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Short and Sweet Hardcover – 29 Sep 2011
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‘Dan is by far the most imaginative and creative baker I know.’ Yotam Ottolenghi
‘Just when I think I’ll never need another cookery book along comes Dan Lepard’s Short & Sweet to tease, delight, beguile and tempt…This man has never, ever let me down’ Nigel Slater
‘One of my cookery heroes, Dan's baking expertise is second to none. His recipes ooze originality, precision and above all, irresistible deliciousness.’ Sarah Randell, Sainsbury's Magazine
‘Dan Lepard is to baking what Lewis Hamilton is to Formula One.’ Jay Rayner, Observer
‘Dan demystifies the baker’s art with such enthusiasm and unapologetic pragmatism that all kinds of seductive treats become instantly achievable.’ Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
‘Mr Lepard, I love you.’ Nigel Slater
About the Author
Dan Lepard is a baker and photographer who has worked with the likes of Ottolenghi, Giorgio Locatelli and Fergus Henderson. He is the author of The Handmade Loaf and has a very popular baking column in the Saturday Guardian. He writes frequently for Sainsbury’s Magazine and is also currently designing a range of baking products for Sainsbury’s. Originally from Australia, he now lives in London.
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Each chapter begins with a list of the sections, then opens with a useful and thoughtful introduction and oh so valuable tips and techniques. Dan treats his readers to insights gleaned from his own experience and valuable theory is trickled in too to make cooking his recipes a great way to learn for any cook. I had loved his Guardian columns and missed him when he left. I have two of his bread books and these taught me huge amounts including how to nurture a sourdough starter. i was tempted to buy this book because I read that it included many of those Guardian recipes and that Dan had revised and further perfected them, the wonderful Cider Vinegar Muffins for example. i am now using it to refresh my bread skills, working my way through the section and it is a delightful prospect. Today I made the best loaf ever and that is why I thought I must offer a review.
I rate the format as being practical, the book stays open which I love - the only other recipe book I have with that clever feature is the Polpo cook book - and the text is beautifully laid out and readable. The chapter organisation is something I have commented on but it does make the book a delight to use as does the comprehensive index which details key ingredients as well as recipes, a most welcome feature of modern recipe books. In his recipe selection, Dan shows a great ability to blend novelty with classical expertise, I need an excuse to bake his Hazelnut Wafer Cake which he says was a childhood birthday treat and reminds him of Topic bars, you can find this recipe online if you are curious. Just reading the recipe helps your imagination run riot so you can taste the cake! It sums up a glorious book, delicious recipes that work and make you long to keep baking.
What I like the most about this book is that author explains the physics and chemistry behind the baking process in very simple and understanding way,,,
I can only recommend 😁😘
In true Dan Lepard style, the recipes are inspirational. I leapt straight to the chapter on cakes of course, but the book starts with the real staff of life - bread. Other sections include biscuits, desserts, savoury pies, yeasted sweet bakes and even a chapter on making your own sweets. Each chapter starts with a few pages of techniques; tips are scattered throughout the book. On reading the tips and techniques section of the cake chapter, I noted several things I was unaware of. I'm an inveterate forgetter of remembering to turn the oven on in time. I was particularly pleased therefore to discover that it doesn't matter too much if you don't place the finished cake mixture immediately in the oven. If you transfer it very gently, the "rise" should not be affected.
Dan uses some unusual ingredients in his cake recipes including rye and hemp flours, ground porridge oats and condensed milk. That and some unusual techniques make for an intriguing baking experience. Apart from the chocolate ones (of course), some of the cakes I'm looking forward to making include: cherry beet cake, sticky lemon & poppy seed cake, coconut milk layer cake and saffron peach cake.
Although I like to think of myself as a serious cook, I do find I like to have photographs in my cookbooks. It's always nice to have an idea of what your aiming for and sometimes it's the picture alone that seals the deal on whether you bake a particular recipe. This was my one disappointment with Short & Sweet, there are photographs and very enticing ones too, but they don't cover every bake. A book mark ribbon would also be a welcome addition, but I guess I can live without that.