on 2 October 2014
The reason for buying this book was to bake with less calories. All recipes have their calories stated, next to the calories you would have in the same normal product so you're able to compair. But most of the recipes aren't a lot 'lighter' than the normal ones. Just a few calories in some cases. That was disappointing. If I would leave out 2 TBsp of sugar in any normal recipe, I'd have a lighter bake too, but I don't think that's what people expect (I expected a lot more). Some recipes are nice with good results, no different than any 'normal' baking book. (some recipe weren't that good... extremely dry cookies for instance)
on 25 February 2015
I bought this book mainly for the cake section. I love cake but am conscious that most recipes contain, in particular, a lot of refined flour & sugar. I have been experimenting with reducing the sugar in recipes, substituting wholemeal flours, using healthier fats, ground nuts, including vegetables and some fruit purée and using a small amount of ground flax seed. All these tactics create tasty, healthier cakes with good textures and, incidentally, lower calorific values. My feeling is that if you are going to eat cake then make it as healthy and nutritious as you can. I don't think the recipes in this book come up to the mark on that score.
I usually rate Lorraine Pascale's recipes highly and own other books by her. So I was really looking forward to getting this book to add new ideas to my repertoire. There are a few interesting recipes but I find most of them uninspiring and not really worth the bother. In my view they don't go far enough to break away from conventional recipes. The small reductions in sugar and refined flours plus the frequent use of egg white (ignoring the nutritive value of the yolk and importance of it in creating a tender texture) result in very minor reductions in calorific values at the expense of making the cakes healthier and more satisfying to eat without wanting to overeat. Including the ingredients I have mentioned above also helps to modify the effect of insulin spikes by lowering the glycemic index of the finished product so you are less inclined to want to stuff yourself silly and keep going back for another slice!
I have to agree with other reviewers about the publication style. The paper is too glossy and makes reading difficult as does the red print which, in any case, is far too small. I wonder why publishers think that serious cooks would want to squint to read recipes when the page is left half blank. I am sure I am not the only cook who likes to write notes in pencil as a reminder of how you modified recipes to suit yourself and add tweaks each time you use it. It's not easy writing in pencil on this shiny paper.
It seems to be trendy these days to include copious photos of the author and, although Lorraine is an attractive woman, one photo is quite enough really. Even more wasteful of space in this, and other cookery books, are totally irrelevant supposedly "artistic" pictures of bits of kitchen paraphernalia, close ups of ingredients etc. Pages 9 & 10 for example show photos of a pan, tin opener, spatula, pastry brush, whisk, glass measures and a vegetable peeler. The pictures are not included in section on equipment. Just "filler". I could mention others throughout the book, close up of forks, a basil leaf, a jug of milk, part of a cooling tray and, on pages 90 & 91 a double page spread showing the corner of a colander with drops of water. Absolutely pointless!
Sadly my overall impression of this book is that is conceptually poor in both recipes and publication. I wish I'd paid more attention to other weak reviews and saved my money. This is not a book I want to give shelf space to. There are better books out there if you want to make your baking lighter and/or healthier. It's a shame because Lorraine has obviously put a lot of effort into her research but the result is a bit of a "curate's egg".
There are better books out there.
First impressions, a nice colourful and well presented book. Nice shiney pages and lots of colouful photos.
It is divided into, Breakfast and brunch, Bread, Savoury bakes, Puddings and desserts, Cakes, Cookies and traybakes, Teatimes treats, Special occasions and entertaining, Pastry and basics.
Some of the recipes are:raspberry and banana no bake bread, banana loaf, banana and honey muffins, mixed berry and cinnamon muffins, bagels, all grain bread, lasagne, baked salmon fingers, cauliflow cheese, lentil and bean cottage pie, victoria meringue with mango and lime cream filling, lemon yogurt pound cake, coconut and lime loaf, chocolate cookies,peanut butter cookies, shortbread, skinny caffe latte butterfly cakes, eclairs, meringue kisses,raspberry vanilla and white chocolate cake with almond flowers, lemon and keylime cheesecake,lemon ice cream, crispy filo mince pies, light Xmas cake, Xmas chocky Yule log and loads more.
Each recipe has all the calorific, fat,sugar, protein, salt information of baking the normal equivalent recipe plus the same information for Lorraines recipe so that you can compare.
A good book for weight/health conscious bakers. I love baking and cake but put weight on if I just look at a cake or pudding so this book is perfect for me and Lorraine uses mainly store cupboard ingredient's.
on 24 October 2013
Lorraine's recipes in her previous books have been full of luscious temptations that were often full of cream, butter, and sugar. All delicious! But so rich that they were almost special occasion fare. Now we have a scrummy selection of recipes, both sweet and savoury, that can be enjoyed every single day, without guilt! At last, just what we needed, even if we didn't know it. Thank you, Lorraine!
on 19 February 2014
Sure, there are several usable recipes but to claim that they are a lighter way to bake is as honest as the average supermarket price drop claim.Lorraine is a lovely person and I do like her but Don't want a book about food to be strewn with numerous puics of the writer. Either this is a book about food or her former model status is being used as a sales gimmick. The art work is the other major stumbling block for this book. Some of the cake pictures are so amateurish that they make me wonder whether the recipe is worth doing - e.g. the madeleines pic. There are certainly too many pics and not enough recipes.The biggest problem is actually being able to read it because of the gimmicky red font - a coloured overlay can make this a little bit better, but not much. When will art editors take on board that many fonts actually interfere with the legibility of a recipe because of the font itself or the colour. Even though I got this very cheap at a suopermarket I feel distinctly robbed. The book contains slightly gussied versions of fairly undemanding recipes falsely claiming to be lighter. The adjective "light" on supermarket foods is generally misleading - the same principle applies here. Very disappointing.