The photography is absolutely beautiful and most recipes are illustrated. Every dish looks very colourful and inviting, you can almost taste all the dishes just by looking at them. The recipes are very well laid out and although some ingredient lists are quite long, most of those needed are herbs and spices you probably already have, if your cupboards are anything like mine! There's a useful pantry guide at the start of the book for those wanting to stock, items such as mirin, star anise and dashi powder.
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Sunday, 19 February 2012
And then cupcake time! I have to say I wasn't actually in the mood for cupcakes this time and the Hummingbird Bakery specials were all based on chocolate for Valentine's Day and I'm not overly fond of choccy cake. This was Sunday's special, a chocolate and caramel cake. It was actually gorgeous, the caramel tasted like condensed milk and there was plenty of it in the centre. Again the texture of the cake was better than most bakeries.
Sunday, 8 January 2012
A book I've wanted to try for a while is Marcus Wareing's Nutmeg & Custard. The recipes are really unusual but most look possible to make without having restaurant standard equipment and skills. There are a lot of recipes, sorted into chapters such as Weekends, Orient, Bakery, Popcorn and Ice Cream Parlour. The mix between sweet and savoury recipes I'd say is about half and half which is great, I do like my dessert chapters! There aren't photos for all recipes but what is there is well presented and looks delicious. I checked out the reviews on Amazon before I started to use the book myself and was actually put off a little. Quite a few people thought the book was poorly tested and the recipes were quite hit and miss. I had to admit this put me off a little but as there were so many things I fancied making I carried on regardless!
Wednesday, 2 November 2011
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
A lot of the recipes come from different diners across America and there are black and white photos from many of them. There are no photos of any of the recipes which is a shame. A lot of dishes are familiar but it's a case of googling some of the recipes to see what they might look like, for example a Blackberry Slump or Chicken Tetrazzini. There are ocassionally some ingredients that a little mysterious such as Au Jus Mix (looks like it's beef stock mix) but I think most things can be worked out. There are over 450 recipes to choose from so there is always another dish to try and to be fair the book was produced for an American market so the recipes weren't catered towards British ingredients and measurements.
There's a great selection of recipes, chapters include Breakfast At The Counter, Sandwich Platters, Blue Plate Specials and What's For Dessert? There are pies galore as you would expect, as well as plenty of drink recipes like sodas and milkshakes.
So I'm pleased I finally made some use of this book and I'm really glad I have it. It's selling for a stupid price on Amazon Marketplace now but it is available of Kindle if you're super modern!
Tuesday, 4 October 2011
There are photos for most of the recipes which are full-page and I think they're really great. There are nice big close ups and most of the photos are of slices or the whole dessert with a piece taken out so you can really see what the cake/tart/pies etc looks like inside. It's really useful when you're baking to compare your efforts to someone elses. It also makes it looks like everything must be delicious as there is a bit missing with crumbs around the edges of plates!
The book has a short 4 page technique and equipment section at the start which would be very useful for the novice baker. The book is then split into 10 chapters including Biscuits, Fruity Cakes, Breakfast Goods and A Cup of Tea and a Bun! I'm pretty sure everyone would find something to make from each chapter.
As for the book, I can really recommend it if you're looking some traditional baking recipes that will turn out perfectly every time. I initially thought it would be too traditional for me but there are some great biscuit recipes and all the icings and frostings sound lovely, I think nearer Christmas the clementine icing will be used on something. I want to try out the pastry recipes too as I feel like anything I make from this book will be a success - fingers crossed!
I like the idea of having goth versions of food! When I can eventually have my own garden I'm going to try and grow lots of dark plants!
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
If you've ever been to the shop or seen it online then you'll know that the book design matches perfectly - very neon and camp. There are recipes for 'Cheeky Cupcakes' and 'Titty Cupcakes' which are slightly disturbing! These sit side by side quite uncomfortably with 'Hedgehog Cupcakes' and 'Bunny Cupcakes'. Not sure why you'd include children's cupcakes into such a book, they might as well stick with their theme rather than sticking something in the book for everyone.
The book is split into 7 chapters including 'Nutty and Chocolatey Cupcakes', 'Rich and Spicy Cupcakes' and 'Styling Cupcakes'. There are some really tempting flavours and there are full page photos for most recipes. One thing that drives me mad about this book is that a lot of the pages are black. Looks really stylish until you start using the books and you get greasy fingers marks everywhere! I like my books to stay quite prestine so this is an issue!! Must be a librarian thing!
The decorating section is informative and there are lots of little pictures showing you step by step instructions. This definitely makes some of the mould work and piping look more feasible, plus now I know where to get a skull and crossbone chocolate mould from! Woo! There's an effect I definitely want to try with bubble wrap and chocolate - impressive honeycomb patterns once the chocolate sets. Brilliant!
Overall I really liked the book. I was afraid it would be style over substance but I was much more impressed by the recipes than the design. I think the childish elements should be removed and maybe fewer black pages. I'll be interested to see if another cupcake recipe makes the same amount of cakes. The variation of flavours makes this a really great book for someone wanting to try something more interesting than a vanilla or chocolate cupcake. How about Apple Crumble, Pistachio & Praline or Liquorice? Yes please!