Baking with Amy - eBook (PDF)

Amy's Baking Company


Amy Bouzaglo found her home in the kitchen many years ago. Since then, she has transformed from a self-taught home cook who helped prepare meals when her mother was ill with cancer to a professional pastry chef and owner of a successful patisserie and cafe.

Amy leads baking warrior wannabes on an education culinary adventure. Through step-by-step instructions, Amy shares tips and techniques that ensure a spotless kitchen, a beautiful plating experience, and a well-stocked pantry with appropriate ingredients. Amy not only includes over twenty simple base recipes that can be used as building blocks for a variety of more complex desserts, but also touching memories and easy-to-follow recipes for such delectable delights as La Bê the Noir, Sweet Tart Lemon Meringue, and Piña Colada Cake.

Baking with Amy is a teaching guidebook that reveals culinary secrets and beloved kitchen tested and customer approved dessert recipes intended to help baking novices create delicious, crowd-pleasing pastries.

Amy Bouzaglo is a self-taught home cook and professional pastry chef.




Baking with Amy, Part II: Review of Amy Bouzaglo’s Cookbook, “Baking with Amy: Baking Up Some Magic”

I recently purchased a digital (.epub) version of the cookbook, “Baking with Amy: Baking Up Some Magic” by Amy Bouzaglo, published in April, 2015. This reader-friendly book is written by the chef of Amy’s Baking Company in Scottsdale, Arizona, of “Kitchen Nightmares” fame and is sure to be of interest to culinarians and aspirants of all levels of expertise.

A Beautiful Book

unnamed_grandeThis is a beautiful book, well-laid out, and very pleasing to the eye. It is precise and well-written. It is not a typical celebrity chef cookbook or, for that matter, a typical cookbook, at all. The author is a chef first and an only accidental celebrity after the fact. It contains recipes for desserts I love, but have not yet tried making, as well as a few that I already make. This book provides clever additions, special ingredients, and describes expert techniques for making some of my favorite dessert dishes in a better way. It, also, provides unique recipes and flavor combinations for dessert dishes I’ve never seen before.

While I have only purchased the digital version of this book, I would really love to have a hard copy for my personal library because this such a beautiful book it has a collectible appeal for those of us who collect cookbooks. I have a collection, many of which are vintage first editions and I choose them as much for their unique recipes as the beauty of their illustrations.

Remarkably Well-organized


Apart from its beauty, the most immediately outstanding feature of this cookbook, which sets it apart from any others I’ve seen, is its remarkable organization. A certain notorious chef commented that he didn’t see how a single person (or one with very little assistance) in a relatively small kitchen could produce so many different types of food from scratch. When you see how well organized this book is, you will see how it is possible. With the information in this book a person can produce a great variety of desserts from a relatively few basic recipes.

The organization of the book is the primary basis of its creativity. The author shows you how to do big things by doing smaller things first. There is a great deal of emphasis on doing things in a prescribed way, then using the base recipes you’ve mastered to let your own creativity flourish. She provides you with 20 basic recipes, then shows you many ways to put them together to produce a wide variety of desserts, which if combined with your own taste and creativity could be the source of an infinite number of delicious desserts and flavor combinations.

Instructive, Encouraging, and Creatively Inspiring

The author is generous in her encouragement to individuality and creativity. This book, also,  inspires the reader to generate ideas for improving his or her own existing recipes. Whenever a tip or technique is provided, the author explains why it is a good thing to do. I already have ideas from this book of how I’m  going to change some of my current baking practices to make some of my own favorite recipes even better. The book is very creatively inspiring this way.

For instance, I just made a half-batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, which I’ve been making for years, using some tips and ideas I got from this book. I used super fine sugar (which I made into super fine by using a food processor) and Kosher salt; normally, I use granulated Morena sugar (using Morena sugar is one of my own personal baking touches) and sea salt. I, also, sifted the flour, which I don’t normally do, and the recipe turned out better than ever! This is a tiny example of the tips offered to beginners and intermediates, however, I can already see that the information in this cookbook is going to make  my current baking practices so much more professional.

Recommended for Beginners, Intermediates, and Experts Alike

This cookbook is good for dessert-makers of all different levels of expertise. There are lots of beginner tips for making desserts that are regarded as tricky or difficult to make. It is, also, unique enough for more accomplished bakers. I am somewhere between a beginner and an intermediate. There are certain things I feel I’m accomplished at making, yet I feel I could improve on, and there a number of dishes I would like to try. This is a very good book for someone at my level of expertise.

