A lasting legacy

pains de amande cookies

A few days ago we had to share the sad news that baking legend Flo Braker had passed away. The news shocked and saddened bakers worldwide. Today the newspaper that carried her longtime baking column, The San Francisco Chronicle, and its staff looked back at Flo's long and storied career with a baker's dozen of her best recipes. 

The recipe that cemented my admiration for Flo was the Miniature tartlet pastry from her book Sweet Miniatures. It's a simple recipe, but it always turns out perfectly - a rarity in any baking recipe. The dough is forgiving, allowing you to roll out the scraps multiple times without the crust becoming tough. Since I began using this recipe, I haven't been tempted to try another because I cannot imagine anything can top its combination of ease and quality.

I've made several other excellent recipes from that book, but was surprised to see another of my favorites under Flo's name in the Library. For over a decade I have been making Lavender-lemon bundt cake, a recipe written on the packaging of a Nordicware Bundt pan that I purchased. I copied the recipe into my personal database (of course, this was pre-EYB) and if I noted an author's attribution at the time it did not register. But it stands to reason that a recipe that good was developed by one of the best bakers around. The cake has remained a staple of my baking repertoire ever since.

The SF Chronicle staff and I are not the only ones to reminisce about our favorite Flo Braker recipe. When he learned of Flo's death, David Lebovitz shared her recipe for Pain d'amande cookies pictured above, which he noted became a permanent fixture of the Chez Panisse menu. Flo inspired countless home cooks and professionals alike on their baking journeys, and her legacy will live on in the recipes that will undoubtedly be passed down to the next generation. What is your favorite Flo Braker recipe? 

1 Comment

  • nadiam1000  on  6/21/2017 at 8:04 AM

    She influenced me greatly in my baking early on. I agree about the tartlet pastry in Sweet Miniatures - I catered a large affair with desserts largely made from that book to great success. Fortunately, I have all her cookbooks and have bookmarked that link to the SF Chronicle page. Now, I want to make that Lavender-lemon bundt cake...

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