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on 24 January 2011
As other reviewers have pointed out there aren't enough pictures of the food to quite satisfy but I do feel that the book is still very appealing and tactile and does entice you to bake. The font is clear, the recipes are well laid out and the imagery and straightforward description is almost as helpful as a picture to be honest. I am already a keen baker of many of the recipes in the book but did enjoy trying a different mix of ingredients (usually more decadent in this book!)and look forward to trying more. Best of all though was the vanilla bean tip in the introduction; who would have thought that you could buy vanilla pods on the internet at a fraction of the supermarket cost? Having bought 50 pods for less than £8 (currently 2 pods for £4 in Waitrose!) I have been even more keen to bake and see what difference real vanilla makes!
Since writing this review I have made a number of other treats from this book and have found that the tips and description really do make a huge difference - for example I have tried (failed at) baking brioche before but following the recipe here made beautiful beautiful brioche. Again, it's the descriptions that tell you how long to beat for and what it should look like that give you confidence as you bake. It also helps you to understand the chemistry behind the baking and then go on to experiment. I now do a 50% icing sugar to 25% butter to 25% mascarpone cheese topping for my cupcakes which I am delighted with. And don't miss out the sugar syrup - makes a big difference! Love love love it.
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on 11 January 2011
I was blown away when this book arrived. It's got lovely sounding recipes, and has it's feet firmly in classic baking; but there are lots of twists on recipes to make your taste buds water.

It's not all sweet baking either, which I think is good, because as much as I love to bake, tea / supper needs to be cooked as well! Chapters are Breads, Cakes, Savoury Baking, Desserts and Patisserie, Dinner Party, Sweet Treats and Basics. Book is nicely done, clean layout and plenty of pictures - not of every recipe, but a good amount of them.

The first programme in her baking series was on TV last night, and all the recipes featured on it are in the book, which is good, as it's so annoying when featured recipes are not all there in a tie in book! No worries here though. There are basic, classic recipes like Victoria Sandwich, Swiss Roll, White Bread and Breadsticks and lots more beside.

A little taster of recipes are:

I Can't Believe You Made That (Chocolate) Cake
Stout and Stilton Bread Rolls
Pear Tart Tatin
Pork Pies with Cider
Gluten Free Irish Cream Coffee Cake
Mojito Genoise
Big Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sun Dried Tomato and Rosemary Palmiers
Fondant Fancies
Chocolate Melting Puds
Glam Mac and Cheese
Chicken Pies with Mushroom and Tarragon
Pastilla (chicken pie Moroccan Style)
Banana Loaf with Rum and Pecans
White Chocolate and Amaretti Cheesecake
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on 22 January 2011
After watching her show I was totally taken in with the whole look and feel and the fact it was EASY. I bought the cook book, and although I am looking forward to making 4 of the recipies today, I am very disappointed at the lack of pictures of food in the book. There is not much to inspire you when you are flicking through for something that takes your fancy. You can literally go 20 recipies and there might only be 3 accompanying photos of the completed dish. There are, however, plenty of photos of Lorraine, as gorgeous as she is, I would rather see the food. Please please please can we have more photos in the next book. Lorraine even says in her show that she always photographs what she makes, and there is a beautiful looking scene of her with her camara taking a photo, SO WHERE ARE THEY. Bit dissapointing, but still love it.
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on 5 February 2011
Like other reviewers, I think the absence of a photo for each recipe detracts from an otherwise excellent programme and its' accompanying book. I was most surprised to see that the grandest of all the cake recipes (The Red Velvet Cake - supposedly a wedding cake) was not photographed; what a missed opportunity!

I have made only one of the recipes so far (only had the book 2 days) - peanut butter cookies. The recipe calls for 300g of peanut butter. The jar I bought had only 230g, but even that seemed too much for the recipe, and the cookies are very salty, but still very moreish. I have checked out other peanut butter cookies online, and the quantity of peanut butter is far less than Lorraine's recipe for same quantity of cookies (12). In some recipes there is as little as 30g of peanut butter, which seems about right.

If anyone else has made these cookies and disagrees or agrees with me, please let me know. Or, if Lorraine is reading these comments, please could you confirm that you do mean 300g of peanut butter to be used for just 12 cookies? Many thanks.

My orignal review ended with the paragraph above, however since then I have made a few more things from the book and now wanted to confirm what I originally thought, that the quantities for some of the recipes (certainly, all that I have made so far) seem incorrect. As I have said above, the quantity of peanut butter seemed far too much (300g); I have now made the poppyseed and parmesan lollipops, and the flapjacks. Both have been failures. The 'lollipops' stuck to the baking parchment, so I had two further attempts, and all three batches ended up being thrown out as they would not come unstuck from the parchment. On the programme, Lorraine did not grease her parchment with butter (however she says this must be done in the book recipe - not very consistant), but her 'lollipops' just lifted effortlessly from the parchment as though they had just been layed there to rest for a while (and not freshly made as we were lead to believe). I have just tried the flapjack receipe, and the quantity in the tin seemed very deep, but I thought it must be right (I do not have anything to base this on, as the previous two recipes have proved that something is wrong, and I know I may appear to be the common denominator, but I do not think it is me). The flapjack mixture has not set, the flapjacks have not left the tin in small bite size pieces, or even tray bake sizes; what I have is a mound of flapjack crumbs. Completely unset, soft. I wondered about the amount of treacle, it seemed a lot, where other recipes talk about a tablespoon or two, Lorraine is talking in terms of 6oz (which in itself is not easy to weigh out, I prefer the table spoon measure for such things as treacle).

