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The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook Hardcover – 15 Apr 2009

689 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Ryland, Peters & Small Ltd (15 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845978307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845978303
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 1.7 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (689 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It's hard to imagine that cupcakes and Red Velvet cake were virtually unknown in the UK before Tarek Malouf opened the first Hummingbird Bakery on London's Portobello
Road in 2004. The Hummingbird Bakery has recently celebrated its 11th anniversary and has
London-based bakeries in South Kensington, Soho, Spitalfields, Islington and Richmond, with 3
bakeries in Dubai.

Since the very first day it opened its doors, everything at The Hummingbird
Bakery has been baked fresh, with each site having its own kitchen and baking team, making
sure the authentic American cakes and desserts taste as close to home-baked as possible.

Tarek grew up in London, attending The American School in London and later university in
London and Los Angeles. While working for America's ABC News network, Tarek noticed that
the range of indulgent, high-quality cakes and bakes loved by Americans was almost nonexistent
in the UK. He decided it was time to bring these treats to the British public. After
sampling more cakes than he should, and attending baking classes in New York in order to
understand the different ingredients and techniques, the next step was to devise recipes and
test them over and over on friends and family, and thus The Hummingbird Bakery was born.
Tarek lives in London and Life Is Sweet is his fourth cookbook. Visit The Hummingbird Bakery's website at hummingbirdbakery.com

Product Description

Review

This cookbook is a classic. The cupcakes are fool proof, the brownies perfectly gooey, and you can't go wrong with its carrot cake guaranteed to make your stomach rumble. --The Independent

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

530 of 544 people found the following review helpful By whipmeupsomecream VINE VOICE on 16 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I bought this at my local bookshop a few days ago and I have since been on a baking frenzy!
Yes, there are indeed many good home-baking books out there. And yes, this does make you wonder exactly how many ways of making/icing a cupcake there can possibly be!!! But the Hummingbird bakery cookbook does fill a few gaps for those of us who are time pushed but want the satisfaction of making sweet treats ourselves.
The usual sections that one would expect apply: cupcakes, cakes, pies, brownies and bars, muffins and cookies. It's all packaged very beautifully with plenty of mouthwatering photographs.
On the face of it, there doesn't seem to be anything cutting-edge or new about it...but then it is about baking, not the latest feat in engineering. I like it because the recipes are easy to follow, simple, inspiring and above all, they taste great! Achieving those aspects alone in my opinion gives it 5 stars.
Inevitable comparisons are bound to be drawn between this and the Magnolia bakery book. After all, the author states that his inspiration came from the American style of baking. So I'll address this from the outset. I have both books and there are a couple of the same recipes in Hummingbird as there are in Magnolia. But that's it. What made me buy this book in particular (apart from being seduced by the stunning cover!!) is that the Hummingbird bakery makes THE most delicious cakes in London and I wanted to try and make mine taste as good!
Strawberry cheesecake cupcakes, green tea cupcakes, brooklyn blackout cake, blueberry cake, nutty apple loaf, mississippi mud pie, raspberry cheesecake brownie, carrot and courgette muffins. These are a few of the recipes in this book.
Enjoy!!!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Kharyss on 11 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
Like several others reviewing this book, I consider myself to be a fairly experienced baker and have only had one major cooking disaster before (involving exploding boiling cans of condensed milk for a banoffee pie!) So far I've tried four muffin recipes out of the book - Chocolate, Blueberry, Banana and Maple & Pecan.

Firstly triple the number it says each recipe will make. Instead of 6, I got 20 regular muffins from each batch. The Chocolate muffin mix did seem very thin compared with other recipes I've used before, so I wasn't all that surprised when I found all the chocolate chips had sunk to the bottom during baking. Still edible but certainly not presentable. Same for the Blueberry muffins, which didn't rise at all and separated into a fruit layer and a sponge layer. I re-christened it Blueberry sponge pudding and served it with custard instead. Banana muffins were so so but again didn't rise well. The only exception was the Maple Pecan Muffin recipe, which turned out spectacularly well and tasted divine!

So only one out of four turned out well. I'd expect a lot better from a recipe book. Certainly would not recommend buying this to anyone if they actually intend to use it instead of looking at the pretty pictures.
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156 of 166 people found the following review helpful By Pam on 13 May 2009
Format: Hardcover
*EDITED*

There have been a number of mixed reviews about this book - in fact, there're quite a few negative ones that almost put me off trying to make anything from the recipes. I really wanted to know if this book was worth anything so I decided to prove it to myself. I am a decent baker; that is to say, I taught myself to cook and bake on a regular basis (often with good success!) but have no real culinary skills or knowledge. However, I do spend enough time in the kitchen to notice that the methods for doing various things in this book is quite different from most recipes that are commonly used. For example, the methods for mixing the cake mixture in Vanilla Cupcakes provide that you first combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and a bit of milk in one bowl; and some eggs, milk and vanilla extract in the other. Once thoroughly incorporated, the book tells you to mix the two together. Now, most recipes would ask you to first beat the egg and sugar in one bowl, add the milk and vanilla, follow by the dry ingredients. But I decided to stick closely to the recipes provided - using whatever amount of ingredients (which may seem "ridiculous" to many people) that the book suggests, and have my fingers crossed. The results? Well, the cupcake recipes (vanilla, chocolate and the velvet cupcakes) that I've attempted so far have turned out pretty good! They're all very tasty and do not appear to be "dry" or "inedible" in any way. My guess is that for those of you who are rather experienced would question the validity of the recipes and so instead of sticking to the book, would be tempted to do "what they think is best" - which is probably why there're more experienced bakers complaining about their various failures, etc.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By v in the kitchen on 14 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover
I borrowed this book from my local library and want to test 1 or 2 recipes before buying it. Very glad that I did. Because this book, with beautiful cover and photos, seem to have recipes which are way too sweet, even I am a baker with a huge sweet tooth.

I have only tried out one recipe (Lemon cupcakes). Maybe I am just unlucky. But the lemon buttercream using 250g of icing sugar and 80g of butter was indeed very very sweet (I think other cookbooks usually have a 1:2 ratio instead of 1:3). I made two dozens of cupcakes. Turned out everyone had to scrap the buttercream off to make the cupcakes more edible.

Maybe I am just unlucky. But I've lost all my faith in this book & the rest of the Hummingbird Bakery books. :(
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