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prawncracker (Glasgow)

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The International School of Sugarcraft 1: Beginners Bk.1
The International School of Sugarcraft 1: Beginners Bk.1
by Nicholas Lodge
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Livin' in the 80s ..., 26 July 2011
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There's good sound advice and information in this book, but it is oh so dated if you are looking for design inspiration.

I use Nicholas Lodge's gum paste recipe to make sugar flowers. It really is great but the sugarcraft here is stuck in the 70s and 80s.

Lodge really knows his stuff but I really would love to see a new edition of this book and see his take on some contemporary design.


My Kitchen Table: 100 Cakes and Bakes
My Kitchen Table: 100 Cakes and Bakes
by Mary Berry
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.59

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 14 Feb. 2011
Mary Berry knows her stuff. The recipes work. Simple presentation. The "best shortbread recipe", is the best I've tasted. Great value little book which is going to be very very useful.
I'm not keen on small format recipe books (hard to keep open and flat as you work) but this series has such cracking content I'll overlook it.

Money well spent.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 20, 2012 10:58 AM BST


The Self Sufficient-ish Bible
The Self Sufficient-ish Bible
by Andy Hamilton
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Very likeable, 17 Jan. 2011
I enjoyed reading this immensely. I think it's for beginners - i.e. that's me. It's certainly suitable for townies trying to be a little bit greener.

A few bits of info missing that I'd have liked (e.g. how to make soap - maybe too complicated to include?) but still lots that will keep me amused. Going to try the hay box first.

Great ideas that I seem to remember my Papa doing in the garden (making his own newspaper plant pots) but that I had forgotten all about.

(The Selfsufficient-ish website is really, really interesting and their forum friendly and informative. Check them out).
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 2, 2011 9:10 AM GMT


Wintersmith: (Discworld Novel 35) (Discworld Novels)
Wintersmith: (Discworld Novel 35) (Discworld Novels)
by Terry Pratchett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £5.24

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable, 11 Nov. 2010
Implausibly, this is the first Terry Pratchett book I have ever read. It's not even the first 'Tiffany' book. I didn't even realise it was for younger readers. I am a sort of idiot. I had an annoying "friend" who loved his books and that always put me off. Anyway ...

I thoroughly enjoyed this. I want to read more Terry Pratchett, and how delightful that he's written so much.

A few critics on here have said it's not as witty as his other work - well I am looking forward to experiencing his other books then.

I think for the age group it is aimed at, the level of writing is perfect. (Please read the middle Harry Potters and the second third and fourth Twilight books to see truly bad writing for young adults ... or don't). Witty, well characterised and plotted with great poignancy at times. Also most enjoyable for someone pushing forty. Ahem.

Roland's passage about losing his memories was particularly lump-in-the-throat. "What makes a man"?

Loved it.


The Whoopie Pie Book
The Whoopie Pie Book
by Claire Ptak
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.95

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visual feast, 20 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Whoopie Pie Book (Hardcover)
Let's face it, about 90% of the pleasure from reading most cookery books is looking at the pictures. This one doesn't disappoint from that point of view. I'll be back to let you know if the recipes live up to the sumptuous pictures. The photography and styling are admirable.

I'm dying to try making these, and there are some very appealing recipes for creams, buttercream fillings and sauces. Roasted rhubarb and custard really caught my eye, as did the chocolate marshmallow buttercream and frozen key lime.

My only niggle was that her chocolate macaroons, learned, we are told, at Pierre Herme's school, look nothing like a Hermé macaron (they are cracked on top with no pied! Heavens, Pierre would have a flakey) but more like my auntie's macaroons. No offence auntie - they tasted lovely!

A really appealing collection (and price) that made me buy it on impulse.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 2, 2010 3:08 PM GMT


The Joy of Cooking (Plume)
The Joy of Cooking (Plume)
by I. Rombauer
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, 5 Oct. 2010
This is the edition I have got - and it's very worn - I need a new one but am worried the new edition will have missing recipes.

