I bought this book as a gift for my daughter's birthday to encourage her to make her own sweet treats instead of buying shop manufactured cakes and biscuits which often contain additives. I was so impressed with the book, I bought another two, one for myself and one for a Christmas gift for a friend who I know loves to make cakes. This book has hundreds of recipes for cupcakes, scones, muffins, brownies, blondies, tray bakes and slab cakes, cookies, biscuits and confectionery as well as some interesting savoury muffins and pastries. There is nothing in this book which will not make you go "ooooh" and "aaaaaah" as your pour wistfully over the pages. The photography is so stunning, you can almost smell and taste the pictures; the only improvement would be "scatch and sniff"!
The recipes are easy to follow, and often show a number of flavour variations. The first chapter of the book goes over cake making techniques, ingredients, equipment and supplies as well as giving stock recipes for icings and frostings. Technical terms are explained so easily that my 13 year old could bake any recipe in this book, and my 5 year old nephew would have no trouble in following the recipe with me. There are some really good seasonal and festive recipes in this book as well as some great hand made gift ideas for confectionery and petit fours. It has plenty of recipes for chocaholics as well as hundreds of recipes which use all manner of dried fruits, nuts and seeds for those who want a "healthy" treat! If you have to bake for a school fete cake stall or church bazaar then this book is for you, and for all you car booters who like to bake on Saturday and sell on Sunday, you will make an absolute fortune with the recipes in this book!
This book makes an excellent gift for all your foodie friends and relatives of all ages and is so easy to use that it makes it a particularly good book to give your grown up ready-to-leave home children as they go off to university or set up their first home. Its layout is fantastic, since the creative photographs and simple instructions are a easy to read. It is an inspiring book that will make even the most novice cook want to try and create mouth watering bite size treats to nibble on with tea and coffee or put into lunch boxes to be enjoyed throughout the day. If you are a parent, then this book is a must since you can bribe your children to do anything on the promise of making something from this book. There are plenty of easy and quick recipes in here for small cakes, biscuits and tray bakes which are ideal for hungry sugar-deprived kids at 4pm after school. Serve with a glass of juice, milk or smoothie, and you will feel the smug satisfaction of knowing your kids are eating additive free yummy treats with far less fat, sugar, salt and chemicals than the stuff you buy in the supermarkets. Often they are also cheaper and many of the recipes are freezable which is useful for those of us who are time concious and they store well in the biscuit tin.
For those of us with partners these recipes are also guaranteed to get you those expensive shoes, fragrance, video game or power tools you wanted when they open their lunch box to find delicious home made treats inside for their coffee break. Impress your friends at the end of your dinner party by serving some of the sophisticated individual cupcakes for dessert and wow your pals at coffee mornings with delectable sweet home made nibbles.
The only negative thing I can say about this book is that it does not have any nutritional information for any of the recipes, but with treats like these it is unlikely that you are going to be counting the calories, and if it did include any information, many of us who are extremely health concious would probably never bake any of them, which would be a crime in itself. Weights and measurements are given in metric and imperial (use one or the other) as well as information on yield numbers per batch and oven temperatures are given in centigrade, Fahrenheit and gas marks.
I can't recommend this book highly enough and it is the only small cake and biscuit recipe book you will ever need. With 1001 recipes you will be spoiled for choice!