The Violet Bakery Cookbook by Claire Ptak

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    • Categories: Breakfast / brunch; Vegan
    • Ingredients: buckwheat flakes; hazelnuts; ground flax seeds; sesame seeds; pumpkin seeds; millet; agave syrup; coconut oil; nutmeg; dried sour cherries
    • Categories: Bread & buns, sweet; Breakfast / brunch
    • Ingredients: Earl Grey tea; prunes; jumbo oats; wholegrain spelt flour; butter; egg yolks; maple syrup; natural yoghurt
  • Apricot and almond-polenta muffins
    • Categories: Cakes, small; Breakfast / brunch
    • Ingredients: apricots; caster sugar; butter; almond paste; oranges; eggs; polenta flour
    • Categories: Bread & buns, sweet; Jams, jellies & preserves; Breakfast / brunch
    • Ingredients: wholemeal spelt flour; oat flour; agave syrup; maple syrup; oranges; almond butter; coconut oil; blueberries; sheep milk yogurt
  • Buckwheat, apple and crème fraîche scones
    • Categories: Bread & buns, sweet; Breakfast / brunch
    • Ingredients: spelt flour; wholemeal spelt flour; oat flour; buckwheat flour; ground cinnamon; muscovado sugar; oranges; lemons; butter; crème fraîche; apples
    • Categories: Cakes, small; Breakfast / brunch; Low sugar
    • Ingredients: sweet potatoes; rye flour; wholegrain spelt flour; mixed spice (UK); eggs; almond milk; coconut oil; maple syrup; agave syrup; dates; desiccated coconut; coconut chips
    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Breakfast / brunch; American
    • Ingredients: plain flour; butter; buttermilk; smoked bacon; eggs; tomato ketchup
  • Cinnamon buns
    • Categories: Bread & buns, sweet; How to...; Breakfast / brunch
    • Ingredients: light brown sugar; ground cinnamon; plain flour; ground cardamom; butter; milk; caster sugar
    • Categories: Cakes, small; Breakfast / brunch
    • Ingredients: butter; plain flour; dark muscovado sugar; ground star anise; ground cinnamon; ground ginger; caster sugar; milk; raspberries
    • Categories: Baked & steamed desserts; Breakfast / brunch; Dessert
    • Ingredients: chocolate croissants; double cream; milk; vanilla pods; caster sugar; eggs; cocoa powder; dark chocolate
    • Categories: Bread & buns, sweet; Breakfast / brunch
    • Ingredients: plain flour; caster sugar; poppy seeds; lemons; butter; crème fraîche; crystallised ginger; strawberries; Demerara sugar
    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Breakfast / brunch
    • Ingredients: leeks; Maldon salt; Parmesan cheese; plain flour; yoghurt; ham
    • Categories: Brownies, slices & bars; Breakfast / brunch; Dessert
    • Ingredients: butter; plain flour; caster sugar; natural yoghurt; peaches; ground cinnamon; light brown sugar
    • Categories: Sandwiches & burgers; Lunch; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: sourdough bread; mature cheddar cheese; spring onions; quince jelly; cornichons
  • Cavalo nero, leek and ricotta bread pudding
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Lunch; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: stale sourdough bread; leeks; summer savory; cavalo nero; chilli flakes; Gruyère cheese; ricotta cheese; eggs; double cream; milk; nutmeg
    • Categories: Pies, tarts & pastries; Lunch; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: yellow onions; tomatoes; marjoram; store-cupboard ingredients
    • Categories: Pies, tarts & pastries; Lunch; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: buffalo mozzarella cheese; double cream; rosemary; new potatoes; store-cupboard ingredients
  • Squash, brown butter and sage quiche
    • Categories: Pies, tarts & pastries; Lunch; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: plain flour; double cream; butternut squash; thyme sprigs; garlic; butter; sage
    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Lunch
    • Ingredients: plain flour; fine polenta; chilli powder; muscovado sugar; tinned sweetcorn; sour cream; spring onions; mature cheddar cheese; marjoram; chipotle chile paste; tomato paste
    • Categories: Bread & rolls, savory; Lunch
    • Ingredients: plain flour; caster sugar; butter; sour cream; chives; feta cheese
    • Categories: Sandwiches & burgers; Lunch; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: sourdough bread; Comté cheese; chutney
    • Categories: Egg dishes; Lunch; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: stale sourdough bread; Florence fennel; garlic; tomatoes; capers; olives; thyme sprigs; Aleppo chilli flakes; Gruyère cheese; ricotta cheese; eggs; double cream; milk; nutmeg
    • Categories: Pies, tarts & pastries; Lunch; Vegetarian
    • Ingredients: plain flour; double cream; cherry tomatoes; thyme sprigs; corn cobs; soft goat cheese; summer savoury
  • Banana buttermilk bread
    • Categories: Bread & buns, sweet; Afternoon tea
    • Ingredients: dark brown sugar; dark rum; cultured buttermilk; plain flour; caster sugar; overripe bananas; eggs
    • Categories: Cakes, small; Afternoon tea
    • Ingredients: walnuts; plain flour; ground cinnamon; ground cloves; ground cardamom; pink peppercorns; butter; crème fraîche; icing sugar; coffee

Notes about this book

This book does not currently have any notes.

