some of which are 'tweaked' versions of those collected on Sue's extensive travels!
Headline paperback version/2004
From the author of Le Creuset's French Baking
, among others, we have a superb book of home baking, with something for everyone - ranging from traditional favourites such as 'Victoria Sponge Cake' and 'Shortbread' to, perhaps, the lesser well-known 'Duck Egg Pavlova with Cheesecake Cream' and 'Dukkah Bread' - with the odd Aga recipe thrown in for good measure!
Encouraged by the confidence-building statement from the introduction......
'...your cake might look rather more rustic than shop-bought, but that is the point; it is the intrinsic allure of home-made.
To use the old-fashioned term, it is hand-crafted - lovingly and happily..........'
.....this certainly applied to my completed version of the unlikely-sounding, but delicious 'Chocolate Coca-Cola Cake' - probably the moistest cake I have EVER achieved, so thank you Sue!
'Little Sticky Ginger Cakes' adorn the simple cover of this paperback book of 192 pages, split into main chapters:-
Savoury Pies, Pastries and Tarts
Sweet Pies, Pastries and Tarts
Biscuits and Cookies
Brownies and Bars
sandwiched between a 2-page introduction and an index.
Also included is a guide to ingredients and a useful glossary of British/American baking terms (cup measurements giving American volumes).
Each chapter has a double-page spread opening with relevant text on the left hand page and a picture on the other.
Each recipe has opening text (most often dedicated to the origin of the recipe and the reason why it has been included), the title, the number of servings, the list of ingredients and a clearly numbered method.
The book is packed with useful tips and variations which are quite comprehensive in places, e.g. 'Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie'.
A slight criticism - but not enough to drop an entire star, in my opinion, the amount of photography contained in this delightful book is a little on the light side, but it is easy to forgive as what is pictured is simply mouth-watering!
In addition Sue's enthusiastic writing style simply eggs one on!
Example of text opening -
'Rocky Road and Cheat's Florentines:-
Warning; this is one of the most moreish recipes in the book. I advise you not to make it at, say, 4pm, when blood sugar levels are down and you are desperate for a little something sweet with that cup of tea.
Because once you start nibbling, it is tricky to stop........'
And that is certainly no understatement!
A small taste of the other recipes contained within:-
A Classic Loaf
Bread-Machine Loaves (inc. an adaptation of one of Nick Nairn's)
Cornish Pasty (based on a traditional recipe from 'The Lizard Pasty Shop')
New York Cheesecake
Chocolate Surprise Cake (with a shock ingredient!)
Poppy-Seed and Lemon Muffins
Lemon Berry Damper
A Perfect Crêpe
Scones (inc. an Aga version)
Wheat-free Raisin Muffins
Swedish Lucia Rolls or Saffron Cake
My particular favourites, to date, in the main part showing my very sweet tooth:-
Focaccia stuffed with Taleggio and Ham
Cullen Skink Bridies
Apple Pie (really chunky with lattice top)
Chocolate-Crusted Lemon Tart (first published in Sue's 'Sunday Times' column)
Lemon Fudge Cake
Hallowe'en Barm Brack
Bûche de Noël (enhanced with an optional drop or two of....Drambuie!)
and the aforementioned cover recipe - 'Little Sticky Ginger Cakes', with the most delicious ginger fudge icing decorated with ginger slivers.
In a word - 'unforgettable'!
Like another reviewer, my paperback copy has suffered rather badly over the years and completely eased away from the spine, so if the budget can stretch, I would recommend the Hardcover