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SL Trivuncic "MaisonCupcakeBakingBlog" (London)

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Leon: Baking & Puddings
Leon: Baking & Puddings
by Henry Dimbleby
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £19.99

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To dip in and out of, 16 Dec. 2011
Claire Ptak and Henry Dimbleby's joint effort is the third outing for cafe chain Leon with Leon Baking and Puddings.

A big solid book with twin ribbon book marks (these always make books look wonderful), the inside is an eclectic mix of graphics, vintage photography and funky page layouts.

Recipes are chatty with credentials from granny or ancient aunts in many cases; this book is a rare breed that makes you laugh as you turn the pages (for the right reasons).

A harlequin leapfrogging a jelly, mini footballers scaling a meringue, Desperate Dan cow pie with horns, it sounds ridiculous but it works. There's even a groovy page full of stickers at the back. This is the kind of book you could keep dipping into and notice something you hadn't seen before. One of my favourites of the year.

Pieminister: A Pie for All Seasons
Pieminister: A Pie for All Seasons
by Tristan Hogg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for blokes who like baking pies as well as eating them, 15 Dec. 2011
Pieminister are by now a familiar brand on supermarket shelves; who can forget the Will & Kate Royal Wedding Pie earlier this year? This book works through every pie filling imaginable season by season; how to make all types of pastry, using up left over bits and avoiding soggy bottoms. My favourite section is the autumn one featuring curry pies to tie in with Diwalhi and the recipe for rabbit, pork and black pudding roll.

Contrary to all the "shabby chic" baking books around, this is quite a masculine book with vector style graphics; good for blokes who like baking pies as well as eating them.

Short and Sweet
Short and Sweet
by Dan Lepard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.99

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the dedicated baker, 29 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Short and Sweet (Hardcover)
Dan Lepard's new epic volume has a contradictory title, Short and Sweet being what I imagined was a reference to how he likes his pastry rather than the length of the book. In fact, the book was not originally intended to be this length, a pocket size reference book in the vein of Schott's Miscellany was planned but things took another turn. Four years in the making, 500+ whopping pages and a surprising number of pictures (that Dan also took himself - he was previously a photographer), this really is a telephone directory of baking advice.

With prose in similar style to Nigel Slater, I was initially overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of this book, Dan gives detailed advice peppered with historical information and stuff like where the word "streusel" comes from. The sheer scale of what is in here makes it hard to say which recipes tempt me the most; on my to-do list are tapenade dinner rolls, cheese and black pepper buttons and Creme Fraiche Treacle Caramels. There are also some fun items like Weetabix muffins and Rocky Road Rock Cakes.

Possibly if you study this book and do a "Julie and Julia" with it, there would be very little about baking you would not have learned. This book fulfils two criteria I like to find in my favourite cookery books; do I want to sit in bed reading it night after night and do I expect to use it in the kitchen for year after year? (yes and yes).
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 29, 2011 10:07 PM GMT

Kitchen Hero
Kitchen Hero
by Donal Skehan
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the hip young cook, 28 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Kitchen Hero (Hardcover)
Donal Skehan is rapidly becoming Ireland's twinkly eyed answer to Jamie Oliver (who in turn is becoming the UK's answer to Martha Stewart). In his early twenties, Kitchen Hero is already his second book.

Although recipes like smoky fish pie and cheesy cauliflower bake aren't by any means unique, there's great attention to detail producing a very slick attractive book indeed. No wonder Rachel Allen is quoted on the cover saying how much she loves him.

We don't get Donal's Kitchen Hero TV show in the UK but if it exudes the energy that pours out of his website and book, we're missing a treat. Watch this space for someone destined to start an empire of restaurants and mail order businesses if he follows in the steps of the big JO. I bought this book on the back of the artwork and food styling alone but the dishes inside are realistic and tempting enough to make me want to cook all of them tomorrow.

Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money
Aggie's Family Cookbook: Save Time, Save Money
by Aggie MacKenzie
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £18.95

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For someone wanting to cook from scratch every day, 28 Nov. 2011
Aggie's Family Cookbook from the lovely Aggie Mackenzie, better known as the friendlier of the two ladies who used to invade people's houses and tell them how filthy dirty they were.

Hugely practical, this book has realistic weekly meal plans to help you save money and feed the family nutritious meals every night. My favourite chapter is "Food for the kids' mates" which includes a recipe called "Clissold Chicken" named after her local park. My other favourites are quick braised oxtail, vegetable empanadas, puff pastry pissaladiere and the entire "bits and pieces" chapter which is full of useful standard recipes everyone should memorise.

Orla Kiely style tablecloths feature throughout and incase you think you're going to get off the hook with donning rubber gloves afterwards, there's a section "How to clean your kitchen" because, well some people are filthy dirty you know. Possibly the only cookbook I've seen that includes a ticking off for allowing cats on worktops.

Beautifully laid out, reassuring and good fun.

The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits
The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits
by Sarah Moore
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the crafty sugar fan, 24 Nov. 2011
The piping bag's the limit when it comes to drawing on biscuits, any shape, any colour, any design.

