Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


119 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fairly Impeccable!
As other reviewers have noted, it's a handsome well-produced book. I have found the writing style excellent: clear, almost conversational, and friendly. The chapter introductions alone give you great explanations about the subjects to follow. I also really like the typography and layout. The font used is classic, and very easy on the eye, and reminds me of some of the...
Published on 19 Oct. 2011 by Marine Blue

versus
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars still pretty complex
I love watching Hestons antics and thought this book would be a way for me to replicate some more simple techniques at home but to be honest even for a half decent cook the stuff in here is still way to complex to do at home and the simple recepies on the TV seriers are probably the easiest bits of the book. for example opened at a random page for fish pie and it has 26...
Published on 13 Feb. 2012 by Katein northumberland1974


‹ Previous | 1 219 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

119 of 125 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fairly Impeccable!, 19 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Heston Blumenthal at Home (Hardcover)
As other reviewers have noted, it's a handsome well-produced book. I have found the writing style excellent: clear, almost conversational, and friendly. The chapter introductions alone give you great explanations about the subjects to follow. I also really like the typography and layout. The font used is classic, and very easy on the eye, and reminds me of some of the better books my mum used in the 70's. The recipes themselves are not broken down into too many steps, and are nicely padded with white space, which all helps to put you at ease, and keep the metaphorical temperature down. The photos are amazing too.

I much prefer this to the "In Search of Perfection" books, where single recipes spanned a chapter, and often several days preparation.

The recipes I have tried so far have been superb, although I agree that the "roast chicken" mentioned by another reviewer reads a little unsettling (I haven't tried it yet). At one end of the scale, the US FDA recommends a minimum internal temp of 74C for poultry, at the other, an excellent German book I have devoted solely to low-temperature cooking of meat suggests an OVEN temperature of 75C for chicken breasts! In the same way that it's become permitted/encouraged to serve pork with a glimmer of pink now, which never used to be the case, I think the boundaries are being "investigated" when it comes to chicken too. The big unknown is the true quality & condition of the bird in your fridge... Equally, as most people are still hard-wired to recoil from chicken with any hint of pink (unless it's tandoori pink!) the good cook will use their nous to prepare it in a way that is most palatable to their diners, as that reviewer did.

I also like the fact that some real sweet recipes are included, i.e. like you'd get from the sweetshop, not just desserts. That's always been a slightly mysterious subject, and the recipes here are a relatively easy way of surprising and confounding people who might otherwise be sceptical of this type of cooking. Drinks, snacks and side-dishes are here too, so you can jazz up even the simplest get-together with a few clever touches.

Other than the sous-vide stuff (which is only a small section anyway), the equipment demands are fairly modest. The only disingenuous note was that "dry ice can now be bought online". Yes it can, but the best offer I could find had a "minimum order value of £120" and was about 40kg. Which is going a bit far for 4 portions of ice-cream. Maybe some enterprising suppliers will take note and produce a CO2 Gift Set ;-)

All in all, highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


104 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Precision Simplified, 5 Oct. 2011
By 
Mr. W. P. Burgess "wburgess" (Sutton, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heston Blumenthal at Home (Hardcover)
This book is absolutely stunning. I had been losing faith in Heston with his every so slightly gimmicky TV shows of recent past. However this book has completely restored my faith in him.

I have been inspired more by this book than most on my book shelf of 100. Yes the recipes tend to take a lot of time and some use not so traditional methods, but everything is backed up with reason and each technique has a through explanation, each of which make you excited to use what you have just learned. Moreover, every recipe is possible at home (which maybe the exception of a few sous-vides and dry ice items) and will achieve great results.

I have completed two recipes from this book so far, the pea and ham soup and the chicken and ham pies. Both have been extremely successful and some of the best food i've cooked at home.

Follow the instructions and buy good ingredients and you will take your cooking to another level.

Overall, one of the greatest surprises i've had when buying a cook book.

