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300 of 303 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great From Rachel Allen
This is a great book, I now have three of Rachel's books and this is by far my favourite. In response to the previous review, this book does have some casseroles (lemon and garlic chicken), maybe not all in the traditional slow cooked meat and veg sense but there are other great baked meals such as sausage and bean bake, cottage pie, lasagne and mediterranean pasta bake...
Published on 10 Oct 2008 by Hayley Nichols

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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointed... inconsistent... the book and the end results
Firstly, I really like Rachel Allen, I think she's brilliant on the TV and explains things really well, like why it's important to have your ingredients at room temperature. So I bought the book after really enjoying the "Bake" series on TV. But in short I was really disappointed.

Things I like about the book:

- The photos / lay out of the...
Published on 28 Nov 2010 by Katie Francis


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300 of 303 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great From Rachel Allen, 10 Oct 2008
By 
Hayley Nichols "Cookbook Addict" (West Sussex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bake (Hardcover)
This is a great book, I now have three of Rachel's books and this is by far my favourite. In response to the previous review, this book does have some casseroles (lemon and garlic chicken), maybe not all in the traditional slow cooked meat and veg sense but there are other great baked meals such as sausage and bean bake, cottage pie, lasagne and mediterranean pasta bake. I think it was a bit unfair to give the book 1 star based on the fact that it has no casseroles, especially as quite obviously that is not what the book is solely about. For casseroles and stews I would recommend Sophie Conran's Soups and Stews

There are a wide variety of baked goodies in this book; tarts, pies, quiches, breads, cakes, biscuits and also jams. There is also a glossary and a bit at the back giving you a step by step guide (with pictures) to making different types of pastry, bread, a sponge and meringue. There are also several ideas for icing (cream cheese, butter, vanilla buttercream, american frosting & glace) and sauces (bechamel, toffee, coffee, raspberry, blueberry & apple) as well as how to make your own crystallised flowers, marzipan, chocolate curls and candied peel.

I have cooked many recipes from this book already (I've only had it a few weeks!), the carrot cake is by far the best I have ever tasted. The only fault that I can give for this book is that there are too many yummy recipes and I don't have enough time to make them all! I can't recommend this book enough!
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91 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't help but loving this book!, 25 Oct 2008
This review is from: Bake (Hardcover)
If you only buy one baking book this winter - buy this one!
The book includes cakes, bread and oven-cooked dinners - frankly, it has everything you need regarding baking, and is very useful whether you are a keen baker or a debutante.
It has lots of basic recipes and techniques, and tips on which equipment you will need to succeed on baking (and don't worry, RA doesn't try to impose gadgets on you that you don't need!), and helpfully tells you which baking-tin you need in each recipe - unfortunately something not all bakery-writers can be bothered to do, but is rather crucial.
RA writes with a natural authority and humour - she clearly knows what she is doing without being overly strict - tells you how and if you can alter the recipes to suit your needs, but also what you must be aware of.

One minor critisism - pretty as RA is, I would have liked a few more pictures of the dishes/cakes and a fewer of the author. Pictures are very helpful, especially for the less experienced baker, so please consider this in a second edition!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just the book I needed, 19 Mar 2009
By 
This review is from: Bake (Hardcover)
I picked this up entirely randomly a couple of weeks ago, and I'm so glad I did. I've only tried a few of the recipes so far, but they've all tasted fabulous - the small pecan nut cookie "clouds", the iced orange cake, the lemon and garlic chicken, and the mediterranean pasta bake. The icing and sauces section at the back looks like it will be incredibly useful, and I also appreciate the inclusion of the tin/dish size for each recipe - take note of this, because I used too large a tin for the orange cake and while it still tasted great, it was a little on the flat side... Looking forward to trying plenty more cake recipes, and also making bread for the first time using this book. Highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rachel is back and shows just how rewarding home baking can be, 26 Nov 2008
This review is from: Bake (Hardcover)
'In this cookbook, to accompany the TV series of the same name, Rachel once again offers the delicious non-patronising and easy-to-follow recipes for which she has become famous.

