Let's not get away from the fact that this is a truly beautiful book. I'm a sucker for pretty pictures and I have to say that I initially bought it based on that alone. Then I started cooking....
The first recipe I tried was for high-hat chocolate cupcakes. Throughout the book, Leila tends to provide one recipe and then a number of adaptations. This isn't a problem in itself. However the cupcake method goes as follows: 1. Preheat oven. 2. Beat together eggs, butter and vanilla sugar until pale and fluffy. 3. Melt the butter, add the sour cream and coffee and blend with egg mixture. Spot the error? Yes - how do you melt the butter that is already mixed beaten in with eggs and sugar?! The solution, I believe, is to beat the eggs and sugar together, and melt the butter as step 2. Even more frustratingly, this error is repeated for the classic cup cake recipe. The second stage of the high-hat cupcake recipe requires you to make french meringue. This is a long process but worthwhile in the end. However, the 'cake' part of the recipe is for 12 cupcakes. Yet for some reason the french meringue element (you pipe the meringue on top of the cupcakes) requires 6 egg whites and 850g of caster sugar! I had french meringue coming out of my ears! Overall the cake part wasn't nice - solid and stodgy, although the topping was lovely.
The second recipe was a basic sponge, described as a 'juicy sponge'. Despite following Leila's instructions to the point, my sponge was incredibly rubbery. It was for a birthday cake, and I'm afraid that I was so disappointed that I reverted to a trusted Nigella recipe.
The next recipe was for brittle biscuits. This one worked - absolutely delicious.
The errors could have been made when the book was translated from Leila's native Swedish to English. Even so a little proof reading would have been appreciated.
The book contains sweet and savoury recipes including:
Almond butter biscuits
Strawberry and rhubarb sponge
Torta della nonna (Granny's cake)
Sticky chocolate cake
American apple pie
Raspberry lemon meringue pie
Brioche pizza with berries
Lovely lemon lemonade
Foccacia in seven different ways
White toast bread