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31
4.7 out of 5 stars
The Popina Book of Baking
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2010
I was given this book just a few days ago, and I have been absolutely captivated by it.
The photography is really outstanding, and mouth-watering, but most importantly, the recipes are amazing.

The recipes are mostly British-inspired, but there are also quite a few interesting Eastern European recipes, including strudels, and bureks.
There's a really wide range of recipes, packed in under 150pages - but really, not a single page is wasted, and the recipes were very well chosen.
A lot of useful tips, and a lot of suggestions for pairings with wine or other foods turn this book into a fantastic cookbook.

I have tried quite a few recipes already: the goats' cheese, basil and tomato tart was brilliant - the base is interestingly enough a pizza base, and the filling has baking powder in it, which makes it so much lighter than your average quiche recipe.
I also made the apple and plum tart, and here again, there's something interesting about the filling: it's a sponge dough, which you spread on a shortcrust base, the sponge dough is a very light sponge, and the fruits cook in it, which makes the tart very spongy and juicy at the same time. A real success!
As for the fig, apricot and nut biscotti, they were absolutely fabulous, not too rich because they don't use butter, and just as crunchy as should be.
The savoury muffins were a real treat, and the parmesan and seed crackers were just perfect.
All in all, an excellent cookbook, which I will be using for a long time. I've even been asked for the recipe for the crackers and the biscotti!

Here's the contents:
~biscuits, biscotti and bites
-ginger, oat and sultana cookies
-pecan and cranberry cookies
-chocolate chip cookies
-oat and raisin cookies
-polenta, cherry and nut biscotti
-fig, apricot and nut biscotti
-white chocolate and fig biscuits
-ginger and chilli caramel biscuits
-pineapple, coconut and lemon biscuits
-splet, chocolate and hazelnut biscuits
-walnut shortbreads
-hazelnut macaroons
-gingerbread men and women
-easter egg biscuits
-granola bars
-florentines

~sweet tarts
-pastry bases (sweet shortcrust, chocolate shortcrust, sponge dough)
-apple and plum tart
-rhubarb custard and crumble tartlets
-fig, grape and frangipane tartlets
-nectarine and summer berry tart (cover photo)
-rustic plum tart
-chocolate and pistachio tartlets
-chocolate and chestnut tart
-chocolate pear and hazelnut tart
-pecan and bourbon tartlets

~cakes & muffins
-very chocolate cake
-popina carrot cake
-lemon loaf with white chocolate icing
-cranberry, sherry and vine fruit cake
-stollen
-chocolate and hazelnut strudel
-poppyseed strudel
-pumpkin and cinnamon filo strudel
-summer fruit and white chocolate muffins
-wholemeal spelt, carrot, apple and pumpkin seed muffins
-cranberry, orange and pistachio muffins
-chocolate truffle brownies
-cherry chocolate truffle brownies
-double orange truffle brownies
-white chocolate and coffee truffle brownies

~savoury straws & bites
-gouda and hazelnut bites
-stilton and celery bites
-cheshire and apple straws
-spinach and chilli straws
-parmesan and seed crackers
-cheddar and chive crackers
-simple spelt and oat crackers + beetroot, fennel and apple chutney
-spinach, garlic and nutmeg muffins
-feta and tomato muffins