From the introduction:

'Baking has always been one of my greatest joys. I have such happy memories of my sister and I when we were little standing on kitchen chairs so that we could help Mum make biscuits or buns for the family. Even today, the wonderful warm aromas of baking bread, cakes or cookies always transports me back to those times.......
There is no mystery to baking, baking is a simple science which is precisely why it is so satisfying.......it is really just the right ingredients in the right quantities!
I have chosen my favourite baking recipes in this collection to give you a wide range of delicious treats and meals that can be baked in your oven.....there are also many special recipes for those once-in-a-while occasions and celebrations.
If you can master a set of weighing scales, then you have all the skills you need to bake.......so what are you waiting for?
Get that pinny on and start baking!'

'Bake' encourages just that, with clear and simply laid out recipes with an upper case title, quantity made, a descriptive sentence or two, the list of ingredients and the numbered method and any variations, tips or serving ideas.

Durable board covers open to 288 high quality matt pages, split over main chapters:

1. Sweet mouthfuls
2. Cakes
3. Puddings
4. Breads and savoury bites
5. Tarts and pies
6. Breakfast and patisserie
7. Baked meals
8. Holiday and celebration
9. Basic recipes and techniques, which includes equipment

sandwiched between an introduction and a glossary.

Completed with a concise index and a pastel blue ribbon to keep the place.

Recipes, which sometimes span more than one page, include:

* Ginger & Honey Snaps
* Bakewell Bars
* Light Sweet Scones
* Eccles Cakes
* Fairy Cakes
* Butter -free Sponge Cake
* Dutch Apple Cake
* Red Velvet Cake
* Kugelhopf
* Swiss Roll
* Chocolate Cake
* Baked Alaska
* Raspberry Jam Steamed Pudding
* Easy Soda Focaccia
* Ballymaloe White Soda Bread
* Cornish Saffron Bread
* Chicken and Leek Pie
* Quiche Lorraine
* Tarte Tatin
* Bagels
* Waffles
* Baked Breakfast Omelette
* Croissants
* Eclairs
* Baked Red Lentil Dhal
* Simple Sausage & Bean Bake
* Pork, Spinach & Mushroom Lasagne
* Cottage Pie
* Party Doughnuts
* Darina's Simnel Cake

Also included, and useful with the holiday season just around the corner (at the time of writing), are these handy recipes:

* Christmas Pudding with Boozy Toffee Sauce
* Christmas Cake
* Marzipan
* Mincemeat
* St. Stephen's Day Muffins

My favourites...so.... far include:

* Baked Brown Sugar Custards

'These gorgeous and very simple little desserts are a somewhat like crème caramels or French 'flan'. The brown sugar adds a delicious rich, toffee-ish flavour, and this is further enhanced if you brūlée it with a blow torch'
.....to make it a lovely crunchy top, as advised by Rachel's closing tip.

* Chocolate Lava Cakes

'These gorgeous little puddings should be deliciously spongy on the outside and molten in the centre. Do not overcook them or they will be set all the way through.
They are delicious served with vanilla ice cream.'
....And they certainly are!

This useful book is finished with a very comprehensive 'Basic Recipes and Techniques' section including helpful step-by-step photography, in places.
Basic recipes include pastry, white bread, sponge cake, meringue, crystallised flowers, icings, chocolate curls, sauces, and strawberry jam.

