498 of 511 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (Hardcover)I bought this at my local bookshop a few days ago and I have since been on a baking frenzy!
Yes, there are indeed many good home-baking books out there. And yes, this does make you wonder exactly how many ways of making/icing a cupcake there can possibly be!!! But the Hummingbird bakery cookbook does fill a few gaps for those of us who are time pushed but want the satisfaction of making sweet treats ourselves.
The usual sections that one would expect apply: cupcakes, cakes, pies, brownies and bars, muffins and cookies. It's all packaged very beautifully with plenty of mouthwatering photographs.
On the face of it, there doesn't seem to be anything cutting-edge or new about it...but then it is about baking, not the latest feat in engineering. I like it because the recipes are easy to follow, simple, inspiring and above all, they taste great! Achieving those aspects alone in my opinion gives it 5 stars.
Inevitable comparisons are bound to be drawn between this and the Magnolia bakery book. After all, the author states that his inspiration came from the American style of baking. So I'll address this from the outset. I have both books and there are a couple of the same recipes in Hummingbird as there are in Magnolia. But that's it. What made me buy this book in particular (apart from being seduced by the stunning cover!!) is that the Hummingbird bakery makes THE most delicious cakes in London and I wanted to try and make mine taste as good!
Strawberry cheesecake cupcakes, green tea cupcakes, brooklyn blackout cake, blueberry cake, nutty apple loaf, mississippi mud pie, raspberry cheesecake brownie, carrot and courgette muffins. These are a few of the recipes in this book.
I am editing this review to try and give a bit more info about the recipes here. I have seen that the book has garnered a few 1 star reviews, so I would like to give a brief idea of how my recipes have actually turned out.
So far I have tried the following recipes....
**Nutty apple loaf (moist, dense and delicious)
**Blueberry cake (nice tangy texture and very moreish)
**Red velvet cupcakes. The second time round, I also made the batter into a red velvet cake, using just 2 tins and cooking it for longer.(I used red paste food colouring as that was all I had, and they turned out perfectly).
**Mississippi mud pie (WOW, my favourite so far! Easy to make even though pastry is my nemesis).
**Raspberry cheesecake brownies (Another favourite of mine, great flavour combination). Nice alternative to the regular recipe. I made these with my friend's daughter who is 5. And while I did most of the work, they were easy to make and even easier to eat!
**Lemon and poppy seed cake (simple and full of flavour).
**Hazelnut and chocolate cupcakes (Absolutely delicious. Again, easy to make).
**Marshmallow cupcakes (fluffy and light with a nice melted marshmallow filling).
So far, so good. All of the above recipes have turned out well and have tasted lovely. I am an "experienced" baker (20 years of cake eating and making!!) and my most used baking recipes are by Nigella. I'm not an expert on the subject but I have had a few years of practice and I was delighted with this book and I still maintain that it deserves the 5 stars I originally gave it.
For the majority of the recipes, I followed each one exactly as stated and the only time I came unstuck was with the blueberry cake when I used a ring tin that was much smaller than recommended. This made the batter overflow during cooking. So the next time I made the cake I had the correct size tin and again it turned out as good as the other recipes.
In terms of ingredient quantities and methods, the recipes are wildly different to what I'm used to (which doesn't matter to me). For the most part I have kept to what has been written and everything has so far turned out well.
And just for the record, I do not work for Hummingbird or the publisher and I am a keen home cook, not a professional caterer or chef!!!
I hope this helps.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Mar 2009 17:35:12 GMT
The very hungry bookworm says:
Can I please come over to yours? And can you lick the photos in the book?!
Posted on 14 Jul 2009 19:14:53 BDT
HI, I have the book too and think it's fabulous. However, I cooked the blueberry
Posted on 28 Dec 2009 20:57:31 GMT
Last edited by the author on 28 Dec 2009 20:59:23 GMT
80's film fan says:
Thanks for your feedback, my sister has just brought this book for me for christmas, I am an awful baker but your review has given me the encouragment i need to change that as I adore cupcakes and hopefully will make some tasty ones and not rock cakes as I have done previously!!
Posted on 15 Mar 2010 13:05:24 GMT
A customer says:
A very inspiring review! I actually also had a bakefest for Mothers Day and the cupcakes were lovely and yummy. Especially the red velvet ones. But they looked nothing like Hummingbird cakes, this is very geeky but it appeared to me the frosting ratio didn't match up with what you see on the picture. Did you find the same?
Posted on 6 Sep 2010 17:21:52 BDT
A. Robertson says:
I was very excited about this cook book when my daughter showed me her copy,I rushed off and bought my own. I wish I had read the reviews first.I am a very experianced cook with 30years in the business but this book nearly made me throw in the towel.The oat and raisin cookies made masses even having halved the amount and were rather dry.The spinach and cheese muffins were awfull and dry and most of the muffin got left in the case.The pastry for the apple pie was like concreat although the filling was good.The vanilla frosting was so sweet I could hardly eat it,and the quantities given for the cup cake mixture bearly went round the 12 cases.However the lemon loaf was good and I won 1st prize in our local show for the banana loaf so all is not lost.
In reply to an earlier post on 2 Apr 2011 23:01:05 BDT
L. Campion says:
I agree about the pastry, it wasn't the best. I just use a traditional one now, I prefer a mix of butter and trex myself, makes for a much nicer pastry! Although, I did notice the apple pie and it's pastry improved no end over a few days in the fridge though and my son loved it from start to finish!
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