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All-Purpose Baking with The King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion

Contributed by: Chris WebAdmin. of

Anyone from a beginning baker to the most experienced will get full use of The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. With over 600 pages of content, complete with colour photos and hand draw illustrations, it truly is a must have in any kitchen.

The King Arthur Flour Bakers Companion
Written by the bakers at King Arthur Flour, and who would know better, every aspect of the baking process is described in clear easy to understand language. Solid information and 450 recipes give you everything you need to become a true baker.

Ingredients, tools measuring techniques, even altitude are covered to ensure that none of their "fool-proof" recipes can go wrong. Truly if you can do it with flour, it is covered in this book.

The recipes are varied from the standards (like Basic Scones or Fruit Pie) to unique ideas (like Portable Pizza!) and even regional favourites (like Cassata or Kringle). All come complete with detailed instructions for every step of the process and even nutritional information.

Particularly fascinating and in my humble opinion valuable, where the shaded notes throughout the book with Tips, Suggestions, Cautions or Ideas for the various recipes. Everything from making your own Vanilla Extract to ideas on how to more easily fit bread baking into your day.

Truthfully I was hard pressed to choose just one recipe to include with this review, they were all so tempting. If you like the smell of baked goods, if you were too intimidated to try baking before, if you can never have enough foolproof baking recipes, this is the book for you.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

The rich flavor of cheesecake melds beautifully with the color and sweet, hearty taste of pumpkin. To make this cake even more indulgent, we've added a spicy gingersnap crust.


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (6 3/4 ounces) gingersnap crumbs
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional, if the snaps aren't strong flavored)
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) brown sugar

Cheese Filling

  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) cornstarch
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • Pinch of allspice

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

For The Crust:

Use a food processor or blender to blend together the butter, gingersnaps, ginger and sugar until the mixture is evenly crumbly. Press the crumbs into the bottom and about 1/2 inch up the side of a 9" springform pan.

Bake the crust for 16 to 18 minutes, just until it's set. Set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F.

For The Filling:

Using an electric mixer set on low speed, beat the cream cheese until it's soft and no lumps remain. Add the sugar, salt and cornstarch and mix until well blended. Beat in the 4 eggs one at a time, being sure the mixture is smooth and scraping the bottom of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and the heavy cream, stirring just until the mixture is smooth.

Remove 1 cup of batter from the bowl and combine it with the pumpkin puree, 1 egg, and spices.

Pour the vanilla cheesecake batter into the cooled crust. Drop tablespoonfuls of the pumpkin batter over the vanilla batter. Use a knife to swirl the pumpkin through the batter.

Bake the cake at 325 F for 40 to 55 minutes. The internal temperature when measured an inch from the outside edge should be 165 F or above, and the middle should jiggle. Turn off the oven, open the door slightly and let the cheesecake cool slowly for 1 hour in the turned-off oven. Remove it from the oven, run a knife around the top edge of the pan to free the cake (so it can contract as it cools), then refrigerate overnight. Top with cinnamon-flavored whipped cream, if desired.

Per Serving (1 138g slice):

432 cal, 29g fat, 7g protein, 24g complex carbohydrates, 24g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 147mg cholesterol, 307mg sodium, 321mg potassium, 499RE vitamin A, 2mg vitamin C, 1mg iron, 71mg calcium, 108mg phosphorus

About the Author:
Chris Sadler is Owner and WebAdmin of The Recipes Database. Become a member to recieve the weekly newsletter alert:
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