"Every pastry has the potential of making someone perfectly happy, of momentarily stripping them of adult worries and baggage."
I know that's how I feel every time I bite into Gesine's espresso cheesecake. It's one of 18 recipes included in her book, Confections of a Closet Master Baker. I can't wait to bake them all. Each recipe is lovingly introduced like this one. Her grandmother in Europe used to save used coffee grounds for cakes. That inspired Gesine's espresso cheesecake with its base developed by her mom.
Gesine's mission in life is pastry. That was always the case but it took law school and a successful career as a Hollywood executive for Gesine to realize her true calling.
"When I baked, the gentle sweetness and soft spunge of a well-made sticky bun soothed my growing bitterness at God and humanity."
She threw in the towel (and monetary dough) for a sweet life in Vermont and opened her own bakery in Montpelier.
Her life's journey is woven around food and family. Gesine is brutally honest that owning a bakery isn't a piece of cake. It's a long day starting at four in the morning. Her advice to any home baker considering this journey is, "Don't do it!."
"I'll tell the home bakers with big pastry dreams, that it is possible. It may kill you, strip you of your sanity and finances, but it can also be rewarding."
Gesine's story rang true for me which is why I enjoyed it so much. My partner was a Hollywood executive who worked twenty years with Michael Ovitz at Creative Artists Agency. He had enough of Hollywood and moved to Kauai where he happily bakes with me.
This is a book for closet bakers everywhere. It's a sweet tale of pastry, homemade goodness, and finding your life's passion. The recipes and story of a day in Gesine's bakery will have you in the kitchen before the last chapter.
"Please take this little pastry. It embodies my goodness and kindness together as one tasty treat."
What secret desire is simmering in your closet?
Rob's Grade: 4/5
Author's Website: Click here.
I made Gesine's Espresso Cheesecake. Click here for my review.
Confections of a Closet Master Baker by Gesine Bullock-Prado. Copyright 2009. Broadway Books. ISBN 9780767932684.
(FTC Note: I purchased my copy, and the one for my giveaway, from Barnes and Noble on-line).