Top critical review
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Very good, but poor support for fan ovens
on 13 March 2013
This is, in many ways, an excellent book - the recipes are unfailing attractive, some are simply brilliant, but if you're a fan oven user, surely the norm nowadays, you'll have problems.
If you're making a savoury tart, then you really must blind bake. However, the advice, page 19, to set your fan oven to 160 degrees C, won't work. The pastry will be uncooked in the centre, and the dreaded soggy bottom will be the outcome. Use bottom heat and 180 degrees C, and all will be well.
There's an error on page 112 that could catch the novice cook, i.e. someone like me. If you're going to apply a glaze, do it after the tart has cooked, and cooled, and not before baking - as advised in the recipe. Clearly the publishers have expended a lot of effort making this book look attractive; too bad the budget did stretch to decent proof readers - seemingly a dying breed.
The recipe on page 112, a really lovely blueberry amandine tart, also suffers from the fan oven problem. It doesn't require blind baking, but if you cook it at 160 fan for the stipulated 20-25 minutes, the underside of the pastry won't be cooked in the centre. A, possibly, better approach, if you want to avoid blind banking, is to try 15 minutes of bottom heat at 180 (to get the pastry going) and then switch to bottom heat 160.