Highly Recommended
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time is often the essence, so plan ahead!, 21 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Heston Blumenthal at Home (Hardcover)
As Heston does tend to put a more complex spin on the art of cooking, I was worried that this would be a book deigned to adorn the coffee table but have to admit to being pleasantly surprised, and...find that we share a 'secret vice' or two!

* From 'Prawn Cocktail' on page 125: 'Confession time: prawn cocktail is my secret vice.'
Given Heston's reputation for 'tweaking' in the technical sense, I was relieved to read further on in the same paragraph:
'...Being such a prawn cocktail addict, I'm deeply resistant to attempts to muck around with the ingredients...'

Measuring in around 27.5 cm x 22 cm x 3 cm, it is far from lightweight with Heston and a heap of ingredients on the front cover! The back cover carries only one sentence: 'Classic home cooking, by Britain's most creative chef.'
Quality hardboard covers open to 408 glossy quality pages, split over main chapters:

1. Stocks
2. Soups
3. Starters
4. Salads
5. Meat
6. Fish
7. Sous-vide:7 recipes after a detailed introduction to the 'revolutionary cooking method that is set to transform the domestic kitchen'
8. Pasta & grains
9. Cheese
10. Sides & condiments
11. Ices
12. Desserts & Sweets
13. Biscuits, snacks & drinks

The introduction, entitled 'The Essence of Flavour' runs to page 27 and includes informative sections on:

♦ Tastes and aromas
♦ Saltiness
♦ Sweetness
♦ Sourness
♦ Bitterness
♦ Umami
♦ Enhancing flavour
♦ Infusing for flavour
♦ Flavour, sight, sound and touch
♦ Food and the brain

Written to encourage rather than daunt, the Heston narrative makes interesting reading throughout, e.g.:

'The more you can create food that makes a concerted appeal to all the senses - sound, sight, touch, taste and smell - the more intense, immediate and satisfying the eating experience will be...' and this all starts at a surprisingly early stage of life, as he goes on to explain.

Each chapter opening page simply lists the following recipes with their relevant page number. This is then followed by a detailed introduction often including techniques, e.g.

◊ Cooking risotto
◊ Salting & brining fish
◊ Pickling
◊ Thickening soups
◊ Emulsions
◊ Carving meat
◊ Making jellies
◊ Cooking with chocolate
◊ Crystallizing sugar

Each recipe is well laid out in simply black on white with the title, an opening note, the quantity/number of servings, a metric list/s of ingredients and a clear method. Hints and serving suggestions are included where applicable, and an injection of turquoise blue throughout the tome denotes detailed methods/techniques, e.g.

~ How to ice-filter & egg-filter stock
~ How to peel a soft boiled egg
~ How to peel small onions & shallots
~ How to blind-bake a tart case (out with the ceramic beans:you can use coins for a flatter, more even coverage and conduct heat more efficiently!)
~ How to roast and peel red peppers
~ How to smoke food
~ How to bake a custard in a bain-marie
~ How to fry a steak
~ How to sear a fillet of fish
~ How to make ice-cream or sorbet with dry ice
~ How to make brown butter
~ How to clarify butter
~ How to make a wet/dry caramel
~ How to weigh honey and golden syrup

...and are easy to spot as you flick through, but are also cross-referenced in the index at the back.

There are some relatively straightforward recipes, but a number do require some forward planning in terms of marinating, brining, curing and/or a serious amount of (very) slow-cooking time e.g. 9 hours for 'Shepherd's pie' from page 160 and a cool 18 hours+ for the 'Braised pork belly with crackling', 2 recipes later!

My favourite recipe, to date, is an unusual (for me) combination of 'Braised chicken with sherry & cream', serving 6, from pages 146 & 147 which works very well, along with 'Cheese fondue with sherry & cloves', from pages 230 & 231, finished off with the delightful (digitally probed) 'Lemon tart' on pages 310 & 311.

