Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rachel is back and shows just how rewarding home baking can be, 26 Nov 2008
This review is from: Bake (Hardcover)
'In this cookbook, to accompany the TV series of the same name, Rachel once again offers the delicious non-patronising and easy-to-follow recipes for which she has become famous.

From the introduction:

'Baking has always been one of my greatest joys. I have such happy memories of my sister and I when we were little standing on kitchen chairs so that we could help Mum make biscuits or buns for the family. Even today, the wonderful warm aromas of baking bread, cakes or cookies always transports me back to those times.......
There is no mystery to baking, baking is a simple science which is precisely why it is so satisfying.......it is really just the right ingredients in the right quantities!
I have chosen my favourite baking recipes in this collection to give you a wide range of delicious treats and meals that can be baked in your oven.....there are also many special recipes for those once-in-a-while occasions and celebrations.
If you can master a set of weighing scales, then you have all the skills you need to bake.......so what are you waiting for?
Get that pinny on and start baking!'

'Bake' encourages just that, with clear and simply laid out recipes with an upper case title, quantity made, a descriptive sentence or two, the list of ingredients and the numbered method and any variations, tips or serving ideas.

Durable board covers open to 288 high quality matt pages, split over main chapters:

1. Sweet mouthfuls
2. Cakes
3. Puddings
4. Breads and savoury bites
5. Tarts and pies
6. Breakfast and patisserie
7. Baked meals
8. Holiday and celebration
9. Basic recipes and techniques, which includes equipment

sandwiched between an introduction and a glossary.

Completed with a concise index and a pastel blue ribbon to keep the place.

Recipes, which sometimes span more than one page, include:

* Ginger & Honey Snaps
* Bakewell Bars
* Light Sweet Scones
* Eccles Cakes
* Fairy Cakes
* Butter -free Sponge Cake
* Dutch Apple Cake
* Red Velvet Cake
* Kugelhopf
* Swiss Roll
* Chocolate Cake
* Baked Alaska
* Raspberry Jam Steamed Pudding
* Easy Soda Focaccia
* Ballymaloe White Soda Bread
* Cornish Saffron Bread
* Chicken and Leek Pie
* Quiche Lorraine
* Tarte Tatin
* Bagels
* Waffles
* Baked Breakfast Omelette
* Croissants
* Eclairs
* Baked Red Lentil Dhal
* Simple Sausage & Bean Bake
* Pork, Spinach & Mushroom Lasagne
* Cottage Pie
* Party Doughnuts
* Darina's Simnel Cake

Also included, and useful with the holiday season just around the corner (at the time of writing), are these handy recipes:

* Christmas Pudding with Boozy Toffee Sauce
* Christmas Cake
* Marzipan
* Mincemeat
* St. Stephen's Day Muffins

My favourites...so.... far include:

* Baked Brown Sugar Custards

'These gorgeous and very simple little desserts are a somewhat like crème caramels or French 'flan'. The brown sugar adds a delicious rich, toffee-ish flavour, and this is further enhanced if you brūlée it with a blow torch'
.....to make it a lovely crunchy top, as advised by Rachel's closing tip.

* Chocolate Lava Cakes

'These gorgeous little puddings should be deliciously spongy on the outside and molten in the centre. Do not overcook them or they will be set all the way through.
They are delicious served with vanilla ice cream.'
....And they certainly are!

This useful book is finished with a very comprehensive 'Basic Recipes and Techniques' section including helpful step-by-step photography, in places.
Basic recipes include pastry, white bread, sponge cake, meringue, crystallised flowers, icings, chocolate curls, sauces, and strawberry jam.

On the slightly negative side:
The opening notes on the recipes are in quite a small typeface and are in pastel shades, so can be a little hard to read in places. Most but not all of the recipes include a full colour photograph, but often an 'on-location' shot rather than one of the completed item, which may prove slightly negative to those of us who like to see what we are aiming for on the plate.
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