Cookbooks follow a simple recipe: list the ingredients, explain how they mix together, and include an image of the finished product. Covers are reserved for some maximalist jouissance-inducing meal like, say, a buttery brioche-cupped cheeseburger dripping with grease and melted roquefort. Throw in a picture of a smiling Gordon Ramsay wearing a cashmere sweater and holding a bowl of black truffles, and you got yourself a best seller.
That’s the opposite approach Swedish retailer IKEA took for its new baking book, Homemade is Best, which Today and Tomorrow previewed this morning. Rather than simply list off recipes, photographer Carl Kleiner shot the pastries before their preparation, presenting a color view of deconstructed ingredients that is both beautiful and minimalist. Two sticks of butter and a tablespoon of sugar never looked so delicious.
IKEA is smart for entering the world of cookbooks. The chain is known for its inexpensive DIY furniture, but it sells home wares too. Hawking baking recipes to shoppers as they stand impatiently in line might help move more whisks and rolling pins.