~savoury tarts
-pastry bases (shortcrust, pizza dough, spelt pizza dough)
-butternut squash and parmesan tart
-goats' cheese, tomato and basil tart
-aubergine, red pepper and tomato tart
-pepper, pecorino and thyme tartlets
-honey-roast parsnip, carrot and shallot tart
-port-poached pear, celeriac, stilton and walnut tartlets
-mushroom tart
-roast potato and spring onion tartlets
-spinach, feta and tomato quiche
-leek and mature cheddar mini quiches
-courgette and fennel tart
-cheese burek
-spinach and cheese burek
-smokey vegetable, butter bean and paprika filo strudels
-little margherita pizzas with olives
-rustic focaccia with red pepper and onion
-mini cornbreads with vegetables
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A peek in this beautifully illustrated book is enough to have you reaching for your apron and mixing bowl enthusiastically in anticipation of the gorgeous tastes to follow. The photogrpahs of the finished products are taken in close-up which enable you to see the texture of the food, always useful if you are in any doubt as to how big chunks should be cut, or how runny sauce should be. The marriage of ingredients chosen for each baked item is imaginative: courgette and fennel, ginger and chilli, gouda and hazelnut to name but a few, and pictures of part-made bakes are enough to tempt you to into coming up with your own ideas for mixing foods. Each recipe page is set out in a clear format with ingredients on the left and method on the right and the opposite page has the photograph of the finished product which shouts EAT ME! A lovely book to have and to hold, or even to give as a gift.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 12 July 2011
I almost hesitate to review this book for fear of word getting out about how good it is! I am having a bit of a book buying freeze at the moment, particularly holding back on buying cookery books which often seem to end up as expensive decoration on the bookshelf in my kitchen, but my mum insisted this was one book I'd not regret buying and she was right!

If you do nothing else other than use the recipe for shortcrust pastry in this book, it's worth buying! You throw all the ingredients in a food processor, then without any resting time, roll it out, line a tin and add the filling. I have produced lots of brilliant savoury tarts with this fail safe method and hence it spends more time open on work surface being used, than gathering dust on the bookshelf!

If only all cookery books were used this much!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 3 May 2011
If you ever want to tackle any lovely home baking this is the book for you, I am a professional baker and my sister bought this for me as a present.I have stopped making my apple strudel with filo as taught to me by my Viennese grandmother in her bakery I now use popinas strudel recipe and it is a best seller in our shop. Her book is easy to understand and all the recipes work 100% a must for any home baker.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2011
I've had this book for several months now, and have tried several of the recipes. I absolutely love this book, and everything I've tried has turned out well. The book looks beautiful, and so does the food, and most importantly the recipes are straightforward and easy to follow. Other great things about this collection of recipes include the fact that there are several that cater for restricted diets (e.g. gluten-free cakes/biscuits), also, there are several seasonal recipes (florentines and stollen for christmas, easter biscuits, etc.), and the recipes make good use of seasonal ingredients, so there is always something that seems 'right' for the time of year. There is also a good balance between recipes that seem like sheer indulgence, and those that are a bit healthier for everyday treats.

The recipes are slightly unusual and this book has become the first one I turn to when I'm looking for something a little bit different and impressive. I've also tried new things that I haven't had the confidence to tackle before (such as the chocolate and chestnut tart, which looked and tasted amazing!), because I know that I can trust the recipes. Overall, it's fantastic. Isidora - please write another one soon!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2010
"Popina Book of Baking" is not about baking filosofy - this is book about baking cakes and how to enjoy it. In the sense of quality I can compare this book with Dan Lepard's book "Hand Made Loaf" because what is "Hand Made Loaf" in the bread baking world - Isidora Popovic's "Popina Book of Baking" gives high quality in the world of baking cakes and pastries. "Popina Book of Baking" is the culinary book which teach you how to make tastefull cakes with everyday ingredients. Pictures are beatifull and they show every cake you bake so you have the clue how the result is look like.

I like the graphical design and layout of the pages in the book, because all the pages don't look the same. "Popina Book of Baking" is interessting just to look at. Personally, I don'like heavy books and this book is not to short and not heavy. Recipes are precise with correct measurements and you got the neccessary information you need for baking. The recipes are mostly with influence from England but some recipes are from Serbia and surrounding countries, here you can get the taste of Balkan. You have to try Isidoras burek !

I give this book five stars because the author has shown high proficiency in creating and the choice of recipes. This book is well weighted in sense of the paper format, the written text, the beautifull pictures and the high quality recipes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 November 2010
I have been baking from this book unhurriedly since April and concur with the reviewers who have rated the book five stars; as the recipes are all sumptuous from the sweet to the savoury and the photography is lip-smacking gorgeousness.