My selections from this book, which I plan to make first: The Chocolate Mousse; the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake; and then the cherry pie. I have never made a mousse or a cheesecake before. These are two of the base recipes in the cookbook. Once mastered, you can make other fancy dessert combinations with them. My favorite dessert in the whole world is cherry pie and I think I make a good one, but I see room for improvements as I read this book. I want to try the cherry pie recipe in this book exactly as it is written. I am very excited to try these recipes and I will post an article about my experiences with, at least, one of them in an upcoming article. I think I might start with the Chocolate Mousse!


Where to Buy “Baking with Amy”

Buy the book from Amy’s website:

This is the author’s homepage:


Scroll down under “Additional Material” below to see videos showing some examples of Amy’s baking style.


Meow! Translation: The End!


Steven's Book Reviews: Baking with Amy (a cookbook) by Amy Bouzaglo of Amy's Baking Company fame

Steven's Book Reviews: Baking with Amy (a cookbook) by Amy Bouzaglo of Amy's Baking Company fame

"I don't believe in twisting yourself into knots of excuses and explanations over the food you make." - Julia Child

Mrs. Child could have been talking about Amy Bouzaglo when she uttered that brilliant quote.

I was first introduced to Amy Bouzaglo, along with many others, when she appeared on Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay's TV Show Kitchen Nightmares, where the fabled, godlike chef with the corrugated forehead slips into failing restaurants and attempts to help the owners before they get lost into oblivion. The show ended in 2014, amid controversy over the fact that over 60% of the restaurants Ramsay tried to salvage closed within months. Robert Lloyd of the Los Angeles Times pinpointed the nexus of the show's faults: "Whereas the British Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares is fundamentally a food show — it has interesting things to show you about how a restaurant runs and a kitchen works, the wonders of local markets and what you can make from them if you're Gordon Ramsay or willing to follow his instructions — the Fox edition emphasizes mishap, argument and emotional breakdown almost to the exclusion of cuisine."

During the "Amy's Baking Company" episode of the show, Ramsay went head to head with Amy and her husband Samy in the most grotesque way possible. Ramsay's personality, usually at a near-boiling level when calm soared to new heights when he, at the end of the episode, refused to help the Phoenix, AZ restaurant for the first time in his show's history. Amy and her husband had originally asked Ramsay to help them because their restaurant was besieged by online reviewers on Yelp who seemed to have the motive of bringing them down, rather than offering constructive criticism.

Since that fateful episode aired in 2013, Amy's Baking Company closed as a result of a new landlord of the property raising the rent to astronomical heights. Since the premature demise of ABC, Amy has rebranded with a new website, a new blog and, most importantly, a new book.

The book, entitled Baking with Amy (Baking up some magic!) , was published in 2015 by Amy herself, using the quality services of LULU Self-Publishing.


I bought it today, after hem-hawing for far too long, and read through the entire delightful tome in one afternoon. The book, while at its core a book on the basic tenets of baking and dessert decorating, is peppered with philosophy and biography. The book is dedicated to Amy's Mother, who died of cancer at a young age, the very person who inspired her daughter to be brave, fearless, and unique in her culinary aspirations. The other dedication is to her husband, who has supported his wife from day one.

The desserts that populate the book are sumptuous, with tons of gorgeous pictures that will make your mouth water the second you lay eyes on them. The layout of the book is expertly designed, the colors and photos working in perfect, exquisite complement to each other. The recipes, which include frostings, ganaches, and fillings for pies, cakes, and other specialty desserts. The instructions are clear, easy to follow, and erudite.

Amy also delves into the philosophy of a baker, offering her tips and rules for baking and living. For example, Number 4 of Amy's Rules in the Kitchenis "Don't be afraid!  In baking, just as in life, you will have failures and setbacks. Don’t allow those events to stop you from continuing on your path. Stay strong and never lose sight of your final goal. Remember that for every problem, there is a solution. If you trip, you just need to hop right back up and try again until you perfect it." Amy's philosophy is the heir to Julia Child's motto: "No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize."

I know there will be some naysayers who look at this book and criticize it for being over-simple, basic, and perhaps even naive. But who is to say that being basic isn't a strength? To be an expert in any subject, you must first master the basic foundation. This book is the perfect primer for both the amateur and professional chef alike. Amy's philosophy is well-grounded, firm, and well-tuned to the nature of the world. She stresses to be calm, cool, and collected when cooking, neither to be a raging lunatic nor so relaxed that you burn everything you make!