Some recipes are seriously technically challenging and often span more than one page, e.g. 'Arlette with Pressed Apple Terrine' from page 315. 'Fish pie' (complete with sand & foam topping)on pages 176-178 is also a bit of fun in terms of presentation, if you have the time.

Any utensils outside the average kitchen paraphernalia are mentioned in the recipe opening note, e.g. that aforementioned 'digital probe' or 'lots of 9 cm Petri dishes', for the edible wrappers in 'Salted butter caramels wrapped in edible cellophane', from pages 337-339. A 'Specialist Kit' and 'Specialist Ingredients' section is also included at the back of the book.

From 'Specialist Kit':

I've kept the specialist kit to a minimum, but there are a few things that will make a huge difference to your cooking. A digital probe, for example, might seem a bit space-age, but using one removes the doubt about whether food is cooked or not....However, I don't want talk of technology to obscure the fact that, in the end, cooking is about intuition and emotion, about going into the kitchen and following your instincts, trying things out, having fun.'

A useful extra I forgot to mention earlier...a pastel pink ribbon marker to keep the page!

The only slight criticism I have is that there are fewer photographs of the finished dishes than you might expect but those presented, photographed by Angela Moore, are typically HB-designer spectacular!

A small taste of the other recipes contained within:

♦ Vegetable stock
♦ Pumpkin soup
♦ Marmite consommé
♦ Tea-smoked salmon
♦ Scallop tartare with white chocolate
♦ Potted duck
♦ Bagna cauda
♦ Scotch eggs
♦ Mayonnaise
♦ Peach and Parma ham salad
♦ Beef tagliata
♦ Slow-roasted rib of beef with bone-marrow sauce
♦ Chilli con carne
♦ Braised pork belly with crackling
♦ Umami broth with poached mackerel
♦ Rack of Lamb Sous-vide
♦ Crab lasagne
♦ Quinoa sushi
♦ Mushroom spelt risotto
♦ Cauliflower macaroni cheese
♦ Asparagus
♦ Blue cheese butter
♦ Bois Boudran sauce
♦ Blackcurrant sorbet
♦ Peach & Rosemary tarte tatin
♦ Lardy cake with butterscotch sauce
♦ Liquid centre chocolate pudding
♦ Golden syrup crème brūlée
♦ Strawberry sundae
♦ Pain perdu
♦ Whisky gums
♦ Pineapple marshmallows
♦ Carrot/beetroot/tomato lollies
♦ Chocolate chip cookies
♦ Shortbread biscuits
♦ Pork scratching
♦ Toffee popcorn
♦ Pimm's
♦ Hot Chocolate
♦ Raspberry sherbet : 'Remember sherbet fountains - those yellow cardboard tubes full of sherbet with a stick of liquorice poking out of the twisted paper at one end? Or sherbet dip-dabs, where a paper packet of sherbet came with its own lolly for dipping?
They're a great nostalgia trip for me...'

Me, too!
(That other shared 'secret vice'!)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book you read before following instructions in another cooking book !, 13 Jan. 2013
By 
Robin L. Stacpoole "robin_lbs" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Heston Blumenthal at Home (Hardcover)
I like this book a lot and here is why. It is solid (no cover for immediate kitchen use) well laid out, with a simple font and lots of white space, simply explained by clear writing, precise instructions and wonderful photos. But it is the details of the explanations where this book really flies. The differentiator is that not only does Heston tell you what to do, he tells you the science behind these instructions so that you can understand why you should do it.

Chapters start with a general introduction followed by a discussion of cooking principles that apply to all recipes and containing occasional -how to - sections clearly differentiated in blue. Recipes then follow with a brief contextual introduction, ingredients and instructions. The odd thing is that given Heston's reputation for complexity, instructions are wonderfully clearly laid out and very easy to follow. And because Heston has taken the time to explain why it is important to do this and that, I find myself following his instructions precisely.

