I’m doing a bit of a guest post on my own blog! How funny is this? William is the cook book addict in the family so he normally reviews the cook books, and does a lot of the cooking, but I’m the baker in the family, so this one’s on me. I have this one favorite book, Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. It’s not your typical cook book, because it teaches you techniques to bake and cook, by using the principals of ratios. I love this because I learned to write my own recipes and have a deeper understanding of cooking and baking techniques. The subtitle of the book is quite true: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking.
I enjoy sharing recipes on the blog, and I love baking, but I was very hit or miss when I was creating the recipes. After reading ratio I can confidently say I totally understand the principals of baking. In Ratio, we learn how much flour/fat/sugar might go into a cake per say. Once you understand the basic ratios in cooking and baking, it’s easy to modify the recipes to suit your tastes. Michael does an amazing job of breaking the book into chapters so you can read the sections that interest you, and learn about specific topics in digestible chunks of information. If you like savory, there are pastas and sauces and if you like baking there are more sauces and cakes and pastries.
Another thing this book has helped be accomplish is reading a recipe to see if the technique and ingredient ratio is good and worth a try. It’s hard to explain but a good example is the chocolate sauce section. At the beginning of the chapter it clearly states Chocolate Sauce = 1 part chocolate + 1 part cream. Easy? Right? It’s pretty easy to write a chocolate sauce recipe to serve two or 10, or a big batch for gifts. Then you can look at the sauce and ask, do I want to add vanilla or cinnamon? Or both. It’s pretty easy to have a basic understanding of the base recipes and techniques, then make it your own. The whole book is filled with amazingness like this and has really helped me develop my technique.