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on 24 September 2010
This is a great book with some excellent recipes. There are some classics here with plenty of original ideas. A nice touch is that some recipes include photos of the technique. The photography is very good too, and I like that the photos of the process and the finished product doesn't try to make things look entirely perfect, this is real baking at home and the recipes look all the more delicious for it.
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on 17 October 2011
I'm an accomplished cook and have tried some of eric's recipes. I always follow the recipe exactly during the first trial and I have to say that I'm very disappointed with the results.

The 'flour free orange and lavender cake' has without doubt not been tested by eric's team for the home kitchen.
Not only is it far too sweet, it also doesn't fit the size of tin the method asks for and to top it off the flavour of the lavender is totally lost by the spices and very thin sugar syrup. If one is to follow the recipe, it is positively impossible to have a syrup that looks remotely similar to the picture.

Perhaps Eric should have a blog that displays corrections to his recipes and perhaps try them in a home kitchen first - not just at an industrial scale!
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on 24 September 2010
This book has it all. The most gorgeous photography and incredible recipes. My children bought it for me for my birthday and I couldn't be more thrilled. The author has a lovely, friendly style too and the bakewell tart I made from here is the best ever. A gorgeous book and a perfect gift to give or receive.
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on 15 October 2010
I absolutely love baking and I am quite fussy when it comes to reinterpreting all times' classics... I have come across Eric Lanlard in the past, at his shop in Battersea and on Channel 4 too. His Gallic charm and good humour have always amused me, and I was looking forward to his new book. And it was well worth the wait! Great recipes, each one with a little twist, such as this cream cheese brownie with a dash of fresh expresso which is absolutely divine, make this book not only a great everyday help for the amateur baker, but also a beautiful read. Great photographies, great tips, the only down being the small font in which the text is written... Which will force any messy baker like me to prepare all the ingredients in advance to avoid getting lost in the text and forgetting something crucial... Not a bad thing really... Definitely worth the investment, although this may not be recommended for those watching their waistline...
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on 3 October 2010
After watching Eric on Glamour Puds I was looking forward to a book, which wasn't over fancy but different enough to be interesting to me as I love baking. This is it. So far I have cooked the coffee pavlova, which was wonderful as the coffee concentrated in the chewey part. Looking forward to the next book!
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VINE VOICEon 21 March 2011
Obviously a lot of people like this book very much. I bought it a few weeks ago and normally I wouldn't review it - as I haven't used it once. But it strikes me that in fact that is a perfectly valid aspect of a review - I bake a lot, but I haven't used it once.

It looks very pretty (though I found the photographs of the "method" strangely random and unhelpful).There are sections on sponge cakes, tarts, meringues, muffins and cupcakes, tray bakes, festive recipes, cheesecakes, puddings, pastries and biscuits. The illustrations of luscious baked goods are delightful. Cakes shimmer. Muffins ooze.

It is difficult to put my finger on why I haven't used it. I was certainly keen to get it after reading a review of it on the bakerybits website. But my heart rather sank when it arrived and I saw that it had a celebrity endorsement from Elizabeth Hurley on the front. (Does she look like a cake fiend to you?) It sank further when I kept on reading about "my cafe-patisserie Cake Boy" in the introduction to far too many of the recipes. (I haven't seen any of Eric Lanlard's television shows so don't know is this is par for the course for him.)

I subsequently bought the River Cottage cake handbook and have used that a lot. There's a vast difference between the two books - the River Cottage book is less pretty, the cakes more solid and earthy and less exquisitely decorated, and with a lot more information on adaptable techniques and storage time etc. And certainly no quotes from Elizabeth Hurley on the cover.

I suspect that if you are one of those people who has the patience and skill (and time) to produce beautifully decorated, fashionable cupcakes, you'll get a lot out of this book. Or if you enjoy reading cake books rather than baking from them (a perfectly legitimate and indeed very slimming approach) you'll enjoy it. But if your intention is to bake regularly, for your family cake tin, for hungry cake-eaters, then I would advise at least looking at this in a bookshop before you order. It may languish on your bookshelf,as it does on mine.
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on 13 September 2010
Whether you're an expert baker or an utter novice hell bent on creating some delicious cakes for family and friends, Home Bake is a sure-fire winner. The recipes are designed to be easy to follow, and the photography is as mouthwatering as the cakes themselves. And what cakes! From simple, foolproof chocolate sponge and tray bakes to the more ambitious cupcakes, meringues, cheesecakes and gingerbread soufflés, these are crowd pleasers all the way, and the exceptionally helpful Eric Lanlard also includes some very welcome tips to guide you through. He's thought of everything, from new twists on old favourites (lime and lemon drizzle cake - just that little bit more tangy) and a divine mocha and roasted walnut sponge, to festive cakes and some welcome wheat-free recipes. If Home Bake doesn't become a cake bible for serious gateau gourmets, I'll eat Monsieur Lanlard's chapeau.
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on 13 September 2010
I was given this book for my birthday recently and I have to say it's the best baking book I have owned. The recipes are easy to follow and quite simply delicious (particularly the bakewell tart - my personal favourite - pure heaven!). I also love the fact that the list of ingredients for most recipes is short - always a winner with me. These are recipes you really want to cook when you have friends and family round to lots of appreciative noises and clean plates, plus there's lovely photography. Makes a great gift.
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on 12 March 2011
Home Bake is Eric's second book, following on from Glamour Cakes. As the title of this one indicates, it offers the kind of cakes you can make at home rather than coffee table dreams for A-listers.

In this practical selection, Eric shares a range of straight forward cake and pudding recipes such as lemon drizzle, victoria sponge and madeleines and apple charlotte. Food blog style, there are plenty of step by step photos to help you along.

To give you an idea what to expect, here's what you find in the meringue chapter: Italian and Swiss meringues, Macaroons (oddly not referred to as macarons), marshmallow strings, pavlova, Eton Mess, baked Alaska and lemon meringue roulade. As well as classic sponges, there are also chapters on muffins, cupcakes, traybakes and festive recipes.

It's a good mix of standard recipes such as classics like pear tarte tatin and Bakewell tart, stalwarts in Eric's own style - classic "Cake Boy" vanilla or chocolate sponges - and more original treats such as Salted Butter Caramel Mousse with Mini Pears and Blondies with Peanut Butter. There are also several flour free cakes.

It's a generous size, over 200 pages, although if you've already got a lot of baking books, possibly too much repetition of classics here to be worth adding it to your collection. But certainly there's justification to make space for it since at least half of the recipes are more unusual and the photography and styling are attractive.

The preambles to recipes are very short, this isn't a chit chatty book but it's a very good looking one with solid content. I will definitely bake more things from this book and the toffee and apple sauce muffins are right up there on my list.
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on 18 January 2011
I received this book as a present for Xmas, and I've been very happy with it. It has some great recipes which look mouth wateringly yummy. I have made the malteser bars, for a party, and they were snapped up! Also very easy to make, I had my children assist me. I have also made the sticky toffee tart, I just used ramekins, not empty tins of golden syrup! That also went down with my guests.

I plan on making his sponge cakes amd flourless cakes as they all look amazing.

This book has some rock solid classic recipes in it, with how to photos to guide you through. I like that Eric is not going for "perfection" here but the lovely homemade look, far more achievable for us non professionals! This book is wonderful.

Just to say I am trying to limit myself on the number of cookbooks I own, and just get ones which have enough easy and tasty sounding recipes that I think I will be able to make.
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