I am sure that I will try many of his recipes, but it is when you look at other cooking books that you really see this book's value. I read how Heston would do something before following another's recipes. This book is that good at teaching you.

Finally, there is a level of humility that runs throughout the book that is very pleasing. On the one hand, this makes the context easy to follow - you do not have to fight through someone's ego to get to the heart of the message. On the other, it has resulted in precious few pictures of Heston within the book. Not a bad thing, as however great a cook Heston is, he has some way to go before earning the title 'pretty boy' :)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The ulitmate fan cookbook., 30 Oct. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Heston Blumenthal at Home (Hardcover)
I have always been a fan of Hestons and his works. The wife and I went to the Fatduck restaurant (highly recommend that place for a visit) and then bought his book. There were reviews stating it wasn't a cookbook and they were right. It listed his achievements and then some receipes (which couldn't be followed unless you are Heston) and then the science about it all. Great for a souvenir of the day.

So when I saw this book available, I bought it on the first day. And what a great book. This IS the ultimate Heston cookbook. It has his greatest receipes and easy to follow instructions on how to cook them at home. And if you don't have the special equipment, i.e. slow cook bath, then he tells you how to do the same but with equipment you should have in the average kitchen.

Great big pictures. Worth every penny just to learn how to cook his "triple cooked chips".

This is the cook book we have all been waiting for! Well Done Heston.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How cookbooks should be, 27 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Heston Blumenthal at Home (Hardcover)
Far too often, cookbooks jump straight to the advice, with none of the reasoning. In Heston's unique style, he aims to correct this fact - with a raft of incredible recipes, all with detailed explanations on why they work. Ever wondered exactly why turning a steak more often is better than turning it less regularly? (It browns the outside without letting the middle overcook). Ever wondered why you should season with pepper last, not before cooking or grilling? (Pepper scorches, and should be ground as soon before eating as possible). Ever wonder whether taste and flavour are different things? (They are...) - this cookbook has it all and more.

If you're worried it'll be full of recipes needing expensive equipment or luxury ingredients, it's not - nearly all the recipes can be prepared in the average, standard kitchen. There are a couple of recipes in there that let you explore more advanced techniques if you want - but best of all, it lets you decide. Stick with the recipe exactly, or use what he teaches you to make your own take on some astonishing dishes.

I can't recommend this book enough. If you're even slightly a foodie, or just want to try something new, exciting and interesting, buy this book right now. It's certainly cheaper than a meal out at an expensive restaurant, and this way, you're set for life!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cook book, 28 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Heston Blumenthal at Home (Hardcover)
Perhaps Heston's best yet. It combines the why of the method with clear easy
to follow recipes. Most of the recipes are accessible to anyone with a
pan and a knife, though there is plenty for us fanatics who do have a
thermometer probe in our kitchen.

From explaining a simple and effective way of removing fat from stock
to make a consommé by freezing, to poaching salmon in oil to retain its
flavour this is still more of traditional cook book compared to his other books, in that it is full of recipes.

So far I've tried the mashed potatoes (72 degrees); sous vide haddock and the consommé all with great success.
The instructions made all this surprisingly easy. In short, Heston fans will not be disappointed, and people wanting a recipe book of food to enjoy with their friends will not be disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars still pretty complex, 13 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Heston Blumenthal at Home (Hardcover)
I love watching Hestons antics and thought this book would be a way for me to replicate some more simple techniques at home but to be honest even for a half decent cook the stuff in here is still way to complex to do at home and the simple recepies on the TV seriers are probably the easiest bits of the book. for example opened at a random page for fish pie and it has 26 ingredients. Its a lovely hard back coffe table book and is interesting to read but can't see my fella comming home from a hard day at work on the building site to settle down to liquorice poached salmon or bruleed chucken liver parfait. I am not dissing the book but think its more for a a foodie who throws posh dinner parties than someone like me who was look for more of the stuff like on the TV show like how to cook steak, cauliflower cheese etc. the chicken and ham pie was brill although i didn't do all the brine saoking etc as i dont have all sunday to make 1 pie.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


99 of 115 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately you'll have to second-guess Heston, 17 Oct. 2011
By 
This review is from: Heston Blumenthal at Home (Hardcover)
This book is high quality. Nicely bound, nice finish, nice size. Hefty, in fact. A value. Pricing was very reasonable and shipping fast (and free!) to Sweden.

