Monday, 5 August 2013

Book Review - The Ladies Book of Baking.

Its the Summer holidays and obviously its raining here. When the weather is gloomy and grey my mind tends to turn to food. Any food. Its a boredom thing I suppose. My kitchen shelf is weighed down with cookery books, bought in the hope of a) alleviating that boredom and b) providing my family and I with tasty dishes. Most are dog eared and well worn. I have my favourites, of course, but I'm always on the look out for something new.

When I went to BritMums Live this year I met a very lovely lady from Parragon books who asked me if I'd be interested in reviewing a couple of cookery books. Well, obviously, at the mention of "cookery books" my ears pricked up and although my blog is not specifically a cookery blog, I thought "Why not?"

So I headed home with a sparkly new book called The Ladies' Book of Baking. Now, before I tell you about it you need to know that my opinion is unsullied by the fact that I was given it for free!!And I am not being paid to write about it ... so read on, safe in the knowledge that you are getting a very honest review. Ta dah!

I have to say that at first glance at the book's pretty, glittery cover I thought "Well this probably isn't that great a book - more style over substance..." But, you know what? I was wrong.

The book is full of useful tips and hints and each recipe is set out neatly and succinctly so that its easy to follow. I like the step by step method rather than long paragraphs.

The recipes are a mix of classics such as Viennese Fingers and Red Velvet cake and imaginative twists on originals like Raspberry Crumble Muffins. All are easy to follow and follow the theme of afternoon tea bakes.

I also like the photocopiable pages of labels and cake flags which are pseudo vintage and I would imagine would look pretty as a picture on a cake.

The book is well laid out and the pages wipe clean - which to me, as a bit of a messy cook is a bonus! Usually my recipe pages are splattered with chocolate and the battle wounds of the kitchen!!

I think the only down side of The Ladies Book of Baking is the print. It may be my age, but I found myself squinting to read the delicate typeface on the pastel pages and had to resort to my specs, but I think this is a failing I could learn to live with!!

All in all this book is a good buy - perhaps as a gift for a young cook. If you are an experienced cook then I would imagine that its contents will already be covered in your cookery book shelves, but I like it and will be attempting, possibly, the Chocolate Mint Cake Pops at any moment!!


Urban Cynic said...

With a title like that it's as if the feminist movement never happened! I like a nice cake along with the rest but that book looks very twee and a bit cutesy for me. A grown up modern book on baking is much more my (piping) bag.

Where's the photos of the cakes you made?

sarah at secret housewife said...

Yes ... I thought that too, but was actually surprised to find its a good book.I did intend on baking, but got carried away with holiday preparation!! Your comment, however, made me think and I've written my next post as a sort of follow up.Your comment, along with my holiday made me think about what I am up to on here!! x

Shannon Baker said...

It sounds like an interesting series. I will check it out

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