Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

He Said/She Said: Ad Hoc at Home

We had a beautiful Victoria Day this year. There was sun, barbecues, fireworks, and time well spent with family and friends. Plus long weekend cupcakes to top it off! This is what inspired the lovely layers:

Ad Hoc at Home
Written by Thomas Keller
With Dave Cruz, Susie Heller, Michael Ruhlman, and Amy Vogler
Photographs by Deborah Jones
Blackboard art by Dan Bunter and Nick Dedier

ISBN 13: 9781579653774
ISBN 10: 1579653774
Publisher: Artisan
Hardcover: 368 Pages

S: There was so much buzz about Ad Hoc at Home that it piqued my interest. I usually look for baking or dessert books, so it is rare that I want to look through a regular cookbook.
H: This book stands out thanks to the size and the design. We both really liked the chalkboard art.
S: It has the coffee-table feel to it which does make it bulky in the kitchen. I usually copy down the recipes now, because I have found small amounts of flour or icing sugar in my cookbooks before.
H: However, we did take this book to the kitchen and it didn't take up too much space on the table. Of course that depends on your kitchen size.
S: We wanted to share a few spreads with you here. Unless your local bookstore has an open copy, the book is plastic wrapped so you can't browse through. The table of contents:

Some of the recipes include a photo, so here is a sample layout:

If you're wondering, this cookbook includes three cupcake recipes! White, Chocolate, and Carrot, along with recipes for vanilla and chocolate buttercream and cream cheese frosting for the Carrot cupcakes. Cake recipes include Coconut, Pineapple Upside-Down, and Grapefruit. I am very excited to try the Grapefruit cake next!

Finally, my favourite part of this cookbook:

Isn't that just a great photo? Chocolate chip cookies! I really liked it because it reminds me of us bloggers. A lot of my favourite bloggers lay out all the ingredients for the recipe they're using in their photos. It is always helpful to have visuals, especially when you're trying a new recipe! There are a few of these photos in the cookbook, that one was in the Dessert section.
H: We always like to try a recipe for our reviews, so we made the Carrot Cake Cupcakes:

Carrot Cake Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Ad Hoc at Home
(Makes about 24 cupcakes)

2 cups of cake flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
4 large eggs
1/4 cup of whole milk
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1 cup of canola oil
3 cups of finely shredded carrots
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and have all ingredients at room temperature. Also have your cupcake liners and pans ready.
  2. Wash and peel your carrots. Using a grater, shred your carrots and set aside.
  3. Using your stand mixer, beat the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth.
  4. Add in the oil.
  5. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and ground cinnamon. Slowly add this and mix.
  6. Add in the shredded carrots.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter evenly into the cupcake liners.
  8. Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven) or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cupcakes and let it cool to room temperature.
  10. Note: I cut down on the granulated sugar, it should be 1 cup. I also omitted the 2 1/2 cups of chopped toasted walnuts that are supposed to be added in after the shredded carrots.

Shredding carrots was harder than I thought.

Almost 1 cup! We need 3!

Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe adapted from Ad Hoc at Home
(Makes about 3 cups)

1 package of cream cheese
1 stick of unsalted butter
2 cups of icing sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  1. Have all ingredients ready at room temperature.
  2. Using your stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
  3. Add the butter and mix until smooth. Include the pure vanilla extract.
  4. Beat in the icing sugar until frosting is smooth.
  5. Once the cupcakes have cooled, frost and eat! They are best on the day they are baked, but can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.
  6. Note: I cut back on a few items since I didn't have them and most shops were closed on Victoria Day. The original recipe calls for 1 pound of cream cheese, 2 sticks of unsalted butter. I did add more icing sugar, the recipe only asked for 1 1/2 cups.
S: My mom really likes carrot cake, so she was our first taste tester. She ate the cupcake first before I had frosted it - fresh from the oven. She said it was really good and told me to keep the recipe for her. Next, she tried one with the cream cheese frosting and liked it too! I was very surprised! I did cut back the sugar in the recipe for her because I know she doesn't like to eat overly sweet desserts. She said that the cupcake and frosting were both the right amount of sweetness! Do you know how rare that is? Hurray! She even asked to save some for Dad. =) Having both of my parents approve is unheard of, so that gives Ad Hoc at Home huge bonus points.
H: Overall, it is a very easy to follow cookbook with really nice photos. Good tips and techniques, a few with step-by-step photos for us beginner cooks to follow.

A very nice weekend treat. Carrot cupcakes with a dab of cream cheese frosting!

A very hot afternoon (27°C), I quickly saved the rest in the fridge and ate cold red fruits.

Thank you to Chrissa, Lydia, and Amy from Artisan for providing us with a copy for review.


  1. Your carrot cakes look amazing. But I love some great summer fresh fruit.


  2. I am craving cupcakes now - yum!

  3. Chef Bee - It is amazing how fresh fruit helps cool you down during the hot weather!

    Yvonne - I'm always craving cupcakes!! =P

    ms wonderland - It was! Will be making that again soon!

  4. Wow your blog is so wonderful.. just starting out with all of this. So glad to see such great sites.
    I hope you enjoy and keep it up!!!

  5. everything is amazing! love your blog. :)

  6. Nicole - Thank you so much for your kind words!

    n2n bodywear - Thanks! =)