Heston has much to share and you cannot help but bring your game up a notch following his techniques.

However, you must have some knowledge going in, or you may disappoint. Take, for example, his roast chicken. The techniques (brine, slow/low roasting and finishing) are excellent. The details, well, perhaps missing or even inaccurate.

If you cook a chicken in a low oven and remove when the internal temperature reaches 60C, you will be serving pink, bloody meat. There will not be enough temp 'bounce' during resting to ensure a finished bird (because of the low/slow cooking method and the reduced deltaT between internal temp and the highest temp of the bird - a reduced thermal inertia, if you will. I even took it to 62C in anticipation, knowing I would need to reach nearly 66C for the bird to be just done). After resting, there will not be any internal temp rise during the last, finishing step of browning the bird at 240C for up to 10 minutes.

I haven't read the entire book in detail to discover any other caveats (I happened to fancy a roast chicken last night, Sunday evening. Good thing I had enough chicken I browned in the roasting pan for my sauce. I was not able to serve anything except the majority of the breast, my family's least favourite part. The rest was too pink/under-cooked. Now, I suspected this would be the case but I wanted to faithfully try Heston's approach. I utilized an accurate oven thermometer and a digital probe, which I have calibrated for accuracy.)

When I cook chicken sous vide I usually take it to about 64, and still find some people prefer it done a bit more, though to me it is perfect there. Is Heston wrong on this one? Possibly. I would at least suggest he add some more information to the recipe, enabling the reader to better manage his or her expectations... especially when it comes to bloody chicken bones.

So, overall, an excellent addition to your collection, but be careful.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


67 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Willy Wonka's own cookbook, 29 Sept. 2011
By 
Paolo Sammut - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Heston Blumenthal at Home (Hardcover)
This is really a brilliant, well presented and excellently photographed tome. I have enjoyed leafing through and reading this book and being prepared to cook some of these marvellous recipes.

The book is a well made and study hardcover, running to just over 400 pages. There is no softcover and the book is very robust and (with coated pages) well able to survive the rigours of a busy kitchen. It nicely includes a cloth bookmark (several would have been nice) and as noted earlier there are plenty of illustrative photographics, almost all of the food and several of the chef.

The book starts with a dose of theory on flavour with a number of fun exercises demonstrating some of the theorhy behind Hestons wonders. From them we enter the book proper with chapters on Stocks, Soups, Starters, Salads, Meat, Fish, Sous-Vide, Pasta and Grains, Cheese, Sides and Condiments, Ices, Desserts and sweets, Biscuits, snacks and drinks. Each chapter contains a section on theory and technique such as how to make a good stock, how to cook meat etc. All very relevant and attainable at home with a minimal of skills, as Heston says - most good cooks will already have most of the equipment.

Each chapter then contains 10 - 20 recipes which allow one to push the boat out with ones repetoire of fun, or even dinner
party food (tip - Practice first). Nothing is overly difficult and should be attainable by any decent cook. There are a few recipes which call for some really specialist ingredients such as Whiskey Ice Cream; however most ices and sorbets (for example) will work in an Ice Cream maker.

This book is wonderful and magical. In its pages you will find delicious recipes which will help you grow as a cook, but above all they are fun. Highly recommended
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 219 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Heston Blumenthal at Home
Heston Blumenthal at Home by Heston Blumenthal (Hardcover - 3 Oct. 2011)
£20.40
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews