Savory and sweet treats from the Middle East are overflowing in Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich’s Honey & Co. The Baking Book. Join us as we explore this dynamic couple’s recipes and learn what makes their quaint London restaurant so popular.
The overview: Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich are the married couple behind the wildly successful Honey & Co. Restaurant in London. Their first effort, Honey & Co. Food From the Middle East, was The Sunday Times‘ Food Book of the Year in the United Kingdom. They have returned with The Baking Book which is as lovely, if not more so, than their first cookbook. The Baking Book’s focus is on baked goods, both savory and sweet, with Middle Eastern flair, as well as a chapter on jams and breakfast items including egg dishes. Unique, original recipes that are impressive and will expand our knowledge of Middle Eastern flavors await us in this stunner of a book.
What we loved: We are always excited and eager to learn new recipes from successful bakeries to recreate in our kitchens. Recipes for Salty Sweet Orange and Tahini Pretzels, Leek and Goat’s Cheese Pie, and Spice Cakes with Marzipan Cream Filling and Raspberries are a sampling of what this beautiful book has to offer. Anyone can make a snickerdoodle and bring it to a gathering, but arrive with a Tahini Sandwich Cookie Filled with White Chocolate and Rose and you will be a rock star.
Being particular fans of savory baking, Honey & Co. The Baking Book delivers. Standouts include Spiced Cauliflower Muffins and Butternut Squash and Spice Cheesecake. The muffins, perfect for a brunch, make quite the presentation with a cauliflower floret baked whole inside each muffin.
What inspired us: Inspiration is waiting for us after every turn of the page with beautiful photographs and recipes. The scent from ripening peaches on the counter prompted us to try the Peach, Vanilla & Fennel Seed Mini Loaves which were devoured eagerly. We are excited to make our own Pocky Sticks, the Japanese treat, as well as Coffee, Cardamom and Walnut Cake, and the Nutella Cheesecake with a praline garnish. This has been said before, but we are truly inspired when unique recipes are brought to our attention—something out of the ordinary that will tempt our palates and add a new spark and creativity to our baking and cooking.
What intimidated us: The Su Böreği (aka “a baked named Sue” or Turkish lasagna) made with layers of dough alternating with a creamy, cheesy filling looks like a show stopper. However, this recipe and others such as the Tahini and White Chocolate Plait could be intimidating to novice bakers. There are a great deal of approachable recipes but a few that might make us flip by those pages quickly. Phylas Puff Pastry, which is used all over the Middle East for pies and pastries, entails a good amount of work—but it freezes well, at least. It is suggested that we can use store-bought puff pastry as an alternative but it is recommended that we use the best all-butter pastry that we can obtain.
This book is like taking a trip to the Middle East. Start your travels by making the Coconut and Chocolate Cake.
Get the Recipe: Coconut and Chocolate Cake
Jenny Hartin is the creator and founder of the Facebook group and website The Cookbook Junkies.