I love Cath of A Blithe Palate for many, many reasons, not the least of which being that every now and then, unto my life, she will bring joy in the form of a cookbook.

That’s what I call a fabulous virtual friend. Were I ever to meet her in person, I just might smother her with hugs. (Be forewarned, Cath. Be forewarned.)

Late in July, she contacted me to let me know that she, Stephanie of Dispensing Happiness (I’ll say!) and the fabulous folks at Cook the Books would be hosting another edition of The Edible Word, an event that celebrates delicious cookbooks.

The selection for this edition is a book called Confections of a Closet Master Baker: One Woman’s Sweet Journey from Unhappy Hollywood Executive to Contented Country Bakerby Gesine Bullock-Prado.

Now if there something about that name that seems slightly familiar, it should. The Bullock part is Bullock as in Sandra Bullock. As it turns out, her younger sister Gesine, a lawyer and Hollywood executive, nursed a secret passion for baking until one day, tired of her L.A. life, she decides it’s time to downsize in the truest sense of the word. She downsizes all the way to Vermont where she opens her own bakery.

I know. You think you’ve heard it all before. Sounds like the script for a Hollywood movie starring some starlet who hasn’t eaten in 11 years much less baked.

People, trust the Cream Puff.

This is a good book. It’s a good book because Ms. Bullock-Prado is honest, often brutally so. She doesn’t sugarcoat (pardon the pun) her old life, or her new one for that matter. She offers full disclosure when it comes to the rigours of operating your own bakery, and believe me there are rigours.

Yes, there is the pleasure of being your own boss. Yes, there is the pleasure of spending ridiculous hours doing something you love.

But it’s still damn hard.

Ms. Bullock-Prado is honest, funny and real, as in sometimes, her cakes come out lopsided too.

And the recipes, tucked in between each chapter like chocolate tucked into a croissant, are delicous to read so imagine how they taste.


I don’t have to imagine because I made two of them: Espresso Cheesecake and Apple Pie (made with a puff pastry crust).


Verdict: Even more delicious than Alexander Skarsgard.

When Cath explained the goal of this event, she indicated that we should talk about how the book inspired us.

I will be very blunt: this book just makes you wonder. Can I do it, too? Can I give up the fear and the worry and “buts” and “what ifs” and just go out there and do what I really really want to do?

Yes, I can. Yes, we all can!


I’m a bit late posting my piece for this event. You can read the round-ups on Cath’s blog here, here and here.

You can also read a review of the book at The Daring Kitchen.