Cozy Cookbook Sunday: Bravetart
A Cookbook Review
When I decided I wanted to get back into baking, I searched for a cookbook that I thought would have some treats that would be yummy and easy to make. I chose Bravetart because it had some good reviews and took aim at some of our favorite candies and cookies. I found that the one thing I loved about it was the history. It was satisfying to my need for learning to see how we came to make these cookies, cakes, pies, candies, etc.
I will say that the recipes were NOT easy. They are written by someone who went to culinary school so they tend to be over complicated for a home baker.
I have tackled two cakes, two frostings, and one cookie/cake. Here are the pros and cons of each:
White Cake with Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
Taste: 5 spatulas- This was incredibly delicious. The marshmallow buttercream frosting was the perfect compliment to the white cake. Making the frosting was another story.
Ease of directions: 2 spatulas- This is mostly due to the buttercream frosting. The marshmallow was a pain in the butt to make. I don’t think the cake was difficult. I would have liked a better description of what the marshmallow base should look like throughout the process. I do know some of it is operator error in terms of the thermometor.
Flavor: 5 spatulas-My marshmallow buttercream was more like a melted marshmallow spread all over a cake but that made the flavor come through more. The white cake was the perfect amount of sweetness. All together, everything blended well. It was a hit enough that no one minded my sticky frosting.
Would I make it again: Absolutely! I of course would change the way I did a few things and maybe work on rewriting the recipe to have more descriptions throughout the process.
Spiced Cake with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
Taste: 2.5 spatulas- This is completely operator error. I decided to remove the carrots without thinking about how much water they contribute to the recipe. The cake came out like bread with icing. The event I made it for said it was good but I beg to differ.
Ease of Directions: 4 spatulas- I did not have a problem making the cake or icing. As mentioned above, I do wish there was more description of what things should look like throughout the process.
Flavor: 3.5 spatulas- The icing definitely made this “cake” taste much better. The spiciness of the cake was spot on but it was dry. Since the dryness contributed to the loss of flavor in some aspects, it gets a lower rating.
Would I Make It Again: Eh, probably not. I would find a spiced cake recipe from somewhere else opposed to this one. The cream cheese buttercream frosting I would make it again. It was easy to make and delicious.
Snipdoodle (cake version of a Snickerdoodle cookie)
Taste: 5 spatulas- I love cinnamon sugar, so naturally, this cake could not not taste good to me. It had all of the right notes of the cookie but the fluffiness of a cake. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of coconut oil instead of using shortening. This helps to make the cake top have a more pronounced crinkle and fluffy thickness.
Ease of Directions: 3 spatulas- The directions are actually quite easy but I don’t like that I have to flip a page or two to get to the cake recipe. I have to flip back and forth between the Snickerdoodle recipe and the cake version since it is a variation. I understand why it is like that but I still don’t like it.
Flavor: 5 spatulas- The flavor was probably one of the best snickerdoodle tastes I've ever had. The coconut oil doesn't add anything flavor-wise, which I was worried about. It did make it creamier and flakier. I would like to try this recipe with the shortening, which is something I have never done before. I want to see if it makes a flavor difference and if it comes out just as crinckly and fluffy.
Would I Make It Again: Absolutely. I love snickerdoodles and the cake version was better than I expected. It was also easy to just add milk to the recipe for this quick change.
Cookbook Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Spatulas
Overall, I enjoyed the cookbook but some of the recipes are more difficult to make than I feel is necessary. It’s a beautiful cookbook with great history of where the cookies, cakes, pies, and candy orginated from and what some of the original ingredients are. As someone who is a anxious, perfectonist baker, I needed more details. I would still recommend it for your shelf as it does have great information about pantry staples and how to properly measure ingredients. Not to mention, it offers recipes on how to make some of our favorite candy and ice cream treats.
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Until next time,