I can honestly say that whilst I loved the show, the book is not, by definition, Baking Made Easy; on the contrary, I am finding out that I am making very costly mistakes, which are ending up in the bin as they cannot be salvaged (I suppose the flapjack crumbs could be sprinkled over ice cream at a push, but not what I intended for their use).

I would now NOT recommend this book; I know that many reviews here fully support the book, and their only quibble is over the lack of photos for each recipe (yes I agree with that too); but 3 out of 3 recipes have failed for me, and I am loathed to keep on throwing good money after bad, and try other recipes from this book, even those where the reviews on here support their successful outcomes. I think I will stick to my tried and tested Delia, Nigella and Jamie receipe books. I have asked Lorraine via her Facebook page for confirmation of the peanute butter quantity, but so far she has not (nor any of her team) confirmed this, but instead has ignored my question, and prefers to talk about what others are cooking for their evening meals instead. :o( Not impressed.
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on 12 January 2011
Bought the book straight away after watching her show cause she managed to make baking looks so very easy. The book just arrived today and I am very excited to try every recipes in the book as she describe elaborately and in an excellent manner on the methods. However,the thing that I don't like the book is the lack of picture for every recipe. I am the type of person who likes to know what the end-results looks like especially in baking and cooking. There were lots of pictures of the author though I don't know how it can contribute to the baking. Nonetheless, I would rate it 5/5 for its recipe and methods but overall, 4/5 cause not all of the recipes have pictures.

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on 17 February 2011
Good quality paper alone does not make a good book!
This book whilst having some good interesting recipes suffers from being used by the publishers as a vehicle to raise the celebrity profile of Lorraine Pascale, while forgetting the real purpose of the book.
There are a lot of blank spaces in the book and if these had been utilised fully there would have been many more recipes included.
The photographs in the book seldom have any relevance to the recipes, for example, Lorraine shopping in the market, and what in heavens name was the point in including two identical photo's of an egg being broken into a bowl.
This book is called baking made easy and would have benefitted greatly by having photographs that related to the recipe rather than of the author. It was not called advanced baking or baking for the highly experienced, so it would have
been reasonable to expect that someone who bought the book was encouraged by the tv programme and would expect to see the finished product of each recipe.
I feel the author was badly let down by the publishing team who should know better.
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on 12 February 2011
An attractively produced cookbook to accompany the excellent television series. However, I would have appreciated a photograph of each recipe which would have been particularly useful when cooking something new, otherwise one is not sure that the recipe has been made correctly. Also not keen on a cookbook listing ingredients and method over different pages. Difficult to turn pages back and forth when cooking with recipe book supported in book stand! For these reasons I give 3 stars. I have loved the series on TV but will be sticking with Delia for recipe books on baking!
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on 17 January 2011
I ordered the book after watching the first episode on TV. It takes a pretty good programme to make me want to follow up with the book, and this one has not let me down. Lorraine's passion for food is clear and she does make it seem easy.

I tried one of the chocolate cakes first which is delicious, just finishing off the last of it while we watch the second episode! I'll definately be trying more of the recipes.

I do agree with the reviewer who asked for a photo with every recipe though, so you can see if it's come out OK, that would be my only criticism.

To those wavering on buying this book...get stuck in! I'm hoping there will be a DVD of the series to follow too.
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on 31 January 2011
This is a fabulous book but spoiled by the lack of pictures of the actual dishes.There are actually plenty of pictures but mostly of the author sieving things!
In my opinion, creating some of the dishes, especially the fancier ones would have been much easier with an idea of what is meant to look like in the end.....
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on 14 October 2012
I was given this book as a present. I've not seen the show. So far 2 out of 2 recipes have been failures. I'm a very experienced cook and felt that the recipes, whilst making them were not going to work - end result proved me right. I'm not sure that these recipes have been tried and tested before publishing. Having compared like with like (i.e. macaroons, flapjacks, etc) with other cookery books I do think that these recipes are not very good as the results are poor. Quantities and method both seem to be wrong.

I also agree with other reviewers that there are far too many pictures of the "author" looking pretty whilst sieving flour but where are the pictures of the 3-tier celebration cake for example? Or was that a failure for the photographer?

Anyway - if you want to buy a book on baking then don't waste your money on this book. There are plenty of other great chefs out there who do try and test their recipes before committing them to print. e.g. Prue Leith and Gordon Ramsey to name a couple.
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