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SL Trivuncic "MaisonCupcakeBakingBlog" (London)
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Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes
Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes
by David Lebovitz
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 20.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the Francophile who loves baking, 16 Dec 2011
David Lebovitz certainly will have you Ready for Dessert with this masterful compilation volume of over 170 recipes for cakes, cobblers, cookies, custards and more.

This book is weighty, full of detailed advice and the wit we've come to expect from David's blog. Not all recipes are accompanied by photos but you feel so guided by his expert advice you can have every faith each dessert or biscuit will turn out just right.

Things I'm dying to try are: pumpkin cheesecake with pecan crust and whiskey caramel topping, orange cardamom flan and peppery chocolate-cherry biscotti. His style is an appealing fusion of sturdy American baking classics with French patisserie delicacy of detail and flavour.

There are some recipes reproduced from earlier David books although I understand these are difficult to buy or out of print. Ready for Dessert also has many new recipes so there's something for all fans but especially those coming from his blog who've not bought any of his books before.


Miette Bakery Cookbook: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop
Miette Bakery Cookbook: Recipes from San Francisco's Most Charming Pastry Shop
by Miette Cakes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.59

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Looks lovely but be wary of errors, 16 Dec 2011
Meg Ray's Miette brings the famous San Francisco bakery of the same name to your kitchen; famous for her signature mid sized cakes, especially those like the one on the cover with triple layers and frosting, this book is one of my favourites of the year.

Scalloped edges to the pages make it stand out! Sadly it's only been published with American cup sizes but I intend to make lots of things from this in the new year.

However, I am put off by reports of mistakes in the ingredients. My copy arrived with an error sheet in the back but it's a nuisance to have to refer to this and makes me anxious stuff won't work properly. And it is a disappointment how few photos there are.

I'm kind of hypnotised by the cover though. I wonder if this title had extra advertising budget on Amazon as I couldn't get away from it in search results last summer.


Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking ...: Scandilicious
Secrets of Scandinavian Cooking ...: Scandilicious
by Signe Johansen BA Social Anthropology; MA Anthropology of Food
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 22.00

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setting a culinary trend, 16 Dec 2011
Spearheading this year's trend for Nordic and Scandinavian cuisine, Signe Johansen's Scandilicious has been one of my favourite books of the year, so much so I've renewed my library copy SIX times now and will inevitably buy it when they forcibly remove it from me.

The styling is effortlessly, well, stylish with graphic printed linens and ceramics. My top recipes are Jarlsberg and fennel muffins, Daim cake and the blackberry, almond and cardamom cake. Plenty of dinner and snack dishes in here too, there is a fair amount of baking but not limited to that - roll on Scandilicious Baking coming out July 2012, I hope it's as delightful as her first book.

Foodies have been praising Nordic/Scandi cuisine for a couple of years now but possibly 2012 will see this type of cuisine go mainstream at a more upmarket level than mere Ikea cafe.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 11, 2013 11:53 PM BST


Roast Figs, Sugar Snow: Food to Warm the Soul
Roast Figs, Sugar Snow: Food to Warm the Soul
by Diana Henry
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 12.79

4.0 out of 5 stars For winter comforts, 16 Dec 2011
"Winter food to warm the soul" is the tagline of Diana Henry's Roast Figs and Sugar Snow and its influences span Alsace, Georgia, New England, Russia, Quebec, anywhere in fact where the temperature plummets in the darker months.

You'll feel well travelled in a fur hat and boots through ski slopes, pine forests and misty moors by the time you've read it. I intend to work my way through tartiflette of Savoie (Reblochon is one of my favourite ever cheeses), Danish roast pork with pickled prunes and sweet cucumber Russian smoked fish pie with cream cheese pastry.

The sugar snow of the title refers to Native Americans watching for the "sugar moon" before tapping the maple trees for syrup. It's kind of Joanne "Chocolat" Harris' French Kitchen meets Twin Peaks. All that's missing is some damn fine cherry pie. Warning: There is a fluffy ex-bunny hanging upside down on page 68.


Leon: Baking & Puddings
Leon: Baking & Puddings
by Henry Dimbleby
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.40

5.0 out of 5 stars To dip in and out of, 16 Dec 2011
Claire Ptak and Henry Dimbleby's joint effort is the third outing for cafe chain Leon with Leon Baking and Puddings.

A big solid book with twin ribbon book marks (these always make books look wonderful), the inside is an eclectic mix of graphics, vintage photography and funky page layouts.

Recipes are chatty with credentials from granny or ancient aunts in many cases; this book is a rare breed that makes you laugh as you turn the pages (for the right reasons).

A harlequin leapfrogging a jelly, mini footballers scaling a meringue, Desperate Dan cow pie with horns, it sounds ridiculous but it works. There's even a groovy page full of stickers at the back. This is the kind of book you could keep dipping into and notice something you hadn't seen before. One of my favourites of the year.


