Amy Bouzaglo, one half of arguably the most famous couple to ever hit reality food TV, has released a (self published) cookbook. Called Baking With Amy: Baking Up Some Magic!!, it really is magical. Bouzaglo and her husband Samy burst onto the scene when their soon-to-shutter Scottsdale, Ariz. restaurant Amy's Baking Company appeared on Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares in 2013. Thanks to a combination of delusional antics, incessant meowing, a vitriolic reaction towards any criticism, and shady behavior, they managed to scare away shouty chef Gordon Ramsay — and have since racked up legions of fans and haters.
Though Bouzaglo has a reputation for being combative, her book is incredibly positive. So positive in fact that it feels like one big pep talk. Bouzaglo is very encouraging, telling readers to "think outside of the box" and offering them enthusiastic — if not strange — affirmations ("Become everything that you want to be. Don't let anyone stand in your way"). She seems to want nothing more than for her readers to become "baking warriors" and to use as many exclamation marks as possible.
Scattered amongst cell phone-quality images and curly typeface are recipes for items like a classic cheesecake, a flourless chocolate cake, and a number of ganaches. The recipes look fine, but they're peppered with faux-guru-inspired language — Bouzaglo reminds readers that she has "suffered" in the kitchen and that if you follow her advice, all will be well — leaks through on every page. Below, the 21 best lines from Baking With Amy: Baking Up Some Magic!!
1) On respecting ingredients: "It is very important to honor and respect the ingredients you are using for your recipes. I have a great deal of respect for each ingredient I use. I acknowledge that each ingredient was sacrificed to be incorporated into the dish."
2) On how to be a "baking warrior": "Become everything that you want to be. Don't let anyone stand in your way."
3) On plating desserts: "Think outside the box!... Just because no one has ever done it before doesn't mean it isn't going to be amazing! Open your mind, and get creative."
4) On vanilla beans: "The inside of a vanilla bean holds tiny little vanilla beads that burst like caviar in your mouth... For this reason, I call this 'vanilla-bean caviar.'"
5) On using vanilla sugar to rim a glass: "The sugar gives a touch of glitter to your special cocktails for a glamorous appearance, one that is certain to bedazzle and bewitch your guests."
6) On making a caramel sauce: "Stand back! The mixture will bubble up like an erupting volcano. Trust me when I tell you from experience that the sugar feels as hot as molten lava."
7) On working with hot sugar: "Be brave! Be protected! And be prepared!"
8) On heating cream: "Be very careful when heating the cream because once the cream begins to boil, it will race up the sides of the pan like an erupting volcano... Be prepared."
9) On being bold with pastry dough: "Design your own dessert. Don't be afraid to morph it into your own flavor profiles and unique desserts. I have created this book as a tool to help you do just that."
10) On naming her marshmallow meringue recipe: "I have affectionately named this recipe marshmallow meringue, even though it contains no marshmallows. "
11) On her flourless chocolate cake: "This cake has been acclaimed and enjoyed by even the harshest of critics."
12) On making creme brûlée: "Remember: Bake and Shake!"
13) On how following her lead will result in a successful cheesecake: "Just follow my instructions and it will turn out. I believe in you! The secret to creating the perfect cheesecake lies not only in the ingredients you choose but also the actual technique. I have suffered through many a disappointing cheesecake before perfecting this one. Learn from my experience and follow the instructions exactly."
14) On why you should double the cheesecake recipe: "When taking into consideration that you will be heating the oven for approximately 120 minutes total baking time, in the interest of conserving energy, I suggest that you double the recipe."
15) On her white chocolate vanilla bean mousse: "Every time I make this dessert, it reminds me of white-chocolate Easter bunnies that have melted!"
16) On the difficult-to-understand science of butter: "When butter is cold it is strong enough to be formed into a block, but when it is melted, it turns to liquid."
17) On conquering the kitchen alone: "There will be times when you find yourself alone in the kitchen. That's okay don't freak out! Don't panic if you need a second pair of hands. Simply be creative and invent one!"
18) On her cookbook goals: "My goal in writing this book is to give you the necessary tools that you need to become a wonderful pastry chef. My wish for you is to become a creative baking rock star!"
19) On why she makes her chocolate chili cake: "A word of caution: You never know when the devil will show up on your doorstep wanting some cake. I make these spicy just in case."
20) On her favorite ingredient, "love": "It's made with caramelized apples, walnuts, and pecans, and always with love. That is one very special ingredient that helps to make all of your desserts taste better."
21) On why she created the book: "I humbly felt compelled to share my hard-earned knowledge throughout this book, with the hope of encouraging you to do something creative. Use your imagination! The world needs more artistic creators and trailblazers! Create something that is tangible and something that helps to create wonderful culinary memories."