Customer Review

68 of 75 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars a waste of time and ingredients AVOID, 9 Nov. 2009
This review is from: The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (Hardcover)
I have been seduced by this book for the last time. Five recipes and five disasters later I am just about to consign my lemon meringue pie to the bin- together with the so called 'recipe' book that spawned it.
It's obvious what has happened here- the commercial recipes have just been divided by a factor of ten in order to scale them down for a domestic kitchen- but have never been properly tested.
If they had- they'd know that the resulting 'cakes' are either raw, or don't fit into the prescribed tins- or overflow when they rise- or don't rise because the mixtures are too runny, I could go on. But I don't need to, as all the other reviews quite eloquently describe exactly the same thing- the upshot being these recipes simply don't work.
I had already bought the ingredients so I stupidly thought I'd give it one more chance with their Lemon Meringue Pie. Here's what happened: The pastry base remained completely raw after blind baking for three times the given timings. The lemon filling needed three times the cooking time. The meringue was rock hard on the outside and completely raw on the inside.
Oh- and the ingredients were enough to make two pies.
And don't get me started on the Pound Cake. No amount of cooking would transform this batter into something solid that could be sliced.Eating raw cake mix by the spoonful is not something I have ever enjoyed. And once again- too much batter for the size of tin they call for,
Obviously this book was hastily cobbled together to cash in on the fashionability of the bakery, something which is all too common. The sad thing is- if I hadn't made scores of successful cakes and loaves over the years- this book would leave me convinced that I couldn't bake.
I am an experienced cook and a successful one- but this book has provided me with about 75% of the kitchen disasters I have experienced in nearly thirty years of cooking.
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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Feb 2010 09:31:41 GMT
S. L. Mack says:
I too have had a number of failures with this book and was left questioning my (usually excellent) baking skills. Glad - at least - to hear I'm not the only one.

Posted on 4 Feb 2010 09:32:19 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 4 Feb 2010 09:32:27 GMT]

Posted on 10 Feb 2010 16:53:23 GMT
I agree! Everything I've cooked from this book has been a disaster!!!

Posted on 4 Mar 2010 17:15:18 GMT
A. Osen says:
Have you ever considered that you can't bake? Or even that your oven is different and may use different timings? I have made several recipes from this book and they have turned out brilliantly! I was flexible with the timings and if the timings for the oven weren't down to the second, did I scream and shout? No. I did not.

Posted on 14 May 2010 20:04:52 BDT
I am SO glad that I am not alone in the failure of this book, and I consider myself quite an experienced baker.
Also glad that I'm not the only one who had a disaster with the pound cake - I had the EXACT same problem as you. I was gutted because I tried it TWICE, wasting twice the amount of ingredients because I thought the first time I must've done something wrong.
Stupidly I have tried some of the other recipes from the book (red velvet cake, pumpkin cupcakes to name but a few) and it's usually the same problem - it's too runny! raw! too much batter! etc..etc...
Not happy with this book at all, the only good thing were the photos.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jan 2011 18:21:39 GMT
Penguin says:
Hey, if you have anymore disasters i'l gladly eat the raw cake mixture........its the best part!

Posted on 4 Jun 2011 20:58:26 BDT
BWM22 says:
Agree agree agree - with every word -so glad it's not just me!

Posted on 16 Mar 2012 15:16:33 GMT
Soraya says:
TOTALLY agree!!!! After the 3rd or 4th disaster I realised it was the book and not me and reading reviews such as yours has affirmed this. I think those who have rated the book 5 stars must have some kind of magic oven that we dont know about!!

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Jun 2012 14:53:55 BDT
I defy you to follow the recipe for the Coconut Meringue cake recipe EXACTLY and come back here and tell me you thought it produced a delicious cake! The quantities are completely wrong.
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