Sugar Baby by Gesine Bullock-Prado

Sugar Baby is a comprehensive cookbook revolving around sugar. It all starts in the beginning with the first chapter 'A Brief History of the World (As It Pertains to Sugar)', and explores the world of sugar from there. It is written by Gesine Bullock-Prado and if the name sounds familiar, it probably is; she is Sandra Bullock's younger sister but she's famous in her own right. Bullock-Prado is the author of Bake It Like You Mean It and a guest instructor at King Arthur Flour.

Bullock-Prado cleverly divides the book and all the recipes by sugar stages, which makes the table of contents in and of itself a great reference:
  • Simple Dissolve to Thread Stage
    230°F - 235°F (110°C - 113°C) Sugar Concentration: 80%
  • Soft Ball Stage
    235°F - 240°F (113°C - 116°C) Sugar Concentration: 85%
  • Firm Ball Stage
    245°F - 250°F (118°C - 121°C) Sugar Concentration: 87%
  • Hard Ball Stage
    250°F - 265°F (121°C - 129°C) Sugar Concentration: 92%
  • Soft Crack Stage 
    270°F - 290°F (132°C - 143°C) Sugar Concentration: 95%
  • Hard Crack Stage (and Beyond)
    300°F - 310°F (149°C - 154°C) Sugar Concentration: 99%
The last chapter, Put It All Together, is a fun collection of recipes no home kitchen should be without, and should be savored. I laughed out loud when reading her describe Parisian macarons to people. Overall, an entertaining and sweet read.

Along with good, basic recipes. Her chocolate glaze recipe is used for a Sachertorte, and names it as such. But while it is looks perfect poured over the top of a traditional Sachertorte, don't let that stop you from incorporating this utilitarian glaze for other things as well. And I like spicy things. I don't order a Subway sandwich without extra jalapenos and extra pepperoncinis because otherwise I'm just eating just another boring turkey sandwich, and Bullock-Prado's ginger cookies have the right amount of kick to them. I'm adapting the recipe below for you to try. Use the best quality and spiciest crystallized ginger for best results, and don't skimp on the white pepper.

The Best Ginger Cookies Ever
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, no substitutions
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup sanding sugar, about, for coating the cookies
  1. Cream the butter, both sugars, and molasses until light. Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bottom well after each addition.
  2. Stir the dry ingredients together in a separate mixing bowl, and add in the mixed dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Do not over mix, and scrape the bottom well. Stir in the chopped crystallized ginger.
  3. Chill the cookie dough overnight, or several hours at least.
  4. Scoop the cookies out and dip in the sanding sugar to coat them, and evenly space them out on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on cookie size. They will look cracked. You want them soft in the middle, so don't over bake them.
  6. Transfer to a cooling rack and enjoy.

Book Information:

Disclosure: This book was provided by the publisher and any opinions are my own.


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