On the slightly negative side:
The opening notes on the recipes are in quite a small typeface and are in pastel shades, so can be a little hard to read in places. Most but not all of the recipes include a full colour photograph, but often an 'on-location' shot rather than one of the completed item, which may prove slightly negative to those of us who like to see what we are aiming for on the plate.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb book for beginner and enthusiast alike, 31 Dec 2008
By 
J. C. Hiskins (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bake (Hardcover)
I'm an enthusastic baker and collect cookbooks in general and baking books in particular so my mum bought me this for Christmas. In the single week that I've had it I've already made 2 of her recipes - the bacon and blue cheese empanadillas to use up Xmas leftovers and also made the wonderfully crunchy, indulgent, but not too rich chocolate and coconut bars. This is my first Rachel Allen cook book but won't be my last. The recipes are simple, well written and can get anyone baking. If you can read you can bake. The glossary is fabulous and exceptionally useful and her writing style is warm and inviting. I recommend this book to one and all.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bake up a storm, 7 Dec 2008
By 
Mrs. R. Mcauley (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Bake (Hardcover)
I was thrilled to hear Rachel had a new cook book out.I have all her other books (signed) and was in Ballymaloe last year for a 2 1/2 day cookery course run by Rachel herself (I would highly recommend this also!!)Bake is a brilliant book for all capabilities. I have tried and tested a few recipes already and they didn't disappoint!!My parents and in laws loved the carrot cake (which was still fresh after over a week!)Enjoy! PS Its a pity there aren't 6 stars to give!!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very helpful book, 21 Aug 2009
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This review is from: Bake (Hardcover)
I bought this book recently at a very good price. This is the first book of Rachel that I buy and I'm really pleased. The recipes are very tempting and I baked 3 times already using them. The Quiche Lorraine was so delicious and I took it for a day out with my friends and everybody loved it. I also cooked the banana bread, which was also delicious. I believe that the directions given to cook are really simple and so far they have given the best results. It has something for everyday, parties, days out, family dinners. It's true that it has more sweet recipies than savory, but that didn't bother me. This is one of those books that you don't feel intimidated by, so you just open it and cook and the result is fantastic. The only part I dindn't like was that not every recipe has a picture. But apart from that this is a superb book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious Baking, 20 April 2009
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This review is from: Bake (Hardcover)
Having seen Rachel Allen on Saturday Kitchen I thought I would give this book a go. I was not disappointed!! I have baked three biscuit recipes for a village meeting and the Lime and Yoghourt cake. The latter we had as a dessert on Easter Sunday. The cake was light,fluffy and full of flavour.
This is definitely the best baking book I have bought to date.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done Rachel!, 29 Oct 2008
This review is from: Bake (Hardcover)
A great selection of cakes and bakes. I probably have a lot of the recipes already here and there as most of them are classics but the fact that they are gathered (with clever variations suggested to boot!) in this lovely book will be quite useful. The recipes I have tried are very good indeed and I don't think there is much room for failure as everything is explained very clearly.
I have got the feeling that this together with Good Food 101 Bakes and Cakes will be the reference books I turn to when I want to bake a great cake but don't have the time or don't feel like browsing through my other books. Well done Rachel!
PS: The savoury recipes are pretty good too!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book but not THE good book..., 18 Aug 2010
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This review is from: Bake (Hardcover)
As a fairly experienced home baker, I'd been eyeing the Rachel Allen book for a while, particularly as my baking-mad friend raved about it. I was delighted by the quality of the book - it's printed in Italy, and is very substantial, not flimsy like some - I know this will be one volume that's still around when my grandchildren are alive!

The book is comprehensive - lots of savoury recipes as well as sweet. Probably slightly too many savoury recipes for my liking, given that the title implied sweeter baking, but no doubt I'll get round to trying some of the pies and quiches in due course. The Vanillekipferl (small Viennese vanilla biscuits) were as close to the melt-in-the-mouth originals I loved in my year abroad, and fairly easy to make (just get the vacuum out, as you'll have icing sugar all over the kitchen when you're done!) The lime cake was wonderfully moist, and I've just done the butterless sponge cake, which is great when you've run out of butter but still want to bake. Miracle of miracles, it rose higher than any sponge I've ever made, so I may switch that to be my default sponge recipe!

The tricks and tips at the back are quite good, and there's a good few recipes for sauces and icing, along with some helpful techniques for the novice cook. What is fantastic about these recipes is that they are well described, and generally have a short list of ingredients that you probably would find in most kitchen cupboards or, at a pinch, the nearest Tesco Express. Whereas just reading Nigella cake recipes (all those ingredients!) sometimes leaves me exhausted, Rachel Allen's are written with a good dollop of common sense and the right note of bossiness to give you confidence that they'll work. And, by and large, they do. This is real family cooking - there are impressive party trick recipes as well, but this book is designed for people who want to feed others without spending two hours in the kitchen preparing the ingredients. She's pulled off the astonishing trick of providing recipes that suit both people who can, and do bake already, and people who've never touched a wooden spoon before. When she says something is a bit more fiddly and takes more time, she means it - when she says it's quick and easy, again, it is. Unless you haven't read the recipe at all before making a start I guarantee you won't be left stranded at 11pm at night, tired, fed up and halfway through an elaborate recipe because you didn't realise it was going to be such a faff.

One small critique, which has lost it a star - I think the cooking times are a bit short on some of the cakes. The chocolate marmalade cake came out downright sloppy even after an extra 15 mins in the oven, and I ended up passing it off as a pudding as it oozed so much. Delicious, but probably a shade undercooked. Same goes for the butterless sponge, which needed another 20 mins before it was firm. I'm not sure it's my oven - I have a fan assisted oven that holds up well on most recipes. But on the biscuits and other items, the cooking time has been bang on.
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