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Island Girl (London)

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Sweet Paris: A Love Affair with Parisian Chocolate, Pastries and Desserts
Sweet Paris: A Love Affair with Parisian Chocolate, Pastries and Desserts
by Michael Paul
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Paris Indeed!, 20 Jun. 2012
Sweet Paris isn't your typical recipe book. It's filled with insider knowledge on the best places in Paris to find traditional French desserts and treats such as chocolate eclairs, macarons, strawberry tarts, brioche, creme brulee, salted butter caramel, and of course - hot chocolate. A brief history of some of the major Parisian patisserie shops are included, as well as a history of many of the featured desserts. There is a great selection of recipes that compliment the written content of the book as well.

Sweet Paris is made up of seven chapters and also includes several pages of addresses so you can easily find your favourite pastry shop while your there. The thing that really makes Sweet Paris stand out from the other books on my shelf is the photography. The pages are filled with stunning images of Parisian pastries, pastry shops and every day images of Paris. I could stare at the photos all day long!

Some of the recipes that I've bookmarked to make in the future are:

Classic French Chocolate Eclairs
Traditional Tart au Citron
Bittersweet Tarte au Chocolate
Homemade Blackcurrant Sorbet with Cassis
Classic Caramel au Beurre Sale

I can't wait to try more recipes from Sweet Paris, and also explore some of the many pastry shops and tea salons listed in the book. I will definitely be bringing my copy with me on my next trip to Paris.

The Silver Spoon; Pasta (Silver Spoon Book)
The Silver Spoon; Pasta (Silver Spoon Book)
by Edward Park
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pasta Perfect!, 20 Jun. 2012
A few weeks ago we travelled to Bologna Italy, where they're famous for their food - specifically for their filled pastas. I brought home 5 big bags of pasta, all unique shapes which I hadn't seen before in the UK. I wanted to use these pastas in special and authentic Italian recipes, but wasn't sure where to start looking. In Italy each pasta shape goes best with a specific type of sauce, so I was more than pleased when I started flipping through the pages of The Silver Spoon Pasta Book and saw a brief history of each pasta featured in the book, including all of the varieties I brought home from my trip! There are wonderful and simple recipes to accompany each type of pasta, although there's no rules stopping you from mixing and matching! The first recipe I made was the penne in Vodka Sauce, although I used the bow tie pasta I brought from Italy rather than penne. My husband said it was the best pasta and sauce he's ever had. It tasted like it was straight from a restaurant in Italy. It was amazing, and has quickly become our favourite - I've made it 3 times this week!

The recipes in this book are simple and easy, with many of them requiring 10 ingredients or less

Boutique Baking: Delectable Cakes, Cupcakes and Teatime Treats
Boutique Baking: Delectable Cakes, Cupcakes and Teatime Treats
by Peggy Porschen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.59

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Boutique Baking - My favourite Peggy book so far!, 17 May 2012
Boutique Baking is slightly different from Peggy's previous books which focus more on decorating projects using several key recipes. Instead, Boutique Baking is filled with recipes - each with their own decorating ideas and techniques that Peggy clearly guides you through with written instructions and visual steps.

Boutique Baking is made up of 7 chapters: Sweet Treats, Beautiful Biscuits, Cupcake Heaven, Luscious Layer Cakes, Classic Cakes & Bakes, Delicious Drinks, and The Icing on The Cake.

Notable recipes include:

Springerle Cookies - I've always wanted to make these, but have never found an authentic wooden mould.

Chocolate Heaven Cupcakes - I've made these and they're delicious.

Summer Berry Cake - this has a beautiful pattern on top that's created by a simple dusting of cocoa powder over a patterned stencil.

Raspberry & Rose Dome Cake - I also made this, and it turned out fantastic.

Minteani - A light and refreshing iced mint tea and vodka cocktail.

Out of all of Peggy's books (she has 5), Boutique Baking is my favourite. The recipes are all mouth watering and accompanied by stunning photos, not only of the finished product but also of the steps needed to get you there. Boutique Baking has something for everyone. Novice bakers and decorators need not shy away, as there's a recipe and decorating idea to suit every skill level.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 1, 2014 5:40 PM BST

Bake & Decorate
Bake & Decorate
by Fiona Cairns
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make the Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake!, 9 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Bake & Decorate (Paperback)
I was very excited when I received my copy of Fiona Cairns book "Bake and Decorate". I immediately flipped through the book and bookmarked close to a dozen fabulous looking recipes. There is such a wide variety of cakes and baked goods in this book that you're sure to be able to find something that will suit any occasion.

The first recipe I made from this book was the Flourless Chocolate Hazelnut Cake (pg: 22), and I have to admit it was one of the best cakes I've ever made in my life, and I'm not joking! Believe me, I've made a lot of cakes in my day, and this one didn't let me down. The cake is extremely rich, dense and fudgy. It's something that I would gladly pay £6 for a small slice in a fancy restaurant and secretly want to order a second slice! Make this cake and serve it to your friends - they'll be amazed!

As an avid baker and cake decorator I'm used to decorating my cakes a little more intricately, and I do put a lot of time and effort into them. I have to admit that when I opened this book I was a little confused as to where exactly the decorating was in this book, but after flipping through the book I could see that complicated and intricate patterns and designs wasn't what Fiona was after with this book. She wanted delicious recipes that weren't overpowered by fancy handmade fondant decorations. The decorating ideas in Bake and Decorate are very easy to do, with beautiful results. If you're intimidated about baking and decorating cakes, then this book is for you. The ideas are simple to do, require very little time or preparation, and best of all they look and taste delicious.

Great book! I can't wait to make the Victoria Sponge next.

Extraordinary Dogs (TV Tie in)
Extraordinary Dogs (TV Tie in)
by Elizabeth Wilhide
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary Dogs!, 9 Mar. 2011
If you're a dog love then this book is for you! If you're not a dog lover, this book might well turn you into one! Extraordinary Dogs is a truly fascinating book that is broken down into 9 different chapters such as Aiding Disability, Doctor Dogs, Sixth Sense and To the Rescue. Each of the 9 chapters has several pages of detailed explanations about dogs' particular skills and how dogs (and certain breads in particular) are best utilised to do specific jobs. There are also several 1-2 page stories in each of the book's 9 sections that relate to the chapter name.

There are so many wonderful stories in this book that just make you think "how do they know?" My favourite chapters were "Doctor Dogs" and "Sixth Sense". My husband runs a care home, and the residents love when family members bring their dogs in to visit. Although they are only there for a short period of time the company of a dog does wonders to lift the spirits of the elderly residents. One of my favourite stories in the book is about a little Yorkshire Terrier called Poppy who is able to detect when her owner's blood sugar level gets too low, and can accurately warn her owner before she goes into hypoglycaemic shock.

There are so many fascinating stories about many different breeds of dogs in this book, that it can't help but get you thinking about what your own dog may know about you. I'm 3.5 months pregnant, and I can definitely tell that my little Yorkshire Terrier has been acting differently towards me since I've become pregnant. She's very watchful of me, and likes to lay on my stomach now, which she never used to do before. I can't wait to see how she acts with a new baby around.

I've already leant this book to a friend at work and she's ordered a copy for her mom who's also a major dog lover. A great and easy read!

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