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Banana buttermilk bread

    • Breadcrumbs on January 05, 2016

      p. 104 - What attracted me to this recipe (its use of 6 bananas) turned out to be its achilles heel. I should have read Zosia's review prior to making this as my 5 1/2 regular sized bananas were far too much for this cake and I had a very runny batter that never truly set. After 1 hr and 20 mins of baking I finally called it a day and it was no surprise when my jiggly cake fell almost immediately after being removed from the oven. I would also agree with Zosia in that the cake itself is absolutely delicious. The recipe is worth another try with fewer bananas or additional flour.

    • Astrid5555 on March 19, 2016

      Thanks to Zosia's review I only used 5 small bananas which weighed 450g and the recipe was a total success. I used dark Muscovado sugar, substituted Bourbon for rum and left it in the oven for 60 minutes. Kids called it best banana bread ever, and I could not agree more.

    • Melanie on November 05, 2015

      Delicious! Substituted yoghurt for buttermilk. This cake stays nice and moist and is full of flavour - six bananas help with that I'm sure.

    • trudys_person on September 27, 2019

      This recipe was just OK. I looked at all the feedback here before I made it and used three large very ripe bananas, which weighed a little over 400 g. The batter was still very liquid. I baked it for about 70 minutes and it was still a little underbaked in the middle. I hoped for the rum flavour to come through, but I couldn't taste it at all. I'll probably just keep making my old standby Banana Tea Bread recipe, clipped from a newspaper 25 years ago. Maybe I'll try putting some rum in it ...

    • meggan on November 09, 2020

      I did not have enough bananas so I added avocado? I felt it was at least the same texture. The taste is fine but the consistency is kind of wet. I recommend the recipe be followed as written.

    • Zosia on November 06, 2015

      I do wish the recipe included the weight of the bananas; my 5-1/2 smallish fruit (at least I thought they were on the small side) produced a very thin batter and a wet cake. Unfortunate because the flavour was exceptional. This was very easy to put together so I will try it again perhaps with 1 less banana.

    • Zosia on February 04, 2016

      I tried this recipe again with 450g (4-1/2 small) mashed banana. Success! I estimate that I used 550g the first time which led to textural failure. The banana flavour was still excellent but I suspect the dark brown sugar and rum are partly responsible for the loaf's deliciousness. I made 4 mini loaves the first time but this time baked in a 9 x 5 pan and one mini pan. Baking time on the large loaf was 70 minutes.

    • a2cook on September 16, 2020

      The best banana bread ever! I may not even try any other recipe again. I used 3 medium-large banana (about 350g peeled - all in the batter, I didn’t lay half a slice on top like the recipe suggests), dark Muscovado sugar, bourbon instead of rum, and sprinkled the top with a couple tablespoons of Turbinado sugar for some crunch. I’ve also made it using a Greek yogurt instead of buttermilk, and it worked well. Took about 75 minutes to bake.

    • Lepa on March 22, 2019

      I should have read the reviews before attempting to bake this cake. I used five bananas because that's all I had. But that was still too much. The cake was not done at forty minutes so I left it in for fifty. This still seemed a bit short to me for a loaf cake but the caramelized sugar top made it difficult for me to judge and I thought the bread was done. A few minutes after coming out of the oven, the bread sunk in the middle (a lot). We ate the ends, which were done, this morning for breakfast and they tasted pretty good but there were a lot of gooey, unappealing bits in the cake. I couldn't tell if they were banana or uncooked batter. I will probably try this again, using less bananas and leaving it in the oven longer because the taste is lovely.

    • MsMonsoon on September 29, 2020

      Agree this recipe is just ok. Thanks to the notes here, I used 450g of ripe banana (4 1/2 medium bananas). Perhaps I underbaked it because the loaf had wet, mushy areas. I had reduced the granulated sugar that goes on top, but really liked the crunchy caramelized sugar that formed, so if I make it again I'll use all 3 Tbsp as written.

  • Chocolate oat agave cookies

    • DKennedy on February 26, 2016

      I made these for a class pot luck for my son's school. E is GF so bringing in cookies he can also enjoy can be a challenge. We really liked these. The taste and texture are different than a wheat based cookie, but comforting and delicious in its own way. I am writing my note well after the fact so I can't quite pin point what they were like, but I do know they fall into the make again category.

  • Rye chocolate brownies

    • DKennedy on March 04, 2017

      I made a batch of these for Super Bowl this year and I am sorry to say they were too rich for my tastes.