The book is available on Amy's Website in three different formats: a PDF for $5, a paperback for $30 and a hardcover for $40. I bought the PDF and it is cheap, user-friendly, and allows you to be able to search the recipes and pinpoint exactly what you're looking for.

Amy Bouzaglo is fearless in her cooking, her baking, and her life. Taking the mantle of the titans that came before her, and standing up to one of the biggest curmudgeons in the history of Celebrity Chefs, Amy has proven herself to be a woman of ideals and a fascinating person. Baking with Amyis an invaluable tool for the learned and the amateur alike, filled with tips, treasures, and tenderness from a life devoted to the beauty of the culinary arts.

Amy quotes Marie Antoinette in her dedication to the people who oppose her and, likewise, it's the perfect summary for the simple beauty of this book:

"Let them eat cake!"

(Photos and quotes under copyright of Amy Bouzalgo)

Amy Bouzaglo of Amy's Baking Co. Has a Cookbook (Recipe)

Amy BouzagloEXPAND
Amy Bouzaglo
Photo by James Rose

As a self-taught home cook turned professional pastry chef, Amy Bouzaglo'sperseverance and dedication to her craft is evident in every aspect of her brand and business. Bouzaglo says she and her husband, Samy, aren't satisfied with mediocracy and will stop at nothing to ensure their infamous patisserie and café, Amy's Baking Co., in Scottsdale, Arizona, maintains its reputation. Although the Bouzaglos will eventually retire their brick-and-mortar storefront — made famous by Gordon Ramsay's restaurant rehab program Kitchen Nightmares —  to convert their business into a wholesale operation, Bouzaglo's recipes will persevere through her debut cookbook, Baking With Amy: Baking Up Some Magic!!  

Bouzaglo's book strives to demystify the complexity of high-quality desserts. Offering more than 20 base recipes, such as pastry cream, chocolate mousse, and flourless chocolate cake, that are accompanied by Bouzaglo's favorite culinary memories, baking a dessert from scratch will become a piece of cake as long as you apply yourself.

Bouzaglo discusses the distinct philosophy of her restaurant, her secrets to success, and the base recipes you need to pay attention to in her cookbook. 

How did you teach yourself pastry arts?
When I was 8 years old, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was an artist who taught me to never be afraid of using different flavors or color whenever we were baking, cooking, or painting. I learned from a very early age to work outside of the box and not be afraid to try different things. The worst thing that can happen is, I will fail, but I will try again and apply the lessons I've learned towards a new recipe until I get it perfectly. Eventually, you will get things right if you have the patience. It's just food, and if you know the basics, then a few minor setbacks should not stop you from trying again and again to create a really excellent recipe.

What's the philosophy behind your bakery and restaurant?
My husband and I have the mentality that people should take their time to enjoy sitting down to have a meal. A lot of people don't have the time nowadays. They're usually in a hurry, and they will just eat whatever is available to them quickly. I think we've gotten away from taking the time to actually savor beautiful, delicious, artisan food. We try to put that back into people's lives instead of just feeding people that are in a hurry. 

How do you develop new ideas for your pastries? 
I'm inspired by different things — it just depends on if I have beautiful batches of fresh strawberries, somebody comes to me with a special request, or if I'm feeling creative and want to go with something I haven't done before. I take inspiration from everywhere.

Why do you think your restaurant has become so successful?
When we first opened the bakery and restaurant, I didn't know that I would be the one who was solely responsible for all of the baking and all of the food. It's been hard to find qualified people that are consistent when it comes to maintaining standards. My husband and I believe consistency is the most important thing about a restaurant. If somebody comes in and orders something today, it should be equally as delicious tomorrow or next year.

I became really frustrated with paying a pastry chef $16 to $20 an hour and not having the desserts be what I wanted. So I decided I wasn't going to hire anyone else and try it myself. My desserts were much more successful than the professional pastry chefs we had hired in the past, and I fell madly in love with it. When I'm in the kitchen, I produce like a beast. I'm extremely organized, and when I work, I don't stop. If I'm going to stay in this business, then I want to be the one who takes care of all the desserts.

Your cookbook has a variety of simple base recipes. Which ones are the most important to understand?
It's so important to learn how to make the perfect chocolate mousse. When I was first learning how to make a mousse, I noticed that a lot of the recipes didn't give you secret details and tips in terms of technique. I've learned from my mistakes as a professional pastry chef and I've included those mistakes in the book so people don't repeat them. I'll give you a good example. 

