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On the second day of the 12 Days of Cookbooks, I give you Baking for All Occasions.

December 27, 2008.

That’s the day that I purchased Flo Braker’s brilliant baking book.

I pretty much worship at the altar of Flo Braker, who is a stunningly accomplished baker, teacher and food author.

This book was published in 2008 and I’ve owned it for almost a year, but I only started baking from it about a month or so ago.

If there is a baker in your life that you know and love, then be nice and go buy a copy of this book and put it under the tree for him or her.

Stunning, all the way around, this is what I call a serious baking book in that it starts by giving the reader a strong foundation in baking and then builds on the foundation with block after block of worthwhile recipes.

The Baking Primer is full of important information and tips. As I tell all budding bakers, read the section because the author has put it there for a reason.

The Baking Primer is followed by dazzling recipes that range from timeless classics to more modern renditions of what sweet teeth want to eat.

I love it from cover to cover.

Some of the recipes can be time-consuming, but as I mentioned above, this is a book for people who love to bake. The instructions are detailed, but never confusing. I think my favourite part is the names of the recipes like “Be My Valentine” Heartwiches or Sunshine Orange Semifreddo.

Love.

I’ve made a couple of recipes recently, both of which were winners in every sense. For starters, I made the Eggnog Pound Cake with Crystal Rum Glaze.

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I wish I could actually tell you that I tasted it myself but I did not. Before I could barely finish taking the lid off the cake container it was completely gone.

Every. Single. Crumb.

Judging by the smiles from all those that ate it, I’m guessing it was pretty good. The cake uses store-bought eggnog so it’s definitely an opportunity to splurge on some really top-notch eggnog, but evidently it’s also well worth it.

The other recipe I tried was Peanut Butter Crunch Cake, Squared.

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Now this one I actually managed to eat and my goodness it was perfect. The cake base is a buttermilk cake that is just divine. The cake is layered with the most delicous peanut butter and white chocolate ganache and the whole creation is topped with my new favourite thing in the world: peanut butter crunch made with salted peanuts and sesame seeds.

Hands down, this is a tremendous cookbook and I consider myself lucky to own it. Thank you, Flo Braker.

Now go make the baker in your life happy and give him or her this book for Christmas!

Ciao!