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A Piece of Cake Paperback – Abridged, Audiobook, Box set

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New Holland Publishers Ltd (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780094531
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780094533
  • Product Dimensions: 19.9 x 1.7 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,030,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

'an excellent introduction to baking' --Waitrose Food Illustrated

'(a) delicious looking book' --Easy Living

'tempting recipes, perfect for an alfresco afternoon tea with friends' --Food and Travel

'gorgeous' --Fresh Escapes

'Leila Lindholme makes cooking easy'
--The Lady

About the Author

Thirty-one-year-old chef Leila Lindholm, of Swedish-Moroccan background, began her career in the restaurant world. During her career as a chef, Leila has worked at several well-known restaurants including Aquavit in New York, Operakallaren and Fredsgatan 12 in Stockholm. Today she works primarily in TV, where she has gained a huge following. Her primetime cooking show is called Leila's Food and airs on Swedish lifestyle channel, TV4 Plus. She also frequently appears cooking her simple and fast recipes on the biggest morning show in Sweden, the TV4 Morning News show, whose viewers voted her "TV Chef of the Year" in 2004. Her latest Swedish cookbook has sold 120,000 copies since it was released in May 2008 and in April this year, she is launching her own house and garden style magazine called Leila's Country Living.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I can't judge how good Leila Lindholm's book is, as there are so many mistakes in the English translation. There are many big and obvious mistakes - like 'tablespoons' insstead of 'teaspoons', for example. I have access to a danish translation, and have compared the two, and am stunned by the huge differences between them, mainly in the oven temperatures and quantities - in some cases the Danish has twice or half as much of a major ingedient as the English. I have also spotted some obvious mistakes inthe Danish version, so it doesn't seem much more reliable. So how on earth do I know what the author intended? I'm not at all sure it's worth bothering, as the only recipe that I have so far tried where the two translations agreed turned out to be very mediocre indeed - and I don't THINK it was my fault.

One other reviewer regretted the absence of one promised recipe. Any recipe using a Swedish ingredient that is hard to find elsewhere is either omitted,, or replaced with a similar sort of recipe. Understandably!
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Format: Hardcover
Let's not get away from the fact that this is a truly beautiful book. I'm a sucker for pretty pictures and I have to say that I initially bought it based on that alone. Then I started cooking....

The first recipe I tried was for high-hat chocolate cupcakes. Throughout the book, Leila tends to provide one recipe and then a number of adaptations. This isn't a problem in itself. However the cupcake method goes as follows: 1. Preheat oven. 2. Beat together eggs, butter and vanilla sugar until pale and fluffy. 3. Melt the butter, add the sour cream and coffee and blend with egg mixture. Spot the error? Yes - how do you melt the butter that is already mixed beaten in with eggs and sugar?! The solution, I believe, is to beat the eggs and sugar together, and melt the butter as step 2. Even more frustratingly, this error is repeated for the classic cup cake recipe. The second stage of the high-hat cupcake recipe requires you to make french meringue. This is a long process but worthwhile in the end. However, the 'cake' part of the recipe is for 12 cupcakes. Yet for some reason the french meringue element (you pipe the meringue on top of the cupcakes) requires 6 egg whites and 850g of caster sugar! I had french meringue coming out of my ears! Overall the cake part wasn't nice - solid and stodgy, although the topping was lovely.

The second recipe was a basic sponge, described as a 'juicy sponge'. Despite following Leila's instructions to the point, my sponge was incredibly rubbery. It was for a birthday cake, and I'm afraid that I was so disappointed that I reverted to a trusted Nigella recipe.

The next recipe was for brittle biscuits. This one worked - absolutely delicious.
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Format: Hardcover
I was looking forward to this book as it is also published under the title of Sweet and Savoury Swedish Baking and I particularly wanted a comprehensive Swedish baking book so I found it a big disappointment to find the majority of the recipes are not Swedish, they are mainly French, English and lots of Italian. The few Swedish recipes are found mainly in the Bread section. And although her background is Swedish-Moroccan there were no recipes with a Middle-Eastern slant either. The recipes in the book are fairly mundane and easily found in other baking books.

I found also found it irritating that her approach is to take one basic recipe such as Scones and then offer 9 variations on it. The same with Muffins and Sponge Cakes and so on and even Apple Crumble. This really means there are many fewer recipes than is at first apparent.

The publisher's blurb mentions Leila's "famous Lingonberry Cake" as part of the contents but search as I may, I have yet to locate it in this book.

The two recipes I tried were both failures; Chocolate Darlings used far too much butter and eggs and was a "sad' cake indeed. I then tried a version of the same recipe from another book and it worked perfectly! As I love apple cakes I tried the Apple Sponge, it rose beautifully and the apples did not sink as is so often the case but it was tasteless and of a strange consistency, a couple of bites and I ditched the cake.

The book is plentifully illustrated with pretty photographs of children's picnic tables, picnic baskets, children's birthday party tables, little girls daintily smudging their lips with cupcake icing and drinking Leila's homemade squash, not to mention numerous photos of Leila herself. But it's the recipes that matter and they don't impress.

This is a baking book of style over substance. Not for serious bakers hoping to find new and inspirational recipes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I used this book as basis for my mother's birthday tea party and made lavender dream biscuits; speedy berry cake; spanish meringues; brownie cupcakes; blueberry muffins with crumble and almond cake with elderflower and fresh berries. Everything worked out absolutely perfectly, the instructions in the book are so clear and the timings are exact, the recipies therefore are simply foolproof. Needless to say the food tastes fabulous, the lavender biscuits are perfumed and light as a feather, the brownie cupcakes are divinely gooey and the elderflower custard on the almond cake is incredibly unusual. Without a doubt the best baking book I possess. Thank-you Leila.
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