Honey, I'm Homemade
by May R. Berenbaum
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Honey, I'm Homemade / 978-0-252-07744-9
I'm very fond of honey, and I particularly like to utilize it in baking, but I'm not especially proficient at "substituting" honey in recipes for other sweets. That's one reason why I'm glad to have read this cookbook - a good solid section is dedicated to the ways in which to substitute honey in traditional recipes without upsetting the balance of sweetness or moistness. The author, Berenbaum, writes smoothly and naturally about honey and her love affair with the sweet substance, and a good deal of the first part of this cookbook reads like a very interesting and informative study on honey and where it comes from.
I was a little disappointed, however, upon getting to the recipes themselves. The "sweet treats" provided here are almost all the standard "cookies, cakes, and breads" fare, and while the recipes all seem very nice and worthwhile (with some very interesting "heirloom" recipes and the history behind them sprinkled in), the "cookies, cakes, and breads" fields weren't exactly lacking in honey-inspired courses already. Most of all, I was disappointed to see that the cookbook has no pictures at all, and I'm afraid that after having experimented in the kitchen for years, I just no longer see the "point" in a picture-less cookbook - more often than not, it's too difficult to understand the instructional nuances without a finished picture to let you mentally backwards-engineer the preparation steps, and it's difficult to browse for recipes when you have to read each one thoroughly just to see what the end result might look like.
Overall, I think, if you have a desire to learn more about honey and how to naturally substitute it into recipes, there's a lot of helpful information here, along with some interesting (but picture-less) recipes. However, if you're just looking to satisfy a sweet tooth with some honey-inspired recipes, it might be more worthwhile to look for something with pictures that you can really browse through effectively.
NOTE: This review is based on a free Advance Review Copy of this book provided through NetGalley.
~ Ana Mardoll
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