OCEANSIDE — Most folks never forget their childhoods and dessert cookbook author Jackie Bruchez is no exception.
The Oceanside blogger and author now in her 30s said her love of all things sweet stems from baking holiday cookies alongside her granddad when she was a kid.
“My grandfather loved to bake, and we would spend a week every year making hundreds of pounds of Italian cookies to give to friends and family for the holidays,” said the author of “Decadent Fruit Desserts.”
A Californian native, Bruchez is spoiled with the “never-ending growing season,” which inspired the recipes in “Decadent Fruit Desserts,” which are much more than tarts and pies.
With a diverse set of recipes from “simply dressed” desserts to “frozen sweet concoctions” to “retro-modern delights,” Bruchez writes about a dessert fit for any occasion and season.
Even the most novice of chefs can recreate her desserts such as: Blood-Orange Crème Brûlée, Bananas Foster Cake, Paloma Tart and Lemon Cheesecake Bars.
“I love to cook and baking makes me happy and a dessert cookbook was a no-brainer,” Bruchez said. “I’m also into gardening and I love the u-pick markets and farms.”
Bruchez said the idea came about while baking and blogging on her site The Seaside Baker:“When I am brainstorming recipes for my blog, they almost always end up being a sugary concoction …” she said.
She said what makes her cookbook different than others are the recipes within its glossy pages, as well as the colorful photos she photographed for it.
“I tried to develop the book to have a range of easy to more difficult recipes. However, the instructions are written to be very step-by-step for every level baker,” she said. “I really wanted to enhance the flavors of the fruits with other special ingredients. This is a cookbook for anyone who likes to bake.”
Bruchez combined different elements of her upbringing in her debut cookbook and said she writes of the “tropical-infused recipes that feature fruits and flavors of Hawaii, where I spent a good part of my childhood,” and Italian flavors.
“I grew up eating at my grandparents’ big Sunday dinners and beaucoup French-inspired recipes that have helped manage to keep my husband around for the past 15-plus years,” she said.
Speaking of her husband, Bruchez met him when she was an exchange student in Switzerland years ago.
“My husband’s family was always into gardening; they had the most pristine gardens and would serve raspberries and other fruits from their summer harvest. They would pickle everything and everything would be set for the year. It was an inspiration for me so I was in awe because my mom never did any cooking when I was growing up.”
These days Bruchez and her family live on 1/8 of acre in Oceanside that has all kinds of lemon, orange and pink guavas trees. “When we moved in, we were in heaven,” she said. B
Before the cookbook and the baking blog there were cupcakes, Bruchez said.
“I used to sell cupcakes online and did well but I had a baby and it got to be too much,” she said. “I ended up getting my degree and my husband said I needed a creative outlet. He got me a big girl camera and domain name and that’s where the blog started.”
She writes daily and creates recipes a few times a week and then tries them on her family and friends.
And Bruchez didn’t attend professional culinary school and is self-taught, but she does have a degree in Political Science. She said one of her dreams is to one day attend law school.
“If my grandfather could get his law degree at 70, then I can, too,” she said. “Hopefully, I will do it sooner though.”S
When she isn’t blogging or baking, she helps manage her husband’s landscaping business. Married for 16 years they have three children. Bruchez also loves to travel as much as she can and has lived in a variety of places.
“I absolutely always love to travel and have to have something booked. Whenever we travel, I usually hit up the grocery stores first. My husband knows that if I eat something I like, we will probably be eating it at least 10 times until I can perfect it,” she said.
And if you wondered if she was a dessert lover herself, she laughed and said: “I am quite the dessert lover and have the hips to prove it! My go-to dessert is probably a warm brownie with a scoop of ice cream on top.”W
Burcher said now that she has written one book she is planning on her next already: a Christmas cookie exchange E-book.
While baking is her forte, she said: “rice is my cooking arch nemesis. I just can never seem to get it right. Doesn’t matter what kind either — long grain, short grain, and even puffed! Thank goodness for rice makers and store-bought rice Krispy treats!