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46 Reviews
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great bakery - great book
I'm lucky enough to have taken one of Bea's baking classes at her bakery in Bloomsbury so I can testify that not only is Bea a great pastry chef she's also a great teacher - and this really comes across in her book. I can also confidently say that the recipes appear in the book as they are baked in her shop, with no tinkering with quantities or ingredients to protect...
Published on 21 Sep 2011 by Amelie

versus
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful - did they even test the recipes?
Gorgeous photography and delicious-sounding recipes can't mask the fact that they just don't seem to work. I've tried two recipes from this book, and both have been a disaster. The Espresso Bourbon Cake was supposed to take 28-35 minutes to bake, but was still underdone in the middle at 60 minutes. Eventually took it out - and the middle was soft and the outsides dry...
Published 18 months ago by Greg in Roujan


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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great bakery - great book, 21 Sep 2011
This review is from: Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury (Hardcover)
I'm lucky enough to have taken one of Bea's baking classes at her bakery in Bloomsbury so I can testify that not only is Bea a great pastry chef she's also a great teacher - and this really comes across in her book. I can also confidently say that the recipes appear in the book as they are baked in her shop, with no tinkering with quantities or ingredients to protect trade secrets, so if you're not fortunate enough to live anywhere close to her bakeries you can rest assured that you will be able to produce identikit cakes with the aid of this lovely book.

Bea has a thorough knowledge of both the art and science of good baking and she imparts it throughout her recipes in a really low-key and easy to understand way. Now that I know the reaction that happens when eggs hit sugar I ALWAYS mix them well the moment they meet and I'm convinced my cakes are better because of it. And having struggled with recipes for brownies throughout my baking life I now know how to make a perfect batch everytime.

Which brings me on to just how delicious her cakes are. Very. VERY. The aforementioned brownie recipe is almost dangerous it's so good. The Devil's Food Cake manages to be both dark and light and is just on the right side of a bitter chocolate flavour rather than being cloyingly sweet - a chocolate cake for grown-ups.

And the Renee Cake is probably the most delicious cake I've ever eaten. Fact.

Although there are recipes for complete cakes in the book one thing I particularly appreciate about the way it's laid out is that Bea has seperated base cake recipes from filling / frosting recipes, allowing you to 'mix and match' your way to your own creations if you wish. As a fairly regular baker and someone who owns A LOT of baking books I really like this element of 'artistic freedom'.

I really recommend this book. If you're a confident baker there's enough in here to broaden your knowledge and repertoire - and if you're fairly new to baking you'll find that not only are there some really undaunting recipes to try out you're also being guided by an excellent coach.

Great stuff - thanks Bea!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful - did they even test the recipes?, 26 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury (Hardcover)
Gorgeous photography and delicious-sounding recipes can't mask the fact that they just don't seem to work. I've tried two recipes from this book, and both have been a disaster. The Espresso Bourbon Cake was supposed to take 28-35 minutes to bake, but was still underdone in the middle at 60 minutes. Eventually took it out - and the middle was soft and the outsides dry. Tasted just like a chocolate cake - couldn't even taste the coffee or whiskey. Then made the apple bourbon cake. Far too much to fit into a 20cm cake tin - but I gave it a try. And surely 3 golden delicious apples was too much. As I suspected, about a third of the cake ended up bubbling up over the sides of the tin. So much liquid was released by the apples that the cake was still completely wet at 70 minutes in. The book is a waste of money - and it has wasted even more in ingredients and time.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I didn't get great results from this, 15 Jan 2013
This review is from: Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury (Hardcover)
I had high expectations as I have been to Beas of Bloomsbury, and I regularly bake using the Hummingbird and Primrose Bakery recipebooks. The reviews on here were fantastic (hmm?). To my surprise, the recipes I tried out were pretty diastrous!

The writer assumes the cook already has an impressive understanding of patisserie baking e.g. when making italian buttercream, whether or not to add the hot sugar syrup to the beaten egg whites immediately or to let it cool for a minute so it doesn't cook the egg whites? If I already knew exactly how to make it then I probably wouldn't need the book...

