This book is beautiful, the vibrant photographs are total food seduction, I fell in love with it in an instant. After a quick flick through I knew several of the recipes would be perfect for Christmas presents. The gifts range from preserves to a wedding cake, confectionery to pickles, and biscuits to beverages.
So far I've made pickled beetroot, cherry tomato and sweet chilli jam, limoncello, and mango chutney. As I am a complete novice when it comes to home-made preserves and pickles, I have found the recipes lack certain details, for example, how long certain ingredients will take to cook, reduce and thicken, and what consistency, is right for a jam or chutney etc. So I have had to look up tips and advice on Google. I have also found the quantity of jars the author claims each recipe will make is totally inaccurate, which is a slight irritation as now I will end up with less presents to go round! So just be aware of this. However in terms of the actual recipes, they are brilliant. Even with just a tiny taste whilst cooking I can tell these will be delicious! The ingredients, in particular the combination of spices are authentic and add a real luxury flavour to the recipes. I can't wait for my family and friends to open them up at Christmas!
I do agree with other reviewers here, who say a lot of the recipes (the majority) have a short shelf life. However, I can deal with this as I have chosen recipes I can make now for Christmas (the preserves). And will use other recipes in the week leading to Christmas, for example Stollen and Panforte to eat during the festivities. I can imagine I will also use them in the future for all sorts of occasion, where I can make sweets or cakes to bring and share with everyone on the day.
The variety and quality of these recipes make this a great book. If you are new to home-made gifts, buy this! It's a huge inspiration, and I can't wait to make my next gift :)