Chatting With Sarabeth Levine
As her fantastic cookbook hits bookshelves across the country, Sarabeth Levine takes time out to tell us what we will find once we turn its pages!
G.C - When did you decide that you wanted to write your cookbook and how long did it take?
S.L. - The book took about 3 years to complete. I have spent many years baking and have known that I would eventually write this book.
G.C. - What do you want readers to gain from it?
S.L. - My dream is that I will inspire my readers to bake. I want baking to be something they love to do and to do it often and well.
G.C - What is the first recipe a reader should have a stab at?
S.L. - The first recipe that I would like my readers to try is the Pumpkin Muffin. This muffin is not only delicious, but it is easy to make. It involves learning a basic technique that is used throughout the book; the process of creaming butter and sugar. It is important to read the tutorial that opens each chapter. This is their key to success.
G.C - Which are you favorite recipes?
S.L. - My favorite recipes to bake are in the first chapter, Morning Pastries. This chapter teaches the reader how to make layered (Puff Pastry, Croissant Dough and Danish Dough) doughs. These recipes become the foundation for croissants, Danish, babka, palmier and turnovers. I love working with dough. They are not difficult recipes, they are recipes that need resting time and planning ahead.
G.C. - Which recipes are a good starting point for the more experienced baker?
S.L. - For the more ambitious baker, I suggest the Lemon-Raspberry Cake on page 159. It involves the preparation of four different components (recipes) that when combined, give you a beautiful and delicious cake any baker would be proud of. It’s kind of my fantasy cake. I use this recipe for many of my 5–tier wedding cakes. Also, the home baker gets to decorate the cake with a pastry bag and tip. The crowning glory is a prized beautiful layer cake of your very own.
G.C. – Any business tips for the bakeshop owner of tomorrow?
S.L. - Building a business begins with a particular kind of mindset: love what you do, live it everyday, and always keep moving ahead. I never look back. If I make a mistake, and I have made a few along the way, I never dwell on it. I learn from it and keep the momentum going! Before you know it, 30 years will pass, and voila you have yourself an amazing enterprise.
G.C. – Now you have several business ventures, what’s next for you?
S.L - I really do not know what is next. Opportunities come our way and when they do, we evaluate all of them. I love the surprise aspect of a great business idea. I can’t say that I don’t think about what is next, because I do. When the idea presents its self, it has to excite me and I have to have this burning desire to make it happen. That has always been my modus operandi.
G.C – Final question can you offer some advice for the want-to-be baker?
S.L. - My advice to the baker of tomorrow is to begin with the classic techniques and recipes, and then, experiment. Tweak them, and make them your own, and taste, taste, taste.
Click here to pick up Sarabeth Levine’s delicious cookbook!