In her debut cookbook, “Bake Away: Twenty Recipes Capturing the Spirit of Creativity, Experience, and Expression” (Mascot Books, $25.95), Sahana Vij recalls that when she was just 5 years old, her mother taught her how to make garlic bread.
Now 18, and living with her family in Seattle, Vij takes readers on a journey through her travels and inspirations as a baker, starting with a visit to see her cousins in Atlanta, where she decided to make a New York-style blueberry cheesecake.
“In college, I’m planning on majoring in journalism and focusing on writing,” Vij said in a recent phone interview. “But as a dream job, after college, I’d love to open my own bakery.”
Aiming high, Vij said her biggest inspiration is chef Thomas Keller, who applauds her for donating 100% of the author proceeds from “Bake Away” to No Kid Hungry, a national campaign run by Share Our Strength, which works to end childhood hunger and poverty in America.
“I really wanted to work with them because around 22 million children don’t have access to low-cost and free meals,” she said. “I think it’s a big duty of mine to help those kids.”
“Bake Away” will be released on Oct. 26. Look for a Williams-Sonoma Atlanta book signing in late fall.
In the meantime, Vij is sharing the recipe for Atlanta Crêpe Cake. Inspired by a Proustian memory of making breakfast crepes in Atlanta with her younger cousin Jadon, she created a multilayered dessert topped with whipped cream and fresh berries.
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