    • TrishaCP on March 30, 2018

      I liked the combination of rye and chocolate, but I wouldn't make them again. Maybe I found them too rich also, I'm not sure, but something was offputting about them to me. My husband liked them a lot though. I baked them for 25 minutes because they were still liquidy at 20, and they had really dried out by then, so that may be coloring my opinion.

    • Astrid5555 on March 12, 2016

      As mentioned in the recipe headnote "... (these are) a chewy, rich, gooey, nutty chocolate treat" - actually the best brownies I have baked in a very long time!!!

    • abrownb1 on January 24, 2022

      My fave local bakery has a rye brownie that I love so decided to try this out and it's a winner! I used locally milled rye, TJs pound plus 72%, and Cacao Barry Extra Brute cocoa. I made half a batch in an 8x8 pan and 2 large US eggs was perfect. Followed the weight amounts and it was perfect so must be the cup conversions that are off. These are very rich so I cut into 16 squares and it's the perfect sweet treat. Don't skip out on the salt on top - helps offset the richness.

    • Zosia on November 11, 2015

      Inspired by Chad Robertson's Salted Chocolate Rye Cookies (which are fantastic), these brownies are decadent, fudgy, intensely chocolatey squares that capture the essence of those cookies. I used 60% cacao chocolate and I thought they could be less sweet. Next time I'll use 70% or perhaps reduce one of the sugars by 100g. With no 8x12 pan available, I baked these in a 9X13". They were gooey at 20 minutes and fudgy - my preference - at 24 minutes. I weighed my ingredients but checked the conversions as I went and again noticed problems in the North American edition: 200g rye flour is closer to 1-3/4 cups (dip and sweep method); 200g eggs are 4 "large" Canadian eggs.

    • MmeFleiss on March 07, 2018

      I made this using the metric amounts and it worked perfectly. The rye was not noticeable to the brownie purist in my household.

    • tarae1204 on March 26, 2021

      Delicious! I love these brownies. Since of the 8 comments on this recipe, reviews are mixed, here is what I did. I used metric measurements entirely. Four large eggs came out to 200g eggs. Ptak doesn’t specify what type of cocoa powder; I used organic natural. I used 72% cocoa chocolate from Trader Joe’s for the solid chocolate and combined salted and unsalted butter (just using what I had). I sprinkled a healthy teaspoon Maldon salt on top and I think this is another very important step to balance the sweetness. I baked them on the convection setting in the specified pan.

    • Lepa on March 31, 2019

      These were too rich and much too sweet for us. We ate 1/2 and threw the rest away.

    • e_ballad on July 21, 2017

      Very good & absolutely decadent. The rye & dark chocolate is a fantastic combination.

    • sosayi on April 14, 2017

      These are incredibly rich, but also incredibly good. The rye flour adds a great undertone to the brownies... it marries perfectly with the dark chocolate flavors. Love these!

  • Salted caramel icing

    • Astrid5555 on September 03, 2016

      Way too sweet for my taste, even though I used only half the amount of icing sugar stated in the recipe.

  • Loganberry-vanilla birthday cake

    • Astrid5555 on September 03, 2016

      Made only the vanilla cake part of the recipe without the loganberry icing. Used the salted caramel icing instead. Nice and simple vanilla cake recipe!

  • Salted caramel sauce

    • Astrid5555 on September 03, 2016

      Fool-proof recipe, delicious and easy to make. Makes a big batch and keeps in the fridge for a long time.

  • Coconut macaroons

    • Astrid5555 on December 20, 2015

      These are delicious! Husband declared them to be among his top then cookies ever. Very easy to make, however I had some issues with the instructions. Recipe tells you to keep stirring the mixture until it thickens and dries out. After 30 minutes of stirring and no drying I gave up and just scooped the mixture onto the baking sheet with my smallest ice cream scoop, which worked perfectly as well. Will definitely go into regular cookie rotation!

    • ChelseaP on May 22, 2021

      These are honestly one of the best things I've ever made. Have made them so many times and every time they're flawless. Make these at the same time as making Violet Bakery's Egg Yolk Chocolate Chip Cookies as suggested by Claire. They're the perfect way to use the leftover egg whites from that recipe.

  • Cavalo nero, leek and ricotta bread pudding

    • Astrid5555 on June 06, 2020

      This is a great way to use up leftover stale sourdough bread and sneak some vegetables into your kids diet. I used what I had on hand, substituting baby spinach for cavalo nero, Emmenthal cheese for Gruyère cheese, parsley for summer savory and adding some asparagus spears. Pleasantly surprised by how happily both kids devoured it.

  • Cinnamon buns

    • Astrid5555 on January 02, 2016

      These are senational! Made only half a recipe but still ended up with 12 buns in my regular muffin tin, which were a perfect size for an afternoon sugar craving. A really great alternative to yeasted cinnamon buns which, as mentioned by Zosia already, are ready within the hour with very little actual hands-on time involved.

