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Customer Review

on 17 August 2010
My love of British baking started early on when as a teenager I was lucky enough to spend some holidays in England for the first time. Cornwall it was and I discovered the delights of cream teas with clotted cream and wonderful scones as well as apple pies with custard or rich gorgeous ice cream. Very exotic at the time for a French teenager and whenever someone cracked a joke about how bad English food was, I would defend it with all my heart going on and on about how wonderful your cakes (and your fish and chips to that matter) were. My communication skills developing little by little I then went on to meet real people some of whom were kind enough to give me their recipes for more and more British and Irish baking treats which I avidly collected and tried over the years. A recipe is so much better when it is passed on by a real person...
I saw this book at a bookstore last week-end and although I already have quite a few baking books, I just couldn't resist buying it. What is to be found here is a great collection of traditional recipes we have all tried or heard of one day or another, a lot of techniques and useful hints to succeed in our baking but above it all a lot of recipes (about a third?) which have been passed on by real people with their personal little tweaks and tricks. Absolutely wonderful! I really feel like I have extended my network of baking friends and treasured recipes. There are so many great ideas I can't wait to try here that I am all excited like a teenager again.
The instructions to make the cakes are precise and detailed, we made a 'Death by Chocolate' cake and chocolate shortcake this week-end -we did not have the ingredients for anything more daring unfortunately- and they were delicious, perfect texture too, all finished by Monday... I just hope the other recipes will turn out just as well and will try to update this review as I/we make more...
The book also features savoury recipes which look enticing but sorry to say, I have a sweet tooth and what really gave me a buzz was the fascinating choice of interesting sweet recipes on offer here.
Now the proof of the pudding is in the eating and having watched the first episode of the programme tonight, I know what I am going to bake next week-end...

Update 1: Jasminder's parrot cake was great (I think it was called tropical hummingbird cake in the programme or something like that)and the apple pie with cheddar crust surprising but very tasty, love this book !
Update 2: I watched the series after buying the book and it is true that people who watched the programme on BBC2 might regret that all the recipes from the contestants are not included here but in spite of that it really is a wonderful book of baking and as one reviewer mentioned, maybe some contestants were not too keen on sharing their recipes, who knows?
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