Boche de Noel)

Throughout the pages of A Baker’s Passport Norris, teaches techniques for classic baked dishes and explores heirloom recipes, and the context of their origins. 

“My goal is to bring the joy of regional baking home. Take an international culinary excursion without leaving your kitchen with A Baker’s Passport and taste the world! With this book as your passport, we’ll celebrate the holidays together.”


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About the Author
Susie Norris is a pastry chef, culinary educator, and food-focused traveler. She taught baking and pastry arts at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in California where she also ran an artisan chocolate business for more than a decade. In 2015, she grabbed her passport and set off to discover culinary classics in their native cultures.  FoodMarketGypsy.com was launched to document her travels to baking capitals and culinary hot spots. Within a year the blog won the International Association of Culinary Professionals’ Digital Media Award. A Baker's Passport is a collection of her most-requested recipes from the blog.

Susie’s work has appeared in/on The Food Network, KTLA Morning News, NBC’s syndicated television show Daytime, The New York Times, The Times London, The Washington Times, and more. She is based in Los Angeles with roots in Kentucky bourbon country and the farm-to-table culture of the Berkshires of Massachusetts. She is the author of Chocolate Bliss (Random House/Celestial Arts, 2008), and Hand-Crafted Candy Bars (with Susan Heeger, Chronicle Books, 2013).  Susie is known for her lively baking classes, road-trip tours of farmers’ markets and urban food halls, and workshops highlighting pairings of chocolate and craft spirits.  Visit her at www.FoodMarketGypsy.com

 

The Hot Brown from Louisville, KENTUCKY
Yield: 4–6 servings
Level: Easy

The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky created this comfort-food classic in 1926. Head Chef Fred K. Schmidt knew a thing or two about the roaring 20s, when people danced all night and came in eager for a midnight breakfast. Determined to offer them more than a plate of bacon and eggs, he created a heavy, tasty, open-faced sandwich with turkey and bacon covered in an extra-cheesy Béchamel sauce. The Brown Hotel, still resplendent in its 1920s decor, serves the Hot Brown proudly, whether morning, noon, or midnight. This dish anchors a burgeoning culinary scene in my home state, which includes the resurgence of bourbon production and artisan meats along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, a route of distilleries and tasting rooms.

Equipment: medium-size shallow baking dish, medium saucepan
Time: 1–2 hours

1 pound (16 ounces) boneless turkey breast, cooked and thickly sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, halved
8 slices Texas toast (or bread slices of choice)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
½ cup (4 ounces) chicken broth
½ cup (4 ounces) grated Pecorino-Romano cheese
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Pinch of paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
8 slices bacon, cooked
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 

Preheat the oven to 300°F. 

Arrange slices of turkey layered with the tomatoes in a medium-size shallow baking dish and set aside. 

Prepare the Texas toast by removing the bread crusts, toasting, and cutting in half diagonally. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter and flour with a whisk to form a roux. 

Cook for 2–3 minutes, until the starchy flavor has cooked out. Add the cream slowly, whisking constantly until incorporated, and add the chicken broth. 

Lower the heat and add half of the cheese, nutmeg, paprika, salt, and pepper, and switch to a spatula or wooden spoon and stir. Season to taste. 

Pour the sauce over the turkey and tomatoes. Bake about 20 minutes, until thoroughly warm. Sprinkle the remaining half of cheese over the dish and place under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until the cheese starts to bubble and turn brown. 

Remove from the broiler, add the toast points along the edges of the dish with tips pointing up, add the slices of bacon on top, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

Chocolate Pots de Crème FROM Chantilly, FRANCE
Yield: 4–6 servings
Level: Medium

This is the quintessence of the simple and important French dessert. As chocolate slowly swept through the European aristocracy in the 1700s, elegant pots of cream—some for drinking, some for holding little dessert custards —became a feature of a well-laid table, along with English silver and thin Chinese plates. Today, you can find antique sets of these lidded vessels in vintage shops or from fine porcelain purveyors. The favorite filling, a dark chocolate baked custard, became part of classic French cuisine. Today, chefs serve it in individual ramekins for dessert. Who doesn’t become child-like and content at the sight of your very own little dish of smooth, chilled, dark chocolate custard? It’s topped with a dollop of Chantilly Cream, created in the aristocratic town of Chantilly. 

Equipment: medium bowl, small saucepan, ramekins or 1 (9-inch) cake pan, deep baking dish
Time: 1 hour (plus 2 hours for chilling)

For the Pots de Crème:
4 ounces dark chocolate, melted
1 egg
2 egg yolks
¼ cup (2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk
½ cup (4 ounces) heavy cream 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt

For the Chantilly Cream:
1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream 
3 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 300°F. 

Place the melted chocolate in a medium bowl, then add the egg, egg yolks, and sugar and whisk together; set aside. 

In a small saucepan, heat the milk, cream, vanilla, and salt together over medium heat and bring to a simmer (also known as “scalding”) with bubbles along the edges of the liquid. Pour a small amount (about ½ cup) into the chocolate mixture and stir. Continue to add the milk mixture slowly to the chocolate mixture, stirring constantly until all of the milk mixture is incorporated. 

Using a ladle or large spoon, divide the batter into 4–6 (3-inch-wide) ramekins. Place the ramekins in a deep baking dish filled with 2 inches of water. Bake for about 30–35 minutes until the sides of the custard are firm and the interiors are slightly fluid in the center. 

Remove the ramekins from the water bath and cool completely. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. 

Meanwhile, prepare the Chantilly Cream. Combine the cream, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat to full volume, about 2–3 minutes. 

Top the custards with Chantilly Cream. Serve on a plate with cookies and berries.

 

Recipe may be reprinted with the following credit: Recipe and photo reprinted with permission from A Baker’s Passport by Susie Norris Amazon/February 2019. Portions of this article are provided by third party sources.

Articles, photos, recipes protected by copyright. ©

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