This is a big old book with over 250 recipes to choose from, catergorised by the following sections:
- Classic Cakes
- Fruit and Nut Cakes
- Spiced Cakes
- Chocolate Cakes
- Celebration Cakes
- Special Cakes
- Traybakes and Flapjacks
- Biscuits and Cookies
- Fancy Biscuits
- Shortbreads and Bars
- Baking for Children
- Tarts and Pastries
- Fruit Breads
- Buns and Scones
- Hot Puddings and Pies
- Souffles and Meringues
- Cake Decorations
Most of the recipes are traditional and they are written clearly and concisely, making them easy to follow even when there is no picture. The photography is simple and elegant and every picture makes your mouth water! At the start of the book, there is a conversion table and full chapter covering the basics - everything from what equipment you need to terminology. Very useful for a new baker like myself!
Recipes I've tested so far:
Chocolate Victoria Sandwich - 'Classic Cakes' p43.
Probably the nicest cake I've ever made. The sponges were springy and light and the butter cream was just right, I thought there wouldn't be enough but as its very sweet, you really wouldn't want much more.
Classic Rich Christmas Cake - 'Celebration Cakes' p135.
By far the biggest challenge for me to date - over a period of three weeks I made this cake (at the request of my mother!). The result was moist and really tasty. I don't really eat Christmas Cake but this one was really pleasant. Granted, I need to work harder on my holly leaves next year!
Melting Moments - 'Biscuits & Cookies' p196.
I entered this into the wonderful Belleau Kitchen random recipe challenge in November - see my full post here.
Overall, I really rate this book. Its got enough variety to satisfy the seasoned baker but its introductory chapters and easy to follow recipes will give confidence to even novice bakers (like myself). Keep up the good work Mary!