Never underestimate the power of cake. Or perhaps more accurately, the process of baking one. Novelist Marian Keyes discovered this while in the midst of a crushing depression and hasn't stopped baking since. The glitter-topped, rainbow-tinted, frosting-filled baked treats that came from this time in her life are the absolute opposite of depressed — they are joyful, full of life, and just plain fun.
• Who wrote it: Marian Keyes
• Who published it: Plume
• Number of recipes: Over 80
• Recipes for right now: Rhubarb Crumble, Simple Chocolate Mousse, Sweet and Simple Strawberry Cupcakes, Carrot Cake Cupcakes, Lavender and White Chocolate Cheesecake, Fridge-Set Honeycomb Cheesecake, Green Tea Panna Cotta, Lemon Curd and Pistachio Pinwheels,
• Other highlights: When she talks about how baking saved her life from depression, Marian Keyes says, "Baking makes me focus on what's right in front of my nose. I have to focus. On weighing the sugar. On sieving the flour...You start off with disparate stuff, like butter and eggs, and what you end up with is so totally different."
I haven't had the kind of depression that Marian has had, but I understand this statement completely. How often have we come in from a bad day or surfaced from a truly rough time in our lives, and found that what brought joy back into the picture was the simple process of being in the kitchen? Not to even eat, necessarily, but just to make something good. That's what this book is about.
And it's also about sprinkles! And color! And playing with frosting, taking a chance with some edible glitter and a pastry bag. If the baking process brings focus, it's decorating the baked goods that brings smiles.
I found this book totally engaging, partly because of the story behind it but also because of these fun recipes. Marian isn't a master pastry chef and her aim isn't perfection. This makes these recipes feel approachable and doable in a way that many other books don't.
• Who would enjoy this book? Anyone who loves to bake or thinks they might love to bake if given a whisk and some butter.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Saved By Cake: Over 80 Ways to Bake Yourself Happy by Marian Keyes
• Visit the author's website: Marian Keyes
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.
(Images: Emma Christensen)