The excitement in the test kitchen was palpable when we heard Shirley Corriher was coming out with another cookbook, BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking.

The recipes that have been saved by following the advice in her first book, CookWise, are innumerable. So when we heard she was putting together a baking book, we knew the salvation of many more recipes was at hand.

Shirley’s background as a chemist and her Southern charm make her books irresistible. There are many who try to explain the science behind cooking, but few who offer it in such plain language that even us cooks who failed chemistry can understand. And no other cooking-science books offer delicious recipes that you actually want to make over and over again. Blueberries with honey mascarpone cream in walnut-oat meringue anyone?

BakeWise is full of scientific explanations of various cooking methods, information on the chemical makeup of ingredients, and mathematical equations for spotting poorly written recipes, all conveyed in a lighthearted, conversational manner that makes you actually feel smarter, not intimidated.

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