The Spectacular Joanne Chang And Her Spectacular New Cookbook

Cupcakes I made at Flour

Last Wednesday night I attended the launch party for Joanne Chang's new cookbook Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe.  As a former pastry cook at Flour, I know Joanne and many of her recipes quite well, and I was very excited to get my hands on a copy of the cookbook so I could make the incredible pastries and desserts I used to make at Flour at home.

The Party

After work on Wednesday, Alicia, Michelle, and I met for a cocktail at Cuchi Cuchi and then walked down the street to Flour (Cambridge location). The crowd inside the small bakery was astounding. Clearly, Joanne has many friends and supporters.

The folks from Central Bottle (located right next door) were there pouring glasses of wine for those in attendance, and the whole space was just filled with Flour favorites like sticky buns, chocolate hazelnut dacquoise, lamb sandwiches, and mini tartlets. I apologize for the lack of pictures. I got distracted running around saying hi to old friends and co-workers. Please check out Alicia's blog and Michelle's blog for the spread.

I bought my books and waited in line to chat with Joanne and get them signed. It was so great to be back in the Flour atmosphere for a little bit and to catch up with Joanne!

Me with Joanne at the launch party

The Cookbook

From the start, I was looking forward to seeing this cookbook because I knew that Chronicle Books was publishing it. Chronicle always produces some of the most gorgeous, well-laid-out cookbooks I have ever seen. I just knew the Flour cookbook would be beautiful!

The decorative font that runs throughout the pages of the book is the same font used on the menu chalkboards and other decor at all of the Flour locations. It's a font I associate with Flour.

The pictures are gorgeous and look exactly like what you'd see if you walked into Flour. Many of my favorites are in there like the dacquoise, the chocolate cupcakes, and the lemon raspberry cake. Jeff was happy to see the blueberry muffins in there (look at the end of the raspberry muffin recipe) because those are his favorite.

Dacquoise I finished at Flour

I can't tell you how shocking it was to look at the sticky bun recipe and see that it yields only eight sticky buns. My record in one go at Flour was more than 200! I know Joanne worked really hard to make all of these recipes accessible to home bakers. I'm relieved I won't have my counter covered with hundreds of sticky buns when I attempt to make them at home.

Sticky buns I made at Flour

I haven't made anything from the book yet, so I promise you a better review once I start baking from it. In the meantime, if you have the cookbook and are wondering what recipes to start with, I can definitely offer suggestions. If you don't have the cookbook, you can buy it here or go see Joanne at one of her upcoming events and purchase the book there.

Upcoming Events

Joanne is doing a ton of book signings and demos, so if you're in the area, you'll have plenty of opportunities to catch up with her!

Pastry Demonstration & Book Signing
William-Sonoma, Copley
10/21, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
As with all Williams-Sonoma signings, you must buy the cookbook there to have it signed. (You can also buy it ahead at a Williams-Sonoma and bring your W-S receipt.

The Last Word: Pastry Chefs Take Center Stage
Boston University
10/28 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Cost: $40

Pastry Demonstration & Book Signing
Cambridge School of Culinary Arts
11/6, 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Cost: $40

Pastry Demonstration
Sofra Bakery
Join Joanne Chang and Maura Kilpatrick for as they bake and demo four different pastry dishes. Seats are limited.
11/7, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Cost: TBD

Holiday Baking and Book Signing with Joanne Chang
Boston Center for Adult Education
11/8, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Pastry Tasting & Book Signing
Barnes & Noble at Northeastern University
11/10, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Holiday Pastry Demonstration & Book Signing
William-Sonoma, Copley
11/10, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
As with all Williams-Sonoma signings, you must buy the cookbook there to have it signed. (You can also buy it ahead at a Williams-Sonoma and bring your W-S receipt.)

For the rest of the events, head to the Flour Web site.

If you have questions about Flour or any recipes in the book, ask away! I will always cherish the time I spent working there, and I'm so happy to have a whole book full of Flour recipes... and memories.