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on 15 February 2007
I love this book! There are fifty recipes which have all been tried and tested over and over by the author until she was satisfied that they could not get any better. I been trying to make decent chocolate chip cookies for years and this recipe is the best. Each time I have made something from the book it has tuned out great. I can't recommend it highly enough. I hope she writes another one.
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on 17 May 2008
I saw a recipe from this book in my Saturday newspaper magazine and gave it a go....brilliant! so I ordered the book and since then have tried most of the recipes which are so good and easy to follow. I have passed on lots of the recipes to friends who have enjoyed my cooking/baking and told them to buy the book for themselves. I'm certain no one will be sorry they bought this book and I speak as someone who has loads of cookery books, some of which turned out to be a big disappointment.
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on 5 February 2009
Was very disapointed when I received this book. I wish I knew what the recipes were before I bought it. I am quite a fussy eater so most of these recipes just don't appeal to me but of course to other people, this book might be a gem. I decided to write a review and list the recipes so that people would know what they are before buying. They are as follows:

risotto primavera
fish cakes
steak
quiche lorraine
fish pie
roast chicken
lamb biryani
thai green chicken curry
spaghetti carbonara
french omelette
scrambled eggs
macaroni cheese
kedgeree
greek salad
potato salad
salade nicoise
caesar salad
coronation salad
french onion soup
fish chowder
watercress soup
carrot and corriander soup
irish soda bread
white loaf
pizza
hollandaise sauce
pesto
hummus
ratatouille
spiced red cabbage
yorkshire puddings
roast potatoes
gratin dauphinois
hot chocolate sauce
scones
blueberry muffins
chocolate chunk cookies
meringues
flapjacks
banana nut bread
chocolate cake
carrot cake
crepes suzettes
lemon tart
vanilla ice cream
creme brulee
apple pie
sticky toffee pudding
summer pudding
lemon meringue pie

I suppose it depends on your tastes as to whether this book is for you. None of these recipes are quick and easy but neither are they over complicated. For me, being able to use just a couple of the recipes was not worth the price of the book.
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on 30 October 2009
On the face of it, this book would seem to hold little interest for the experienced cook or baker as the recipes appear to be the usual tried and true recipes; the sort of recipes you can practically whip up out of your head.

In fact, it is a collection of recipes which have been refined and improved by consultation with various top-flight chefs and the author's own wealth of experience. The result is an extraordinary collection of hitherto run-of-the-mill dishes, transported into the realm of superior fare.
The chocolate cake is really amazing; the lemon meringue pie is the finest version I have ever produced and even the humble macaroni and cheese dish has been totally transformed into something special.

I have a large collection of recipe books and I would rate this as one of the most useful.
Highly recommended.
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on 7 September 2007
I first came across Angela Nilsens' Ultimate series in the BBC Good Food magazines, so was very interested in this cookbook. Angela has out done herself on researching and coming up with the 'ultimate' of a lot of classic/family favourites and some more modern dishes. Using tips from top chefs and experimenting with tried and tested versions of a range of dishes, to eventually present the reader with foolproof recipes that are easy to follow and bursting with taste.

The chocolate cake alone is worth the price of the book. I made enough for 200 people for a works charity event, ever since then I have had people asking me to make them a chocolate cake on a near weekly basis...it really is the best chocolate cake ever, rich and decadent!
I'll be looking out for more of Angela's cookbooks as I know her recipes wont disappoint!
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on 2 November 2008
I love this book!! Every recipe that i have tried has turned out perfectly. The lemon tart and the carrot cake are both divine and I have also recently made the banana nut loaf (which sounded rather unappealing as i'm not a huge fan of bananas) and it was delicious! The lamb biryani is fabulous and the kedgeree is a regular favourite in my house now. Every recipe has a story and the whole book makes for a great read - i regularly dip into it even if i'm not looking for a particular recipe - it definately has that feel good factor for foodies. I have bought it for my friends and they love it too. I do hope Angela writes another one soon - 50 recipes are just not enough when they are this good!
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on 27 May 2009
I have bought this book twice. Once for myself and now for my brother who lives in Australia. If you have ever wondered why you just can't make those perfect scones you see in bakeries, then this is the book for you. I have finally worked out why my scones don't rise. The scones and apple pie recipes are brilliant, everybody always wants to know where they came from. Worth every penny!
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on 10 March 2012
Most experienced cooks will have tried and tested recipes for many of the dishes in this book. However, I defy anybody not to find a recipe in here which will improve on their own favourites!
Each recipe comes with an engaging description of the discussions which lead to the ultimate dish. A meeting with Gennaro Contaldo prompts her to try using pasta water rather than cream to create a Spaghetti Carbonara which tastes rich and sumptuous but has much less fat. Ruth Watson advises Angela to create a mountain of apples in Apple Pie so that it looks especially rustic and homely.
Has this book changed my cooking? A resounding yes! As recommended, I now soak raisins in orange juice to add to a beautiful Carrot Cake. I now make an especially tasty hummus topped with pine nuts, dried chillies, chopped parsley and olive oil.
And the ultimate compliment? Angela's Vanilla Ice Cream was the first ice cream recipe I made in my new machine. As my partner licked his lips, he said that I would be unlikely ever to make better!
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I found this book when I came across Angela's Ultimate Chocolate Cake recipe. My girls (13, 9 and 8) love to bake, and this recipe was tackled by the 8 year old. What can I tell you? It **is** the ultimate chocolate cake. We didn't make the chocolate ganache for the filling, as I thought that would be overkill for the girls... Instead we made some creme patisserie, and then whipped in a generous helping of nutella... We layered the creme patt with some raspberries, and my word, it was ridiculously good. The flavours ran raspberries, chocolate, hazelnuts, and then the faintest tang of coffee, which is included in the liquid base. Based on that recipe alone, I had to buy the book!

(As an aside, this would actually make a great tray bake, cut into cubes - it's so rich that a decent square of it would be perfect. Don't read that as 'too sweet' though, I used 54% Callebaut, and that, along with the coffee and cocoa powder ensured it hit all the right notes.)
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on 20 February 2007
I own loads of cookery books and this is definately one of the best. I have never been able to make meringues without them falling apart or drying them out too much, with this book I have made meringues that are soft and chewy on the inside and perfect on the outside. The story behind each recipe is also fascinating to read and I do hope that she does another book like this. A fantastic buy!!
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