    • Zosia on November 06, 2015

      errata in the North American edition: 560g all-purpose flour is far more than 1-1/2 cups; dough thickness of 5mm is more than 1/8".

    • Zosia on November 06, 2015

      These are a fantastic alternative to yeast-raised buns providing almost immediate gratification if the craving for a cinnamon bun strikes (only about 1 hour start to finish with almost half of it baking time). The biscuit-like dough was very tender and the bun was nicely spiced and not overly sweet. I rolled the dough into a 52cm x 40cm rectangle which created rolls that fit perfectly into the muffin tin. I used the weights and metric measurements but noticed a few conversion errors in my North American edition of the book, noted separately.

    • Lepa on January 03, 2022

      These were a wonderful treat on a morning when I felt like baking but didn't have many of the staples I usually have on hand to make pancakes or scones. I am still a bit sick at the amount of butter here (three sticks in one batch, or as my son pointed out, he ate a whole stick of butter today!) but the biscuit-like texture is really nice here and these are great when you want cinnamon rolls without planning ahead.

    • ChelseaP on May 21, 2021

      These are a weekend go to recipe! They are so simple to make and they freeze beautifully in their tin if you want to have some always on hand. The cardamom in the cinnamon sugar is lovely.

  • Strawberry, ginger and poppy seed scones

    • Astrid5555 on June 11, 2016

      We all loved these! The dough was a bit difficult to work with because of the addition of the sour cream which I substituted for the crème fraîche as per the author's suggestion and the strawberries. Just patting the dough down and using the pastry cutter and a spatula to transfer the unbaked scones onto a plate helped a lot. After chilling them in the fridge they could easily be put on the baking sheet. They were still a little bit underbaked after 20 minutes, but they were very tender with a lovely crunch from the poppy seeds. Left out the crystallized ginger though since this is not one of my preferred flavor combinations. Will make again!

    • Lepa on June 23, 2019

      This was the biggest baking disaster of the year. The dough was too dry and never really came together. I followed directions to just let the dough sit and avoid kneading it and trusted the recipe over my instincts. The scones were supposed to bake for 15-20 minutes and even after 25-27 minutes they looked unbaked and gooey. They were edible but nothing I would want to make again. I make scones frequently and the recipe here was far more fussy than others and the end result felt like a waste of time and ingredients.

    • ChelseaP on August 05, 2021

      I make these every strawberry season and freeze tons so I can bake them off when the mood strikes. Love them so much.

  • Egg yolk chocolate chip cookies

    • jenmacgregor18 on August 07, 2021

      I only had milk chocolate chips & dark brown sugar& added 1 cup walnuts. (Note- raw cookie dough portioned on baking sheet & freeze for at least 1 hour). I baked the next day. Really great texture- crunchy & chewy. The milk chocolate was very muted. Fantastic butterscotch brown butter flavor. Definitely a repeat, just use dark chocolate next time. I think these are now my favorite choc chips.

    • LindaAphoto on November 29, 2017

      The absolute best chocolate chip cookies I have ever baked. Crispy on the edge, tender on the inside... rich without being too heavy. Everyone I have given them to loves these!

    • PiaOC on November 02, 2019

      Definite winner! I had egg yolks to consume but no need for biscuits so I prepared and froze these some weeks ago. I defrosted a couple for unexpected guests and oh my, they were delicious. They defrosted whilst the oven heated and then filled the house with a "stay for a while" aroma. The recipe makes 60 or so biscuits so there are plenty more in the freezer to look forward to. Perfect balance of crunch and chew.

    • MsMonsoon on August 15, 2022

      These definitely make a "professional" chocolate chip cookie with an ideal shape and height, and it combines crispy edges with a softer interior. I could imagine getting these in a fancy restaurant or hotel room service. However, I'm not sure that's my favorite type of chocolate chip cookie. I may just prefer a softer cookie with less crispness. Still, this is a winner of a recipe sure to please most folks!

    • sosayi on July 16, 2018

      I didn't love these as much as the others. I agree the flavor is great, but my texture was a bit off. They were distinctly dry and crumbly, while still being soft. I am not sure how else to describe it. I have more to bake off in the freezer, so we'll see how future batches go.

    • ChelseaP on May 22, 2021

      Beautiful chocolate chip cookies! Any time I make these I also make Violet Bakery's coconut macaroons to use up the leftover egg whites.

    • dprostrollo on June 09, 2018

      Phenomenal cookie. Delicate crumb exterior and chewy center. Just beautiful.

  • Apricot kernel upside-down cake

    • hirsheys on July 16, 2018

      Agreed about the baking time - I ended up baking it for nearly an hour (with a break in the middle), which seemed more appropriate. Also, I think a shorter pan is more ideal than a tall one. That said, the tartness of the apricots is absolutely delicious in this - I really enjoyed it. (The apricot kernels don't add as much as I wanted, but there's definitely a unique hint there...)