The recipes that I love so far are; spinach and cheese burek, cheese burek, cranberry, orange and pistachio muffins (these I have eaten for breakfast at work with coffee), summer fruit and white chocolate muffins, popina carrot cake, very chocolate cake, white chocolate and fig biscuits, and oat and raisin cookies.

The only fault that I can find so far is not with the book but with me for over-indulging in the baked treats and consuming surplus calories.

It is a book that caters for all moods and likes from the sweet tooth like me to individuals like my gran who now prefers savoury food only.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2014
Wow! This is THE book of baking. I got it as a gift some 4 years ago, when I first thought trying to bake is a good idea. I'm not sure if I would have continued with this idea if it hadn't been for this beautiful book. I have since given it as a gift to a couple of friends who used my copy and were pleased with the process and results.

Why I am so happy with it:
a) Everything I baked using this book worked beautifully (only needed to adjust the time goodies spend in the oven sometimes). No soggy or dry stuff. No so-so stuff. Just really tasty and presentable-looking things. NOTE: This cannot be attributed to my skills.

b) Ingredients are simple and not too many in most recipes, instructions are clear, and there are recipes suitable for different seasons (summer fruit, apples, chocolate, nuts).

c) Everything is nicely organised, according to type of bake-up desired. Do I feel like cookies? Tart? Iced cake? Something savoury? Also there are simpler and more complex recipes to choose from: some might take 15mins (before oven), some can be a whole evening's work.

d) It does not overwhelm with lots of fancy equipment and tools.

e) The tone is friendly, it is like using grandma's or elder sister's advice.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 August 2013
This is the most inexpensive cook book I have ever purchased. After seeing Isadora Popivic on the Rachel Allen BAKE series I was intrigued. Friends and colleagues have also purchased this book and all (including myself ) have made several items...all with success. The chocolate truffle brownies are amazing but its the different take on the savoury tarts that I myself like ,and if you have a vegetarian in the family, a definite winner.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I love baking, and when I buy a book about baking, it's usually based on the photos and originality of recipes.
Okay, so judging a book by its photos might be misleading (as is the case in the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook which is the worst cookbook I have ever used but has beautiful photos) but the Popina Book of Baking doesn't disappoint! I made 3 recipes from the book as part of a 2 day baking binge in preparation for a big family meal.

The first recipe I tried was the "Walnut Shortbreads" on p26. These wonderful little biscuits were delicate and light with a definitive walnut taste. I baked them for a little longer than the recommended 30 minutes, but that may be because my oven temperature was slightly out (I should invest in an oven thermometer!). Everyone loved them and they keep for 2 weeks which is great if you can resist them for that long.

I used another biscuit-y type recipe on p93 - "Gouda and Hazelnut Bites" which was so simple to make and yielded great results! I made 2 batches of this recipe, the first time I followed the recipe by the letter and the biscuits were far too salty. So with the next batch I left out the 1 teaspoon of salt and the biscuits were perfect. They're not too crisp but not soft either. The cheese taste is subtle at first but develops in your mouth which is good if you don't like an overpowering cheese taste, or if you are eating the bites with cheese or other foods (we ate them with Italian meats and strong cheese). The great thing with this recipe is that you can use alternative cheeses to vary the taste. Next time I will try it with Parmesan or Pecorino as I prefer a stronger cheese flavour to eat the bites by themselves.

The third recipe I used was the "Chocolate Truffle Brownies" on p84 which again, is a simple recipe with just basic ingredients which means you can pretty much whip this up at short notice. I didn't have to change a thing with this recipe and having tried many a failed brownie recipe before, I think I will be sticking to the Popina version from now on! I used chocolate with 84% cocoa which produced a very rich brownie which meant you only needed a small square to satisfy your sweet tooth. I cut the brownies into 12 smaller squares as opposed to the suggested 9 squares. I was afraid that the recipe would produce a brownie that was TOO "truffley" that would appear undercooked, but it wasn't at all. It was soft and just gooey enough to ensure people knew it was a brownie and not a cake.

I can't wait to work my way through this book and would even go as far as saying that it's on par with Rachel Allen's "Bake" book as it's THAT good!
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