Words: Shamim de Brún
Graham Herterich, aka The Cupcake Bloke, has written Bake: Traditional Irish Baking with Modern Twists. It is his first book and will be available this Thursday, 8 September.
The book published by Nine Bean Rows will cost twenty-five euros and be available “at all good bookshops” and online.
Bake sells itself as “a snapshot of present-day Ireland”. It includes traditional recipes that hold a special place in Irish hearts and on local tables while “also making room for contemporary new influences, inspirations and ingredients”.
Food has consistently forged a connection to Graham Herterich’s past. Recipes in the book pay tribute to the women in his life who inspired his love of baking. Many recipes also pay homage to Middle Eastern flavours. This reflects Graham’s trips to Morocco and Egypt in his twenties and, more recently, to Palestine and Israel with his father.
Featuring a hundred recipes, traditional bakes like soda bread, tarts, porter cake and back, all the way up to modern classics like the jambon, are given a contemporary twist using the ingredients available in Ireland now. From advieh to zhug.
Readers can peruse Graham’s twists on classic dishes like coffee and walnut cake reinterpreted as coffee, and walnut pavlova with coffee poached pears or rhubarb crumble reimagined as chocolate, banana, and coconut crumble with banana ice cream.
Also included is Graham’s recipe for Guinness brown bread and Buckfast baked ham with pomegranate and mint. At the same time, Graham’s beloved mammy buns are brought up to date as tahini and black sesame cupcakes.
Bake: Traditional Irish Baking with Modern Twists also includes a brief history of Irish baking by Ali Dunworth. As well as Dee Laffan’s take on the modern landscape of Irish food, and a comprehensive guide to baking essentials and lesser-known ingredients.
Graham Herterich is delighted to launch the book. He said, “Ever since I was a little boy sitting at my Granny Flynn’s table learning to bake. I’ve loved traditional Irish baking. And ever since I first stepped foot in the souks of Morocco over twenty years ago, I have loved discovering new and exciting flavours, spices, foods and cultural influences. Bake has allowed me to combine these two loves. For every traditional Irish recipe, I have created a modern twist on the dish. It may be a twist on classic soda bread. Or a complete reinterpretation of a classic flavour combination like coffee and walnut and more besides. I’ve loved creating Bake, and I feel it brings traditional Irish baking bang up to date.”
Elsewhere on CHAR: What Makes a Great Chicken Burger?