    • swegener on May 27, 2015

      Baking time is woefully inadequate. Tester came out clean, but cake was completely un-cooked in the middle after 35 minutes of baking, could have used a lot longer. Very sad as flavors were nice.

    • MsMonsoon on July 02, 2022

      Like the others, my cake was done at nearly an hour, not 30 as published. I used a springform wrapped in foil, which leaked and was perhaps too tall. It’s a short cake so I agree a regular short-sided cake round would be better. Cake is fairly sweet, and the whipped cream is a nice counterbalance. Didn’t have Disaronno so added a small amount of almond extract and sugar to the cream.

  • Rhubarb galette

    • hirsheys on June 02, 2019

      I knew there might be leakage issues with this set up, but MAN, were there leakage issues. I used a different all butter crust recipe, but it was pretty identical to the one in the book, so it shouldn't have caused these issues. I also misread directions (they are very loose in this book, I've found) and cooked the galette an extra 15 minutes (not to the detriment of the galette, per se - I think the crust needed the full hour.) In the end, the juices around the outside were completely burnt. All of this said, the galette came out tasty and interesting, though far from my favorite rhubarb dessert. As always, I much prefer rhubarb that is cut small, rather than long and skinny - the strings are really not appealing to me. I also found that the sugar didn't get incorporated as well here as it does in a pie. I do like the almond flavor, though, so I can imagine trying this frangipane (which is YUMMY) in a pie format instead. I also really like the glaze technique used in the recipe.

  • Frangipane

    • hirsheys on June 02, 2019

      I LOVED this frangipane mixture. It came out delicious and light, and would make a great base to pretty much any fruit tart. (I used it in the rhubarb galette from this book. I would like to try it with peaches, especially. I made this in my vitamix, rather than in a mixer as recommended (mainly because I had to grind up my almonds anyway.) The viatmix worked great - it added a nice amount of air (as the mixer would have), made the paste nice and smooth, and honestly, I have no clue how you would make such a small amount in a mixer, regardless.

  • Buckwheat butter cookies

    • LindaAphoto on November 29, 2017

      I have no idea what happened, my cookies spread completely thin when I baked them, and they did not hold together, even after cooling. I did bake them from the freezer. And I carefully measured all ingredients on my scale. The butter to flour ratio from the beginning threw me off a bit. Don't know if anyone else has had this issue. The flavor however, was delicious.

    • Melyinoz on November 15, 2020

      I, too, had problems with this recipe. I used cold butter but could not get a course sand consistency. My dough ended up incredibly sticky and the only way I could get it into any semblance of two logs was to put it between baking paper and kind of manipulate it into shape. It was too sticky to roll. So my cookie shapes were way off and the consistency of the baked cookie looked very different to the photo. Maybe my buckwheat flour was finer or maybe it was too warm in the kitchen at 20 degrees Celsius. Update: I didn’t try these as I am trying to lose COVID kilos, but my neighbour told me to never, ever make these again as she inhaled them all in one sitting. What an endorsement.

  • Raspberry and star anise crumble muffins

    • LindaAphoto on November 29, 2017

      I found them to be a little doughy-tasting... was not very impressed overall. Kind of standard, despite the anise / spices (which I ground fresh).

    • Zosia on November 18, 2015

      Loved the flavours in these muffins; the unusual (for me) spice combination complemented the raspberries perfectly. A half recipe made 12 generous muffins baked in a standard pan, which baked in 18min in my oven.

    • Lepa on January 19, 2020

      I was very excited about the flavor combinations in this muffin but the result was underwhelming. As another reviewer noted, the muffins were a bit doughy and not as flavorful as one would expect with all the exciting elements here. I made a 1/2 batch to fit in my standard muffin pan and found that they were done at 23 minutes but the crumble never did brown enough. The muffins were pale and lacking in flavor. I won't repeat this.

    • rachelino on August 24, 2021

      This seems like a negative review, but it's NOT! Read till the end. :-) As a pastry chef I could spot the issue with this recipe right away - the ratio of flour to sugar and leavener is too high. My guess is this might stem from the difference between UK "plain flour" (probably what the bakery uses, located in London even though author is a fellow CA girl) and US all-purpose flour. The other issue is the temperature. Unless you have a convection oven (even a convection toaster oven would work well) streusel doesn't usually brown well under 400F. But my main problem was the quantity of raspberries - mine were ripe and completely overwhelmed the muffin and ruined the crumb. I think they use smaller rapsberries in the mix that arent as juicy. ALL THAT SAID - the flavor combination in this is genius, and the crumb top is divine. It's worth making again. I'm going to test again with half the quantity of raspberries and possibly 100g less flour. I'd like the achieve a lighter crumb.

