Cookbook Review: Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson

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If you’re not familiar with Joy Wilson, the talented writer, photographer and self taught baker extraordinaire otherwise known as Joy the Baker, then you’re in for a treat when you check out her blog of the same name. Featuring beautifully photographed, decadent and imaginative desserts, beverages and savory tastiness, you can’t help but feel…well, joy when you read her words and take the culinary journey with her.

Her first book, Joy the Baker Cookbook which I reviewed here, has been thus far, my favorite cookbook ever. Filled with 100 recipes from the classics, to the new, fun and imaginative, it’s one of those books you want to make every single recipe from. My personal favorite is the bourbon banana bread. Fab.

With her newest cookbook, Homemade Decadence, Joy spreads her creative wings, beginning with an exhaustive brunch section which includes doughnuts, scones, breakfast rolls, dark chocolate croissants, blueberry pancake muffins, breakfast nachos and an inventive breakfast sandwich of braised kale and egg. There’s a variety of homemade toast spreads and a variety of cocktails to accompany it all. A maple bacon syrup and a quick and easy homemade vanilla quick jam tops your Lemon Poppyseed pancakes and all the rest deliciously.

Joy credits her parents with the inspiration behind her passion for baking. She cites her father with giving her the pie gene, and her mother, the cake gene. Working out of a small apartment with what she describes as an oven so small, it requires specially sized cookie sheets, Wilson’s emphasis in this book is on the ability of the home cook/baker to feel confident with the outcome of their culinary efforts no matter the size or bells and whistles of the home kitchen. She lets us know that passion and fresh ingredients are all you need to delve into the pursuit of deliciousness. Her enthusiasm is infectious and the results both whimsical and scrumptious. You feel like you’re in the kitchen baking cookies with your best girlfriend.

Check out the recipe that graces the cover; chocolate peanut butter pretzel cake. It’s a salty,sweet marriage made in heaven. Standouts in the savory category include a french onion quiche and a breakfast grilled cheese made with brioche, brie, ham and cherry jam. I loved the bourbon banana bread so much, I can’t wait to try the banana biscotti dipped in chocolate.

There’s something for everybody’s taste and culinary skill level here, and as the title suggests, it’s a compendium of “irresistibly sweet, salty, gooey, sticky, fluffy, creamy crunchy treats” that you’ll return to again and again.

Be sure to also check out Joy the Baker’s Homefries podcast, as well as her original web series Bonkers Awesome.  And also, I’m free for brunch anytime. Call me.

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