Community Cooks: Teen fights child hunger with cookbook

A recipe for Atlanta Crêpe Cake by Sahana Vij

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.

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Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

“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.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

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