  • Sour cream, chive and feta scones

    • mondraussie on November 07, 2020

      Easy and perfect!!

    • MsMonsoon on December 03, 2021

      These came out nice and flaky thanks to the folding technique. They may be more like an American biscuit than a British scone, as they remind me a bit of the Red Lobster cheesy biscuits. I thought they could use another 1/4 tsp of salt. I baked half and froze half. I brushed with egg wash, sprinkled with pepper, froze on parchment, and then wrapped in cling film and froze in a bag.

  • The Violet butterscotch blondie

    • Zosia on December 08, 2015

      These were easy to put together and had great texture and balance of flavours. You don't need the full recipe of caramel but I used it all anyway to no ill effect. They were easiest to cut while still a little warm and the caramel was soft.

    • MsMonsoon on September 27, 2020

      These were easy, delicious and a real crowd-pleaser, like candy crossed with a blondie. My family thought they were professionally made. I used dark chocolate instead of milk since some reviewers said it's quite sweet, but I think milk chocolate may be best with butterscotch so I look forward to trying the recipe as written next time. Didn't have any trouble breaking up the caramel chards with hands and knife. I was a little worried I had burned the sugar on the stove -- I wasn't sure how the caramel should smell and taste. But once it was baked into the blondies, all concern evaporated!

    • sosayi on April 07, 2017

      Have made these many times to great reviews. The perfect bar cookie: soft, chewy center, and loads of flavor. The caramel is a great touch. I have found that I prefer a dark chocolate disc, though, to the milk chocolate discs she calls for in the recipe. Chocolate chips, while not as good, also work in place of the discs.

    • pandasaurusrex on July 11, 2017

      These are delicious (if quite sweet and decadent). Everyone raved about them. Great texture, and I loved unexpectedly biting into the scattered caramel shards. I swapped the milk chocolate for semisweet -- that helped blunt the sweetness. I used a hammer with a paper towel wrapped around it to smash up the caramel shards when cooled. Way easier than using a knife to carefully slice. Again, Ptak's instructions leave something to be desired for inexperienced bakers like myself (e.g. the eggs/sugar mixture never became "frothy") but luckily the recipe is straightforward and foolproof enough.

  • Coffee cardamom walnut cakes

    • Zosia on March 11, 2019

      Though these are called cardamom cakes, the pink peppercorn flavour was what stood out to everyone, a pleasant change from usual spices. The cake was very moist with a fine crumb and was designed to be inverted as it baked with a very flat top. The coffee glaze was a delicious topping for the cakes.

    • mzgourmand on February 06, 2022

      These little cakes are so so so good! I am a lifelong baker and they are among the best things I have ever made, truly. The flavors meld together beautifully and the crumb is wonderfully light & tender. I ran out of creme fraiche so ended up supplementing with sour cream. Cannot wait to make these again - they went so fast I didn't even have a chance to try the cakes with the coffee flavored icing! Both my non-sweet loving spouse & my very fussy child loved them.

    • MsMonsoon on December 04, 2017

      Clever way to make individual cakes that are not cupcakes. (Bake in muffin tin, turn each little "muffin" upside down, ice them, garnish with a walnut half.)

  • Ham, cheese and leek scones

    • Zosia on December 05, 2015

      These had fantastic flavour with the ham and leeks holding their own against the large amount of Parmesan cheese (volume measurement for this ingredient is suspect) but the texture was a little off, moist but more cake-like than flaked layers. Also, without any dimensions for the "log" of dough given, mine may have been thicker than intended so my baking time was longer.

  • Wild blackberry crumble tart

    • tarae1204 on July 10, 2021

      Very easy recipe. I was doubtful it would turn out ok but it was lovely. I felt the amount of crust/crumble was skimpy. I had only about 2/3 the amount of berries called for but that was ok. The cooking temp and time were perfect.

    • Lepa on June 17, 2019

      This is so dead simple that I was able to make it after school with a cranky six year old. It is also delicious. I would add a good pinch of salt to the dough/crust next time. Also, I didn't have a 20 cm tart pan and my 18 cm pan seemed too small so I used a 22 or 23 cm pan and that was perfect. I'm not even sure a 20 cm pan would fit everything? We served it warm with barely sweetened whipped cream.

  • Lemon drizzle loaf

    • tarae1204 on March 29, 2021

      I made this with all homegrown Meyer lemons and it is very good! Better second day, even. The issue with Meyer lemons is they’re not very sharp in flavor. So, the flavor of eggs was very strong - that’s not bad, but I wanted a pure lemon experience. I want to make this again with more acidic lemons. In response to an earlier commenter, yes I believe you pour the syrup on while the cake is in the pan. Wait ten minutes, lift from pan and then pour on the icing . I had to double the lemon juice to get a pourable icing. My family loved this and devoured it in one night. Beautiful cake.