When you make a chocolate mousse, most of the time you think you have to whip the egg whites until their stiff because you want a firm mousse. For the first ten times that I would make a mousse, I was doing the same ting because a lot of recipes were telling me to do so. And every time I did that, I was creating a mousse that was kind of grainy and a little greasy, and I didn't understand why. Then one time I under whipped the egg whites. I cut them very softly and I folded them into the chocolate mixture — it was the most perfect mousse ever. All it took was that one little technique.

Other techniques matter, too, such as scrapping and saving the vanilla bean pod to flavor the sugar. Or if you want to make the perfect meringue, like a marshmallow meringue for lemon meringue tarts, you don't want to have any kind of moisture near the mixture. If you don't make sure that the beaters are completely 100 percent dry and one drop of moisture gets into your meringue, the meringue will collapse. 

Crème Brûlée
Crème Brûlée
Photo by Amy Bouzaglo

Crème Brûlée
Makes 14 ramekins (4-inch wide by 2-inch deep)

This crème brûlée recipe is perfect all on its own with fresh berries after being dusted with vanilla-bean sugar and then slightly torchedwith fire using a small handheld blowtorch to create a thin crisp shell of caramelized sugar.

It’s also perfect as a base recipe for ice cream. Simply pour the chilled crème brûlée mixture into an ice-cream machine and churn until thickened. You can spin thin ribbons of Base #1: Caramel Sauce into the ice cream after it has thickened.

This crème brûlée base may also be used as a filling for a cake or a delicious banana tart. For the latter, simply bake the custard in a large cake pan set in a pan of water just as you would small ramekins. Once it has set, allow the crème brûlée to cool overnight in the refrigerator.

Then take a spoon and fill a prepared tart shell with the cooled mixture. Place thinly sliced bananas on top of the tart, sprinkle with sugar, and burn slightly with a small blowtorch. You can do the same thing with fresh berries instead of bananas.

12 egg yolks (reserve the whites for other desserts)
1 ½ cups sugar
3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 teaspoons orange extract
½ teaspoon salt
6 cups heavy whipping cream (do not substitute milk for the cream)
Caviar from 1 vanilla bean (see page 5)


1. In a mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract, orange extract, and salt until the mixture resembles thick ribbons.
*Caution: Be careful to not over-whip the egg yolks. If you do, the crème brûlée will be light and fluffy rather than rich, thick, and velvety.

2. In a saucepan, combine the heavy whipping cream with the vanilla-bean caviar and bring to a simmer on medium high heat until the cream just begins to boil.

3. Remove from the heat and slowly take a ladle of the hot cream mixture and add it to the egg and sugar mixture.
Tip: Adding part of the cream first in this way is called “tempering” your eggs. you need to warm up the egg mixture slowly before adding it to the hot cream. If you add all of the hot cream directly to your eggs, it will cook the eggs, and you will have a scrambled crème brûlée.

4. Add the entire egg mixture to the remaining hot cream in the pan. Turn off the heat and whisk until the mixture just begins to feel thickened. Pour the mixture into prepared large plastic pouring pitchers and refrigerate overnight. Be sure to scrape the entire saucepan to get all of the vanilla bean caviar that is still in the pan.
*Caution: It is very important that you allow the crème brûlée to chill overnight. This step is necessary to allow the mixture to thicken before you bake it in a bain-marie (water bath). If you use the mixture immediately after making it, you will end up with a fluffy crème brûlée. not good ...

5. When you are ready to bake the custard, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place round ramekins in a deep roasting pan and fill the ramekins almost to the top with the crème brûlée mixture.

6. Fill the pan with hot water halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Be careful not to pour any water into the custard.

7. Bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Every oven is calibrated differently, so you may require additional baking time if the crème brûlée has not become firm in the center. Continue to bake it for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. While the crème brûlée does thicken as it sets, it does not set very much, so if you do not bake the crème brûlée until the center is firm when you shake it, it will be a very soft and runny. remember: Bake and Shake!

8. Remove the individual ramekins from the water bath, place on a new sheet tray, and refrigerate overnight.

Chocolate Crème Brûlée:

You may also add one cup (1) of high-quality dark chocolate chips to the custard while it is still hot. Thoroughly mix the chocolate into the custard and refrigerate overnight.

Elevate the cake!




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