DUBLIN-based baker Graham Herterich is better known as The Cupcake Bloke.
Initially trained as a chef, he later opened a wholesale bakery and retail outlet which he runs in Rialto, Dublin.
But this month, he dusted off his apron and stepped out of his bakery to launch his first book.
Bake: Traditional Irish Baking with Modern Twists was published by boutique Irish publishing house Nine Bean Rows on September 9.
In it, the culinary genius – whose family moved from Stuttgart to Ireland in the mid-1920s and opened deli’s across the country – presents a snapshot of Ireland today.
“Bake includes traditional recipes that hold a special place in our hearts and on our tables while making room for new influences, inspirations and contemporary ingredients,” explain its editors.
Herterich’s beautiful hardback “offers something for every type of baker”, they add, “from beginners looking for answers to all their baking questions to more accomplished bakers looking for inspiration and adventurous new flavors. “.
Food has always forged a connection with the baker’s past and the recipes in the book pay homage to the women in his life who inspired his love of baking.
Many recipes also pay homage to Middle Eastern flavors, reflecting Graham’s travels to Morocco and Egypt in his twenties and more recently to Palestine and Israel with his father.
With 100 recipes, from traditional baked goods like soda bread, pies, porter cake and brack to modern classics like hams, cheesecakes and fortnights are given a contemporary twist using ingredients available in Ireland now, from l ‘advieh to the zhug.
Readers can choose from Graham’s twists on classic dishes like Coffee Walnut Cake reinterpreted as Coffee Walnut Pavlova with Coffee Poached Pears or Rhubarb Crumble reimagined as Chocolate, Banana Crumble and coconut with banana ice cream.
Also included are Graham’s recipe for Guinness Brown Bread and the updated alternative, Rye, Beer and Honey Bread, while Graham’s beloved buns are updated as cupcakes at tahini and black sesame.
Other favorites include panch bread phoron soda with keema lamb curry; stout chocolate cake with whiskey honeycomb frosting; gin, lemon and fuchsia tart; and Buckfast cooked ham with pomegranate and mint.
Bake: Traditional Irish Baking with Modern Twists also includes a brief history of Irish baking by Ali Dunworth as well as Dee Laffan’s take on the modern landscape of Irish cooking as well as a comprehensive guide to baking essentials and lesser known ingredients.
“Ever since I was a little boy sitting at my grandmother Flynn’s table and learning to cook, I’ve loved traditional Irish baking,” says Herterich.
“And ever since I first set foot in the souks of Morocco over twenty years ago, I have loved discovering exciting new flavors, spices, foods and cultural influences.”
He adds: “Bake gave me the opportunity to combine these two loves. For every traditional Irish recipe, I’ve created a modern take on the dish – it can be a twist on a classic soda bread or a complete reinterpretation of a classic flavor combination like coffee and nuts and more. I loved creating Bake and I think it brings traditional Irish baking up to date.
MEET THE BAKER:
Graham Herterich learned to cook at a very young age alongside his grandmother and developed his love for baking.
He continued his Culinary Arts training at the Waterford Institute of Technology and his studies included stays at well-known restaurants and hotels such as Kilkee Castle, Marlfield House, Mount Juliet, Chapter One, Peacock Alley and The Commons.
Graham briefly left the industry to spend two years in the Carmelite community before returning at the age of 21, eventually founding The Cupcake Bloke in 2012 and opening his first retail store, The Bakery in Rialto, Dublin, in 2018.
He is a Bosch ambassador and winner of several Blas na hÉireann Awards and Chef Ireland Awards.
Graham is passionate about flavor and quality while bringing an element of fun to his food. Bake: Traditional Irish Baking with Modern Twists is his first book.
Bake: Traditional Irish Baking with Modern Twists by Graham Herterich, published by Nine Bean Rows, €25, is available from all good bookstores and many independent retailers across Ireland as well as online at ninebeanrowsbooks.com