    • MsMonsoon on October 22, 2020

      Quite good! I’ve never made lemon drizzle cake so I’ve nothing to compare it to. But this was unlike any loaf or tea cake I’ve had. I was expecting a typical buttery, cakey, lemon-flavored, and comfortingly heavy slice. But instead this has a lighter, delicate crumb, contrasting with a firm, toasty crust. I was surprised by the lightness because the recipe has 1 cup plus 3 Tbsp of butter, which is more than double the amount I saw in another recipe. (Linda’s Lemon Drizzle in Mary McCartney’s book, Food, uses one stick. Assuming a US stick of butter, that’s just 1/2 cup.) I’ll try Mary’s next to determine if the extra butter and extra steps in the Violet recipe are worth it.

    • MsMonsoon on October 22, 2020

      Ptak doesn’t mention whether the cake should cool. It sounds like the drizzle goes on when it’s warm from the oven. But she doesn’t say whether it should then be cooled in the pan before removing and icing.

    • ChelseaP on May 22, 2021

      Another fantastic lemon drizzle cake!

  • Sweet potato, coconut, date and rye muffins

    • Frogcake on October 09, 2016

      These were quite good, with interesting texture from the coconut and complementary flavours from the dates, maple syrup and sweet potato. I used about a cup and a half of mashed sweet potato -you could also use unsweetened pumpkin. As well, I did not have any agave syrup so I used all maple syrup (one and three quarter cups). I found the batter wasn't as thick as she describes. Made twelve large muffins, baked for thirty minutes at 360F. I recommend sprinkling coconut chips on top -adds a nice decorative touch and taste of browned crispy coconut.

    • Frogcake on October 10, 2016

      Take note- these are even better second day!

  • Apricot and almond-polenta muffins

    • MsMonsoon on June 23, 2022

      These looked just like the photo in the book, rustic with dark and light bits. An interesting wheat-free muffin, perhaps a bit too sweet and dry. I probably overbaked. I used about 11 or 12 apricots but I'll increase that and make sure to pack each muffin with apricot pieces next time for more moisture and tartness, and I might use less sugar next time. (Ptak says to use almond paste that is at least 60% almonds. My King Arthur almond paste recipe is only 50% almond, 50% confectioners sugar by weight, so mine is likely sweeter than her recommendation.) This is a great way to use up a dozen or more ugly or too-mushy apricots! And I like that she says they keep for 4 days tightly covered.

  • Ginger molasses cake

    • MsMonsoon on September 15, 2021

      I've got a note on the online recipe from the Observer as well. This is one of my favorite cakes. I've probably made it at least half a dozen times. Rather than a dark, spicy holiday ginger cake, this is bright and fresh with the fresh ginger and lemon icing.

    • sofull on November 16, 2020

      One of the best cakes ever. I wasn't sure if it was going to turn out ok but it stayed moist for days and the flavor was perfection. The lemon icing really sealed the deal and balanced out the spicy. Love this cake!

  • Coconut cream trifle cake

    • MsMonsoon on October 18, 2021

      Several steps but easily done over the course of a day. The instructions are a little confusing. The pudding should probably only cook about 5 min after adding the cornstarch. I followed the instructions and went 10-15 min and it became rather glue-like. Also, no baking time is given for the cake. I did about 45-55 min (glass pan). Wasn’t sure if the cake should be cooled completely before poking with holes and pouring over the soak. Tres leches cakes are cooled first, whereas drizzle cakes are done warm. I left the cake in the pan (with parchment), pricked the cake while warm, but waited till it was mostly cool to pour the soak. It didn't soak in totally, so the glue/pudding layer went on unevenly due to its thickness and the pools of soak. The 1 quart of whipping cream made too much for a 9x13 despite generous application. I think 1 or 1.5 pints would be enough. Flavor was very good! I went heavy on the nutmeg and am curious to try the citrus variation.

  • Prune, oat and spelt scones

    • ElianeW on February 19, 2017

      I was lucky enough to watch Claire Ptak do a cooking demo at the Abergavenny Food Festival a couple of years ago. We've tried many of the recipes in this book since and they NEVER fail. These didn't look like much going into the oven but they were so delicious. Great that you can freeze them and then just bake from frozen.

    • ChelseaP on August 05, 2021

      Another wonderful scone recipe by Claire Ptak. I love to make a batch and freeze them and then bake off fresh as needed.

  • Olive oil sweet wine cake

    • sosayi on January 29, 2020

      Wonderful texture and flavor. A bit of a pain to prep (so many bowls), but good results. Served with lemon frozen yogurt and/or a cherry compote. Used lemon zest in place of orange (for this reason). Cake is still lovely 3 days later, too.

