Prepare poke snacks in my pokemon baking book
Everyone and everything eats it, from the smallest amoeba to the largest whale. Some have a specific diet while others look for almost anything, but if there’s one thing people are good at it’s taking a simple regimen and making it complex beyond all belief or reason. There are millions of recipes in the world that take a few basic ingredients and add all kinds of beauty to them, sometimes they’re edible art, sometimes they’re just fun snacks. My Pokémon Baking Book is a collection of zoo-themed recipes taken from Nintendo’s Fighting Zoo, and while Pokémon and candy don’t seem to have much to do with each other, the results are cute and delicious.
The cookbook is divided into nine chapters, each featuring a collection of snacks, desserts and the occasional bake that revolves around Pokemon from a particular region. For example, the opening chapter of the Kanto region features a Poké Ball-shaped concha, a Dodo-shaped chocolate macaroon, a Pikachu-faced cupcake, and a few others. All of the recipes come with the Pokemon art you rely on to hold the theme in place, but not all of them include a photo of the finished product, which might have been more helpful. The flavor text in each recipe is at the top of the page with the rest of the essential information, so unlike many cookbooks, you don’t need to read someone’s life story to get to baking. With a quick glance at the ingredient list, you can see which ones will be the most interesting, and all recipes are rated on a difficulty scale of one to four so you don’t overwhelm yourself.
I have to take out the cookbook for a test run, make some desserts and bookmark a few for later, and like anything that involves baking, results are better with experience. This Togepi themed cup cake was easy to make; Simply throw some ingredients into a 20-ounce cup, fluff with a fork, add some sprinkles for coloring, microwave, and serve with ice cream. As it turns out, sprinkles are best if they’re the pure colored sugar variety, because one whole egg for a cup-sized cake will somewhat neutralize the eggy flavor without the sweetener to mask it. Good ice cream complements cake nicely, making it a quick and easy dessert to serve all at once. It’s certainly a stretch to say that throwing sprinkles in a microwave cake makes it Togepi-themed, but it’s close enough.
The other recipe I tested was an Olive Oil, Cherry and Chocolate Backdrop Cake, and as with any recipe, when I first baked it, I followed the instructions to the letter. Although more complicated than a mug cake, it was also a one-star recipe in terms of difficulty, and came with minimal fuss. The only problem I had was something many of the recipes in the book have in common, in that some ingredients may require a trip to Amazon or another online retailer to find. The cake is baked in an 8 x 8 pan and the Taillow look comes from the melted white chocolate, dark chocolate, and red candy melts on top. No grocery store in my area had it, and my attempt to use food coloring on white chocolate backfired when I discovered that my food coloring was water-based, causing the chocolate to harden (note: this is not an error from the cookbook, but instead Working to the deadline and filling in what I can find). An 8 x 8 baking pan is a standard sized item, so having a target size for the amount of drizzle used would be great, but like cheese and garlic, toppings are best measured by a person’s heart, so this worked well. Finally, it’s best to cut the dried cherries the recipe calls for in half before adding them, as they can be bulky in the cake otherwise. The cake was still incredibly delicious, but a few extra lines about its preparation would have made it even better.
There are quite a few recipes in the book that I’m looking forward to trying as well as ones that I’ve had time to test, and most of them work with the Pokemon theme better than the ones I’ve been able to make. Not only do the Whismur themed lemon lavender bars look delicious, the yellow cake with lavender frosting is a perfect color match, and the black gel over-marked eyes are simple enough for beginner bakers and accentuate the Pokemon theme perfectly. These Scraggy-based sweet orange cardamom rolls look delicious and look just like Scraggy’s head, and are a little more advanced in their decoration requirements but use simple shapes that shouldn’t be too difficult to put together. The only reason I passed on this recipe is because it’s another recipe that requires ordering online, as the dried papaya required for the red skin on top of Scraggy’s head is impossible to find on store shelves. The candied orange peel ingredient tends to be a seasonal item, but this was easy enough to make store-bought not necessary.
Whether you’re a novice baker or a master cook, there are plenty of fun recipes in My Pokémon Baking Book. Some are straightforward enough to master the first time while others may need a little experimentation to get the balance right, but the variety is excellent. Mango and ginger bread pudding, focaccia, cakes of all shapes and sizes, eclairs, cupcakes, rolls, cakes, and a whole lot more, all waiting for a hungry coach to prepare them. Sure, some of the themes are more than a mild suggestion of Pokemon while others are more obvious, but all together make for an engaging book that’s as much fun to leaf through as it is to plan your next baking.