the appetizer:

Bakewise by food scientist Shirley O. Corriher, explains the intricacies of baking, with recipes like Financiers; Straight Dough with Autolysis Baguettes; and Straight Dough with Autolysis Fougasse.

I Love Desserts


The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking

by Shirley O. Corriher

Click to Buy Bakewise


It's been more than a decade since CookWise became a must-have book for professional and home cooks alike. At long last, the ten year wait has produced a winner, with Shirley Corriher delivering the baking bible her audience clamored for. Bakewise is an accessible masterwork on the food science of baking that covers everything that comes out of the oven. A former research biochemist at Vanderbilt University Medical School, Shirley's solid science background combined with her incomparable down-to-earth charm and humor make her the food scientist of the people.

In Bakewise , Shirley—a gifted and experienced teacher—takes us through the hows and whys of everything she bakes, ensuring that cooks both learn and succeed as well as turn out something delicious to eat. Here are some examples of Shirley's foolproof advice-delivered with her trademark enthusiasm and can-do attitude:

  • On moist cakes: One of Shirley's secrets for magnificently moist, incredibly flavorful pound cakes—whipped cream—not whipping cream, but heavy cream that is whipped just past the soft peak stage and carefully folded into the batter. This makes cakes a taste sensation!
  • How to make the perfect brownie (aka The Brownie Chronicles): Cakey vs. fudgy is dependent on the flour/fat ratio: more flour—cakey; more fat—fudgy. The crust is created by beating the batter vigorously after the eggs are added (it's actually a meringue-like crust).
  • The secret to huge popovers: Everything hot—not just the pan and the oven, but the batter, too—will give you a fast explosion of steam for huge, crisp popovers. Extra egg whites create crispness.
  • Put your crumbly cookie past behind you: Shirley shows you how to get the exact texture that you want—strong enough to ship without losing a single cookie, but tender enough to be perfect to bite into.
  • Puff pastry extraordinaire: Learn Shirley's "brush-it-with-ice-water" technique to make the highest, flakiest puff pastry you have ever made.

Shirley is celebrated for her no-fail recipes, and Bakewise offers up 200 brand new ways to bake your way into bliss, including cakes (Tunnel of Fudge Cake), muffins (Sweet Pears and Crunchy Roasted Walnut Muffins), pastries (Pâté à Choux Somewhat Spéciale), pies and crusts (Butterscotch Meringue Pie), soufflés (Fresh Peach Soufflé à la Roland Mesnier), meringues (Crisp, Crunchy, Nutty Hazelnut-Almond Meringue Layers with Silky Crème Anglaise Coffee Buttercream), cookies and great breads (Rye Bread with Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds). Not to be outdone, her savory recipes (Great Shell with Fresh Crabmeat and Sweet Creamed Corn) will satisfy your craving for comfort. And—of course—there are all the important trappings: frostings and icings (Cherry Chambord Butter Icing) and ganaches (Shiny Ganache Glaze) and whipped cream and fillings.

Embrace the chill in the air and cozy up to the warm comfort of baking—and eating—the delicious offerings from Bakewise. Give yourself over to the teachings of Shirley and let her guide you to baking perfection.

About the Author

Shirley O. Corriher has a B.A. in chemistry from Vanderbilt University where she was also a biochemist at the medical school. She has consulted for food producers such as Procter & Gamble and Pillsbury, taught and lectured throughout the United States and abroad, and has written about food science for publications as wide ranging as Cook's Illustrated and the Journal of Biochemical Engineering. Her first book, CookWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking was a bestseller and won the James Beard Award for best food reference and technique book of 1997. From 2005-2007, Shirley was a top secret consultant on the last Joy of Cooking revision. She lives in Atlanta with her husband.

  • Bakewise
    The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking
  • by Shirley O. Corriher
  • Scribner 2008
  • 544 pages; $40.00
  • ISBN: 1416560785
  • Information provided by the publisher.

Buy Bakewise




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