So… speaking of bridal showers. I’m going to one next week. The bride-to-be isn’t an epicurean by any means but she does have an interest in cooking and baking. She’s registered for a gorgeous glass cake stand and some decorating bags and tips. Clearly, I had to buy these things for her but also wanted to pick up a few cookbooks to help her get her library started.
Giving cookbooks as part of a shower gift is something that I do often. It’s usually themed, like, a bartending book with a blender or a book on slow cooking to go with an enameled cast iron pan, for example.
For my friend with the interest in baking, I’d considered The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum and I’m Just Here for More Food by Alton Brown but decided they were a little too scientific for someone just starting out and maybe less refined than my friend’s tastes. Instead, I’ve purchased Baking with Julia by Julia Child and Nick Malgieri’s Perfect Cakes. (In the interest of full disclosure, I was looking for a Peter Reihart book to go along with one of these but didn’t find what I wanted at the small shop I was at). I’m not sure I would consider either of these books particularly epic but they are classic, quality, and not too intimidating, I think.
So, let me put it to you guys – what would you consider an essential for the cookbook library? Or maybe more specifically what would you get to help a beginner baker get started? What cook book or cooking references would you want all your friends to have?