Pieminister: A Pie for All Seasons
Pieminister: A Pie for All Seasons
by Tristan Hogg
Edition: Hardcover

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for blokes who like baking pies as well as eating them, 15 Dec 2011
Pieminister are by now a familiar brand on supermarket shelves; who can forget the Will & Kate Royal Wedding Pie earlier this year? This book works through every pie filling imaginable season by season; how to make all types of pastry, using up left over bits and avoiding soggy bottoms. My favourite section is the autumn one featuring curry pies to tie in with Diwalhi and the recipe for rabbit, pork and black pudding roll.

Contrary to all the "shabby chic" baking books around, this is quite a masculine book with vector style graphics; good for blokes who like baking pies as well as eating them.


Short and Sweet
Short and Sweet
by Dan Lepard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 17.00

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the dedicated baker, 29 Nov 2011
This review is from: Short and Sweet (Hardcover)
Dan Lepard's new epic volume has a contradictory title, Short and Sweet being what I imagined was a reference to how he likes his pastry rather than the length of the book. In fact, the book was not originally intended to be this length, a pocket size reference book in the vein of Schott's Miscellany was planned but things took another turn. Four years in the making, 500+ whopping pages and a surprising number of pictures (that Dan also took himself - he was previously a photographer), this really is a telephone directory of baking advice.

With prose in similar style to Nigel Slater, I was initially overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of this book, Dan gives detailed advice peppered with historical information and stuff like where the word "streusel" comes from. The sheer scale of what is in here makes it hard to say which recipes tempt me the most; on my to-do list are tapenade dinner rolls, cheese and black pepper buttons and Creme Fraiche Treacle Caramels. There are also some fun items like Weetabix muffins and Rocky Road Rock Cakes.

Possibly if you study this book and do a "Julie and Julia" with it, there would be very little about baking you would not have learned. This book fulfils two criteria I like to find in my favourite cookery books; do I want to sit in bed reading it night after night and do I expect to use it in the kitchen for year after year? (yes and yes).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 29, 2011 10:07 PM GMT


Kitchen Hero
Kitchen Hero
by Donal Skehan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the hip young cook, 28 Nov 2011
This review is from: Kitchen Hero (Hardcover)
Donal Skehan is rapidly becoming Ireland's twinkly eyed answer to Jamie Oliver (who in turn is becoming the UK's answer to Martha Stewart). In his early twenties, Kitchen Hero is already his second book.

Although recipes like smoky fish pie and cheesy cauliflower bake aren't by any means unique, there's great attention to detail producing a very slick attractive book indeed. No wonder Rachel Allen is quoted on the cover saying how much she loves him.

We don't get Donal's Kitchen Hero TV show in the UK but if it exudes the energy that pours out of his website and book, we're missing a treat. Watch this space for someone destined to start an empire of restaurants and mail order businesses if he follows in the steps of the big JO. I bought this book on the back of the artwork and food styling alone but the dishes inside are realistic and tempting enough to make me want to cook all of them tomorrow.


Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money
Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money
by Aggie MacKenzie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 16.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For someone wanting to cook from scratch every day, 28 Nov 2011
Aggie's Family Cookbook from the lovely Aggie Mackenzie, better known as the friendlier of the two ladies who used to invade people's houses and tell them how filthy dirty they were.

Hugely practical, this book has realistic weekly meal plans to help you save money and feed the family nutritious meals every night. My favourite chapter is "Food for the kids' mates" which includes a recipe called "Clissold Chicken" named after her local park. My other favourites are quick braised oxtail, vegetable empanadas, puff pastry pissaladiere and the entire "bits and pieces" chapter which is full of useful standard recipes everyone should memorise.

Orla Kiely style tablecloths feature throughout and incase you think you're going to get off the hook with donning rubber gloves afterwards, there's a section "How to clean your kitchen" because, well some people are filthy dirty you know. Possibly the only cookbook I've seen that includes a ticking off for allowing cats on worktops.

Beautifully laid out, reassuring and good fun.


The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits
The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits
by Sarah Moore
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the crafty sugar fan, 24 Nov 2011
The piping bag's the limit when it comes to drawing on biscuits, any shape, any colour, any design.

The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits gives a comprehensive guide to decorating cookies to suit different themes and seasons ranging from the bridal collection's dress, shoes, dove, cake and bouquet to the cowboys and indians' collection of teepee, boots, horse, native American headdress, stetson and cactus.

For anyone who is a fan of blogs like Sweetopia and Bake at 350, Biscuiteers gives a hard copy guide to make any cookie decorating fan crumble with excitement.

Lots of information in the front for practical help with techniques and a sparky layout make this a fun accessible book to add to your baking and sugarcraft library.


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