In the Sweet Kitchen

In the Sweet Kitchen

The Definitive Guide to the Baker's Pantry

Book - 2000
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Random House, Inc.
Regan Daley's first encounter with a vanilla bean was an epiphany. The heady aroma was intoxicating and the bottled stuff she was used to paled in comparison. Why had she never noticed the considerable gap between these two forms of the same ingredient? Naturally, a crème anglaise made with vanilla extract could not compare to one infused with the dark seeds of a fat, sticky bean.

Regan shows us that anyone, from complete culinary virgins to accomplished dessert-makers, anyone can make a fantastic dessert. The secret is in the ingredients. Her more than 140 original recipes, straightforward enough for any home baker to prepare, focusing on simple techniques with an emphasis on high-quality ingredients, range from the awfully impressive, Guava Cheesecake or Quince and Brioche Bread Pudding with Dried Sour Cherries, to the familiar, Really, REALLY Fudgey Brownies or World's Sexiest Sundae.

For experts, this book will serve as a comprehensive, professional-quality reference of ingredients from basic to rare and an incredible collection of unique flavourings. For the novice, it's a practical and palatable guide to the once mysterious art of baking.

Publisher: Toronto : Random House Canada, 2000
ISBN: 9780679309741
Characteristics: xii, 692 p., [16] p. of plates : col. ill. ; 24 cm


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ksoles Jan 29, 2013

"In The Sweet Kitchen" begins as an impressive 300-page reference guide to baking. Pastry chef Regan Daley discusses the tools of the trade and provides extensive information on ingredients: specific varieties of flours, sugars, fats, dairy products, fruits, and more. She includes helpful troubleshooting advice and, finally, she offers ingredient substitution suggestions and provides a flavour pairing chart. Such detail makes Daley's book rank among the most comprehensive on home dessert cooking.

Then come the individual recipes, everything from cakes to pies to custards and beyond. These recipes extend far beyond the basic: instead of carrot cake, she features a parsnip cake. She includes not an ordinary pound cake but one with almonds, amaretto and apricots, which I have made for multiple birthdays, family gatherings and weddings (including my own!). Daley's formulae are not for the faint of heart; butter and sugar abound so give the book a miss if you're looking for a light dessert. Also, not every recipe includes a photograph, which many find disappointing. But, ultimately Daley produces star quality sweets and her book deserves a place on every adventurous cook's bookshelf.

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