It's a beautiful book but I'm not going to waste more money on expensive ingredients.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Looks like the real deal but....., 14 Sep 2013
This review is from: Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury (Hardcover)
Hmmmmm...yes... well.. rather like the cafe itself the book promises much and delivers a sharp kick in the backside whilst taking money off you. I've tried two of these cakes and neither worked out and I do a lot of baking. I hate investing time and money and watnching them thrown away. But frankly I should have known better having visited the cafe and been served incredibly stale cake, please don't waste your money too!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Errata?, 4 Feb 2012
By 
MG (New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury (Hardcover)
What kind of salt Bea's of Bloomsbury use? I used regular salt when I made the chocolate peanut butter biscotti. The biscotti tasted soo salty that I had to discard the entire batch. The recipe requires 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and I don't remember seeing a cookie recipe requiring that much of salt. Chocolate and peanut butter is my favorite combo and they got lost into the saltiness of the biscotti. I'm debating whether I should risk trying out more of Bea's recipes or not.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing., 14 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury (Hardcover)
I bought this book based on the reviews on this site, also because of the magnificent cake picture on the cover. I was a bit disappointed when I flipped through the pages, as most recipes are quite ordinary, not that interesting. I thought I would be alright with that as long as Triple Chocolate Cake recipe is good. Unfortunately it is a terrible recipe, very confusing! First step is to bake a chocolate buttermilk cake. Baked it without any problem although I think it would have been lighter with less chocolate in it. Actual confusing part is the rest of the recipe. In the picture there is one white, one dark filling, however in the recipe it is talking about making two chocolatey fillings! Name of these fillings keep changing between this recipe and in the referred pages! I am an experienced baker and academically advance enough to be able to process a recipe, I read the recipe several times over the past few days, still couldn't figure out what does she mean. If both of these recipes contain so much chocolate as mentioned in the recipe where does this white filling come from? It shouldn't be this complicated. I came back to this page in Amazon to see if there is any reference to a similar problem, perhaps a solution. When I read the reviews again, it strike me, most written by her friends or acquintances. Many of these people actually mention that they have been to her shops several times and know her personally. I am feeling a bit cheated now because of all these misleading reviews written by writer's pals! Very disappointed.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tea with Bea, 20 Aug 2011
By 
Elizabeth Owen "Lillibet" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury (Hardcover)
A lovely book, beautifully illustrated. I like Bea's easy going introduction and descriptions of recipes. It gives good, simple, clear advice on technique which will hopefully make me a better baker. The recipe selection is good and she give some nice variations with some of the recipes. A lovely book I had been waiting for for several months. I would say it was suitable for most levels of baker to use.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tea with Bea - Not for me, 13 Jan 2012
This review is from: Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury (Hardcover)
Found this during a random search on Amazon and was seduced by cover photo and other reviews. I am hardly a professional cook, but I am a pretty good baker, this book left me cold. Inadequate instructions and no clear explanations of why certain ingredients were being used, constantly having to refer back and forth between recipes - lovely pictures, but mostly it seemed to be a 'blow your own trumpet' session for the author. I've had it for two days and I'm already wondering if I should just take it to the charity shop. I will never, ever use it. There are better books. Thankfully, I didn't pay the full price.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not sure about this one., 21 Aug 2012
By 
Bkk (Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury (Hardcover)
I bought this book awhile ago but have only recently baked from it. The devil's chocolate cupcakes are great, and I like the detailed instructions that accompany it. However I have just made the Vanilla Cake and whilst its not out of the oven I can already see the recipe may be wrong. I followed it to the letter, making sure everything was correct including the size of the pan as the cake is a birthday cake for my mother. However the cake has overflowed into my oven- the first time this has happened to me despite having made numerous cakes, and at almost 20 minutes over the stated cooking time it is not done yet. As I have said, I am not new to baking so that the recipe could produce such off results makes me question the detail in this book. Perhaps cake pan height as well as width should be stipulated as I have used a standard height cake pan. I will continue to try other recipes but will be a bit more cautious in terms of blindly trusting recipes.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars tea with Bea ***** Definately Dissapointing, 1 Mar 2012
This review is from: Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury (Hardcover)
I am so disappointed in this book, it looks amazing,the write up fantastic, But the recipe's within are incorrect. I made the Guinness and ginger cup cakes, instructions were poor. example " fill each cupcake four fifths full as they do not rise much, and it makes 24!! Mine rise above level and only filled 18... also the cream cheese topping, was like buttermilk, I literally had to use double the amount of Icing sugar to reach the consistency shown on the pictured cup cakes!!!!

This book will not be used in my kitchen again, first book I have ever been this dissapointed that I felt it necessary to write a review. I feel it very unfair to even pass this on to the charity shop for someone else to be dissapointed in what they may think a good buy from the charity shop. Recycled it WILL HELP TO SAVE THE PLANET!!!! thats about all its good for.....
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Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury
Tea with Bea: Recipes from Bea's of Bloomsbury by Bea's of Bloomsbury (Hardcover - 8 Sep 2011)
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