Some sweet journeys are so delicious they deserve celebration. And how better to celebrate than with a sweet baked treat, frosted to flawless perfection? With the new cookbook, Frosted, written by Baran Bakery owner Bernice Baran, you, too, can create spectacular (and beautiful) sweets.
Founder of Baran Bakery — a blog chock-full of recipes, tips, photos, and more— this wife, mom, and full-time baker has created a sweet life, right here in Michigan.
Even though her mother was a baker of Romanian and Hungarian pastries — Baran’s own sweet journey was what many might consider unpredictable.
After all, Baran was an RN working three weekly 12-hour shifts.
Blending Science and Art at Baran Bakery
So, how does a nurse transition to baking? It appears the two mindsets create the perfect balance. “I love baking because it is a science and an art at the same time,” Baran says. “It’s the best of both worlds!”
Following her passion that satiates her taste for both science and art, Baran spent years researching, learning, and perfecting the ‘how’ and ‘why’ behind beautiful baking. It was a reprieve from 12-hour medical shifts to indulge in sweet exploration.
In her pursuit to learn all there is to baking — understanding what makes cakes grow, how to create the perfect frosting, and perhaps better yet, how to salvage a broken buttercream, prevent frostings that flop, and make cupcakes cone perfectly — she’s shared her findings within Frosted. “I wanted to know everything and, over the last few years, I’ve learned more than I could imagine existed in the baking world,” she says. “My blog went from a hobby to a (now, full-time) business that I love.”
And it’s a business she keeps rolling, even with two youngsters in the home. “Most people get frustrated with having to go to work or working too much, but I get frustrated when I can’t work,” she says. “It’s not easy being a mom and working from home, but since I love my work it feels like my ‘me-time.’
Baran Bakery Caters To Creativity
What inspires Baran most is not the chocolate, the butter, or one of Frosted’s 13 frosting recipes worked to perfection. It’s a curiosity. And, while being inquisitive may not be the spice of life, it’s surely the sugar that keeps it sweet. “I am always learning something new,” she says. “I don’t ever make the same recipe twice, unless I’m testing, of course, and my most exciting times in the kitchen are when I’m trying out new things. Making something new every time and being in complete control of what I’m baking sparks creativity.”
Sweetest Parts of Life
As her Baran Bakery blog reads, she’s ‘sharing the sweetest parts of life.’ And Frosted is a beautiful display of these ‘parts.’ No, this is not your typical cookbook. It’s a book of visual, delicious art.
In Frosted, Baran shares how to master each frosting, including an analysis of its flavor, characteristics, and texture — as well as instructions that are lighthearted to read and simple to follow. She has, indeed, transformed the science of baking into a beautiful, simple art.
But to attain an artistic result, it also takes patience. “Yes, patience is key,” Baran says. “Whenever I screw anything up it’s because I was rushing to get something done. Make sure you take your time, always read the recipe ahead of time, and have all of your ingredients prepared before beginning.”
Frosted contains 60 original recipes of baked treats — each using one of her 13 frosting recipes. And the photography is stunning. Images (which Baran shot herself) are delicate, colorful, peaceful, and tantalizing all the same. They also showcase what makes each recipe unique.
In addition to recipes, Frosted includes tips on melting chocolate, the best frosting temperatures, how to trim and frost layer cakes, and so much more. Recipes include creative cake recipes (Frosted Animal Cracker Cake, Caramel Brownie Cake, and Cookie Butter Chocolate Cake, to name a few), sheet cake recipes (Brown Butter Birthday Cake and Dark Chocolate Guinness Cake, for example), cupcake recipes including Oreo® Latte Cupcakes, Almond Raspberry, and Dulce De Leche Cupcakes, as well as recipes for cookies, brownies, bars, and everything in between.
Frosted is published by Page Street Publishing (rel. June 2021) and may be purchased at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Target. Check out Baran’s blog, and follow her social media channels @baranbakery to learn more. Her social media allows you to see her recipes, and stay sweetly updated.