I found this second hand. It was the very best £1.99 I ever spent. This is absolutely packed with great recipes. I think it probably has everything!

An absolute classic of a cook book.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 26, 2011 5:32 PM BST


The Glasgow Cookery Book: Centenary Edition - Celebrating 100 Years of the Dough School
The Glasgow Cookery Book: Centenary Edition - Celebrating 100 Years of the Dough School
by Glasgow Queen's College
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £14.61

5.0 out of 5 stars Like a cookery expert on tap, 5 Oct. 2010
I grew up using this book (the 1960s version). It has everything in it. You want to know how to make macaroni cheese, scones, sponge cake, french onion soup, roast beef and yorkshire pudding, lobster thermidor (!) ... you use The Glasgow Cookery Book.

My mum cherishes hers, though my granny was always a bit sniffy about "economy cooking".

It's not Scottish specifically though it was born in Glasgow - and it's not a basic cook book by any means - it's just a great, reliable source. I think of it like an old friend ... who makes very good scones ... and this book will never leave my kitchen.


Mad About Macarons! Make Macarons Like the French
Mad About Macarons! Make Macarons Like the French
by Jill Colonna
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £9.98

59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recipes that work, now that's a relief, 4 Oct. 2010
I've become slightly obsessed by making macarons in the past year. I tried so many recipes off foodie blogs and one from another book. "Leave the oven door ajar, " some said (what a waste of energy! just turn it down!). "Use two baking trays, rap the baking sheet on the table, cover with greaseproof paper, turn the tray around during cooking, spin round three times and shout abracadabra and cross your fingers".
Well here's my addition to the advice out there "test your oven temperature (you might be surprised how wrong it is), read the recipe here carefully, and prepare to eat delicious macarons".
I'm not saying it's easy ... you need some baking competence ... but goodness me there's none of the kerfuffle I've read elsewhere. I got a sneak preview of this recipe, before it was a book, early in the year, straight from the author, so you could say I'm biased ... but I'm not. I was super excited to find the recipe worked a treat - no fuss. Now I'm chuffed I've got my copy of the actual book with all the variations and tips - and the nut-free recipe too (that's a first surely?). My only concern is that now that anyone can know how to make perfect macarons my pals might not be so excited about eating mine and I'll have to look for something else to cook.
What are those whoopie pie things anyway?
If you want to know how to make make macarons successfully at home, get this book, 3 baking trays, a piping bag and nozzle and a big roll of greaseproof paper. Cupcakes? Pah.


Cakes from Concept to Creation
Cakes from Concept to Creation
by Kathy Moore
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable, 28 Sept. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I rate a cookbook where the recipes actually work! You'd be surprised how many don't. Hummingbird Bakery take note.

There are just a few basic recipes in this book but lots of information about making professional cakes. You then take the basic recipe and, with the guide provided, make bigger or smaller cakes or add flavours and decorate as you need.

Good, sound, practical advice, cake recipes that work and are delicious, and sensible advice should you want to make and sell them for a living.

A very very useful book!


Tamasin's Kitchen Bible: The One And Only Book For Every Cook
Tamasin's Kitchen Bible: The One And Only Book For Every Cook
by Tamasin Day-Lewis
Edition: Paperback

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An appealing, useful addition to your cookery book collection, 24 Sept. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I keep going back to this book. I like it. I enjoyed the little stories with each recipe too. I like the style of the book - she seems like a decent, experienced home cook.

I took a star off because after several attempts I couldn't get the Pavlova to work (after 4 failed ones I used Leith's Techniques Bible for an easy, perfect Pav). That might be down to a wee typo somewhere or my own incompetence.

She gives down-to-earth advice and I found the pastry tips especially useful. (Apart from the Pav) I've found the recipes achievable and very, very tasty. Try the lemon meringue pie! Properly lemony, and whipped up (pardon the pun) in about 20 minutes (barring pastry resting and cookery time).

It's comprehensive and I've found it really useful


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