  • Chocolate devil's food cake

    • sosayi on November 16, 2017

      This recipe should read: fits in TWO 8” cake pans. Not one. Because it doesn’t. And will overflow into your whole oven and cause a smoky, gooey disaster. I’ll be the first to admit that I should have realized that would happen. But.... I was in a rush. So, don’t be me. Pay attention and put it in two pans. The non-ruined part of the cake did taste delicious, so I’d make it again, just in two pans. Sigh.

  • Marshmallow icing

    • sosayi on November 18, 2017

      Excellent marshmallow frosting. While it stayed on the cake fine, we probably should have cooked it a tad longer to make it set up just a bit more firmly for piping purposes. Paired this with a 2nd attempt at the Devil’s food cake from this book and a chocolate buttercream filling. Soooo good.

  • Chocolate sunken soufflé cake

    • pandasaurusrex on May 07, 2017

      Some Amazon reviewers strongly criticized Ptak's recipes as lacking clarity or thorough testing--and this recipe is another example. She makes repeated assumptions of your skill (or mind-reading ability), leading to growing confusion, frustration + disappointment unless you're an experienced baker. A souffle cake is deceptively simple -- at no point (in the recipe, or at the book's start) does she proffer any words of wisdom or help you avoid pitfalls for, say, beating egg whites. She never mentions not letting yolk contaminate whites when separating (I realized via a google search after 20 min of beating the whites + sugar that I had to start over). No mention of whether eggs should be cold vs room temp, or at what speed to whisk the yolks + sugar together. No time estimates given for any step. The recipe seems to suggest you combine the whites + sugar before you start beating, but it's not explicit and contradicts advice from most sources. Surprise! -- the cake didn't turn out. Ugh.

  • Oatmeal and candied peel cookies

    • Kvgsanders on July 01, 2020

      Absolutely delicious oatmeal cookies - taste caramelized! I sub-out the candied peel and raisins and just put nuts!

  • Chewy ginger snaps

    • ChelseaP on May 21, 2021

      Amazing!! Make these every Winter and around Christmas time. Beautifully spiced.

  • Chipotle and cheddar corn muffins

    • ChelseaP on May 21, 2021

      These are savoury and salty and spicy and delicious!!!!! Seriously love them.

  • Coconut milk icing

    • ChelseaP on May 22, 2021

      Yum yum yum. Made it to slather on Nigella Lawson's coconut cake. So delicious with the addition of rum... even tried adding a cheeky bit of Malibu to a batch and it was amazing.

  • Alice Waters' apple galette

    • ChelseaP on May 21, 2021

      Delicious, not too sweet and looks so beautiful. Bring it to the table whole to show it off before slicing and pouring on custard or dolloping with ice cream.

  • Sweetcorn and roasted cherry tomato quiche

    • MissKoo on June 20, 2020

      Really good summer quiche using freshly picked corn and roasted tomatoes; the minimal ingredient crust is wonderful. I did the crust in the food processor to save time and it came out perfectly. Took this for a picnic dinner at concert at local winery and it was just as tasty at room temperature and matched well with a bottle of Oregon rosé. Will definitely make again and use for summer brunches and house guests.

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Reviews about this book

  • San Francisco Chronicle

    Best Cookbooks of 2015: With an eye toward seasonal fruit, simple ingredients and whole grain flours, the recipes are tempting without feeling gratuitous - most don’t have multiple-step techniques...

    Full review
  • Mercury News (San Jose)

    Ptak's newest cookbook takes baking to new, whimsical and utterly accessible levels.

    Full review
  • Food52

    You’ll like this book if: If the idea of laminated and yeasted doughs makes you want to run screaming from the kitchen.

    Full review

Reviews about Recipes in this Book

  • ISBN 10 0224098500
  • ISBN 13 9780224098502
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Mar 05 2015
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 272
  • Language English
  • Countries United Kingdom
  • Publisher Vintage
  • Imprint Square Peg

Publishers Text

Violet is a bijou cake shop and café in Hackney, east London. The baking is done with simple ingredients including wholegrain flours, less refined sugars and the natural sweetness and muted colours of seasonal fruits. Everything is made in an open kitchen for people to see. Famed for its exquisite baked goods, Violet has become a destination.

Owner Claire Ptak uses her Californian sensibility to devise recipes that are both nourishing and indulgent. With real thought about taste and using the purest ingredients, she has created the most flavoursome iterations of classic cakes, as well as new treats for modern palates. Over 100 recipes include nourishing breakfasts, midday snacks, teatime treats, puddings to share, pantry preserves, and stylish celebration cakes. For example:

Morning – Buckwheat Granola or Cinnamon Buns

Midday – Squash, Brown Butter and Sage Quiche or Mozzarella, Rosemary and New Potato Tarts

Teatime – Butterscotch Blondie or Ginger Molasses Cake

Desserts – Cherry Cobbler or Fig Leaf Ice-cream

Party Party – Loganberry-vanilla Birthday Cake or Coconut-cream Trifle Cake

This book is about making baking worth it: simple to cook and satisfying to eat.

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