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on 13 June 2016
At first glance I was impressed with the range of cakes. However, once I started to use the recipes, sweet pastry is a perfect example, I get the impression that the author has not actually made most of his recipes. There is no details like what size of egg is required, what type of butter..should it be cold or room temperature...block or soft etc. I wasted 600g of flour, eggs and sugar not to mention time taken to follow the directions for sweet pastry( first time I made it I assumed I had done something wrong, so I tried again),.all went into the bin. Back to Paul Hollywood who details the ingredients better and shows you how it's done. By the way, I sent an email to the author and I'm still waiting for a reply!
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on 5 February 2014
Every now and then, someone with decades of skills and experience at the highest level decides to share it with the rest of us. If we're very lucky, they turn out to be a natural communicator - able to transmit their message efficiently, effectively and, very occasionally, with a profound sense of the sheer joy of their trade. Roger Pizey does all this and more with this book. It is an extraordinary catalogue of the world of cake, stuffed with glorious recipes for cakes familiar and less so, together with little inserts about the best places to eat cake all over the world. And don't let the title fool you. This book is about much more than cake. There are pastries, cheesecakes, tarts - anything that the author excels at is here. New to baking? Don't worry, this book includes full information on the technical aspects of baking cakes and pastries, from the basics up. I don't usually care much for the often useless coloured pictures in most cookbooks, but here they are brilliantly done, so that you can really see what you are striving for. It would be pointless to select a few recipes and say how well they work - what about the rest of them? Instead, I pick one of the most common, usually boring, cakes to appear in baking books - lemon drizzle cake. The version here is wonderful, not only the best I've ever had - but some distance apart from the pack. It's also quite easy; so if you are a novice, this is the cake to start with! As ever with baking, make sure that every ingredient is of the best quality if you want the very best cake.

Criticisms? Apart from the inadequate title, that's a difficult one. I suppose a place-marker ribbon would have been useful so you could easily flip from recipe to the appropriate skill section and back - but that's hardly a deal breaker. It's a privilege and a pleasure to own and use this book - I expect to be using it for decades.
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on 19 January 2015
I bought this book when it retailed at £4 but would have happily paid full price.

The book is well laid out, lots of pictures with easy to follow recipes. I say the book would be a great book for someone starting out who wanted to develop their skills as they progressed.

Old favourites such as lemon drizzle and carrot cake appear but then you have spectacular items like Croquembouche.

What I immediately liked about this book was that there were many cakes in it that i hadn't heard of and the author usually begins each recipe with a interesting paragraph about them.

Another great feature of the book were the cafe suggestions for a number of cities, which could be found amongst the recipes.

I'd definitely say this book is a must have for every baker and I look forward to working my way through it.
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on 4 December 2015
This book is ace. Anyone thinking of going on Great British Bake Off should definitely get this book and swot up because it features many of the cakes chosen for the technical challenges that most people have never heard of eg Princesstarta, & Croquembouche and I'm sure there are plenty more in there that haven't been chosen as yet...
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on 31 August 2017
I love this book. I tried several recipes (red velvet is my favorite) and they turned out beautifully.
Mouth watering pictures are also there so please be cautious when browsing ;)
If you want to learn interesting recipes from different regions of the world, then this is the right book for you.
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on 11 February 2018
One of the best book about pastry. Do as it says and you get the result. Use it frequently.
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on 21 May 2016
I am a keen baker, and have been using this book regularly for over two years. I am slowly working my way through the book and each cake has been a success. By far the best lemon drizzle cake I have come across, just tried the Greek coconut cake will definitely make again. Fool proof red velvet. The only mistake I have noticed is that the Bara brith mix makes two loaves, but delicious! If you enjoy baking this is must have book, for well tested recipes that work in a home kitchen and a little out of the ordinary.
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on 16 January 2015
This is a really good book with lots of recipes that do not appear in a lot of other cookery books. The pictures are great and most appear fine to follow even if some of the more exotic for me are just to admire. Brilliant book and well written a must to have in amy collection.
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on 25 April 2015
This is the only baking book you will ever need to buy. Two more bought as presents (one to a baker who loves it)! Every recipe tried so far a huge success. Original writing about cakes from around the world - great value - buy this book!
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on 9 June 2015
Ok if you are wealthy - can't afford the ingredients for many of these cakes.
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