I first got into baking because of a book. It’s not a cookbook. There are no recipes, no lush photographs of frosting or chocolate or perfectly glazed fruits. Nor is it nonfiction. A manifesto about how to eat or why we eat, it most certainly is not.
It’s a children’s book, The Worldwide Dessert Contest by Dan Elish, and it’s my favorite book of all time.
When it comes to baking, I tend to go a little overboard. I obsessively hoard and organize recipes (in Springpad, which is a lifesaver and even better than Evernote – that’s right I said it), usually for things I know I will never get around to making, but logic is not a hoarder’s strength, so I have recipes for things like croquembouche and ten-layer wedding cakes, just in case!, because you never know when someone’s going to ask you to bake a wedding cake on the fly, you know?
There is, however, one recipe that keeps me up at night. It’s the green light to my Gatsby, the white whale to my Captain Ahab, the Joker to my Batman, the one that got away.