The Biscuiteers Book of Iced Biscuits gives a comprehensive guide to decorating cookies to suit different themes and seasons ranging from the bridal collection's dress, shoes, dove, cake and bouquet to the cowboys and indians' collection of teepee, boots, horse, native American headdress, stetson and cactus.

For anyone who is a fan of blogs like Sweetopia and Bake at 350, Biscuiteers gives a hard copy guide to make any cookie decorating fan crumble with excitement.

Lots of information in the front for practical help with techniques and a sparky layout make this a fun accessible book to add to your baking and sugarcraft library.

by Vanessa Kimbell
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the time-short goddess on a budget, 24 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Prepped! (Hardcover)
Vanessa Kimbell packed her trunk and said goodbye to the circus... well not quite, she packed in her former corporate life and put her earlier acquired cheffing skills to good use to write her cookery book, Prepped! inside a year.

The result is a creative family friendly tome to pulling together exciting dinners at the drop of a hat by making use of core recipes for flavoured sugars, syrups and sauces. You could either give this book to someone in its own right or buy yourself a copy and give someone home made gifts packaging up the core recipes from the book. Star recipes are brocolli with hot vanilla vinaigrette and lavender salmon which sound like they shouldn't work but do. Chapters are based around seasonal ingredients such as elderflower, rhubarb and lavender in the first "spring/summer" half of the book moving on to plum, tomato and chocolate for the more wintery half. I especially like the recipes that suggest doubling up on quantities to yield two separate things; custard becomes creme caramel or ice cream, granola becomes a crumble topping etc.

Aspirational in style, this book has look of Country Living Magazine about it but I'm knocking a star off as I think the presentation could have been better. Some of the lovely photos have their focal point buried in the spine which is a shame and an opportunity to stamp Vanessa's personality over the pages has been missed by unsophisticated use of fonts by the graphic designer. If she gets a better designer in for book 2 then Rachel Allen had better watch out!

Gifts from the Kitchen: 100 Irresistible Homemade Presents for Every Occasion
Gifts from the Kitchen: 100 Irresistible Homemade Presents for Every Occasion
by Annie Rigg
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For the recipient who enjoys giving back:, 23 Nov. 2011
Ok maybe it's altruistic to present someone with a book how to make Gifts from the Kitchen because with wonderful things in here you're bound to have at the back of your mind that you wish the recipient would make something in it for you. I first received a copy of this at a cookery class and highly recommend it for anyone who likes making stuff rather than buying it.

Not just limited to Christmas presents, Annie Rigg shows an array of foodie presents suitable for all occasions during the year and various family members. Every item is beautifully presented giving you inspiration to wrap, bottle and label your wares in your individual style.

My favourite items are:
Barfi decorated with silver leaf;
Home made limoncello
Fennel seed, chilli and parmesan grissini

A few things aren't pictured hence my giving this a 4 not 5. Those pictures that there are being so expertly styled I feel a bit cheated by the ones that are missing!

Ham, Pickles and Jam: Traditional Skills for the Modern Kitchen Larder
Ham, Pickles and Jam: Traditional Skills for the Modern Kitchen Larder
by Thane Prince
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £25.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the person who fantasises about having a house with a pantry, 22 Nov. 2011
For the person who fantasises about having a house with a pantry: Yep, that's me.

Ham, Pickles and Jam is a mine of information telling you how to cure meats, preserve gluts of fruit and even air dry your own biltong. Thane Prince's competent book moves through all too often forgotten skills for the modern kitchen larder giving you the techniques and confidence to fill your cupboards and your pantry (if you're fortunate enough to have one these days).

Pork pies, terrines, rillettes and chutneys; you'll never bother shopping in Waitrose again and probably start spinning your own wool and dipping candles from the by products of sheep. Arguably air drying your own jerky is only one step away from tanning your own leather jackets but I think I'll stick to cooking!

A delightful book, one of my favourites this year.

Couture Chocolate: A Masterclass in Chocolate
Couture Chocolate: A Masterclass in Chocolate
by William Curley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £24.00

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb text book for the would-be chocolatier!, 17 Nov. 2011
For most people this is very advanced and would see little further action than oo-ing and arr-ing on the coffee table, however if you were someone wanting to set up their own chocolate business this publication would be an inspiring and beautiful textbook.

After explaining the history and methods making chocolate the recipes are broken down into;
truffles and filled chocolates: making ganache, the science of the perfect truffle, adding fabulous flavours
couture chocolates: experimental fillings such as apricot and wasabi, black rice vinegar
"bouches" and small delights: chocolate rochers, millionaire's shortbread;
pâtisserie: chocolate and praline Paris Brest, chocolate financiers, chocolate mielle feuile and more;
chocolate ices, drinks, sauces and spreads.

William's partner is Japanese and the fusion of chocolate with Japanese ingredients is one of the things that gives him his signature style.

This book would make a fabulous gift for any discerning chocolate lover.

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