Challenge Participant


Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake

Great British Bake Off: How to Bake: The Perfect Victoria Sponge and Other Baking Secrets

Twelve new amateur bakers are ready to rise to the Great British Bake Off challenge. While they don their aprons, adjust to their new ovens and get used to baking in a tent, this book takes you through the challenges from the series and shows you how to achieve baking perfection.Throughout the book, Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood are on hand with practical tips to help you create perfect cakes, biscuits, breads, pastries, pies and teatime treats every time, as well as showing you how to tackle their 'technical challenges', as seen on the show. There are over 120 recipes in this book, including traditional British bakes and imaginative twists using classic ingredients, as well as the best contestant recipes from the series. There is plenty to challenge keen bakers here, from brandy snaps to elaborate pastries, pavlovas to iced celebration cakes, and with a sensuous and yet practical design and full-colour, step-by-step photography, this really will become the baking book that you will turn to for years to come.

I must be one of the only people in England not to have been caught up in THe Great British Bake Off on television, everyone seems to be talking about it, however I have never caught a programme. However, this book was calling me as soon as I opened the envelope.

The book is split into eight 'chapters': cakes; biscuits and teatime treats; bread; pies and savoury pasty; tarts and sweet pastry; patisserie'; puddings and desserts; and celebration cakes.

In the introduction, this book states it is a helpful guide that covers the essentials of baking - the techniques, terms and ingredients - to help your baking taste, look and smellbetter than ever.  It attempts to do this using step by step photography and by breaking class recipes into step by step, how to makes. There are also 'best of the bake-off' recipes from the bakers included in the series.

Different skills are needed for the various recipes included in the book and these skills, once learnt, can be adapted to create many different results.

Looking at the first chapter as an example, the chapter is entitled 'Cakes'. It begins by describing the four main ways to make a cake: whisking eggs with sugar; by creaming butter with sugar and then beating the eggs; by melting the butter and then stirring in the other ingredients; and by rubbing the butter into flour and then mixing in the remaining ingredients. After learning the four ways for making a cake, the book suggests that you can begin to mix and match with fillings and toppings, flavourings and finishes. There are full step by step instructions including photographs for each step of how to make the perfect victoria sandwich and a battenburg (technical challenge) and the remaining pages of the chapter include many variations and flavouring suggestions to try.

The introductions to each chapter discusses what to do before you start a recipe. reading through and checking you have all the necessary equipment, preheat the oven and preparation of ingredients. These steps may seem simple but preparation often leads to a better end product! 

There are plenty of recipes included in this book, many have mouth-watering photographs accompanying the recipes. It is definitely not a book to look through while hungry and/or on a diet. Both savoury and sweet recipes are included within the book. There is a dish for a summers day picnic, a cake for the children when they get home from school hungry, donations to the school's fundraiser fayres or a sweet for a posh dinner party. If you need something for any occasion, there will be something in this book that would be perfect.

I would recommend this as the perfect gift for a keen cook. It is the perfect book for anyone with a sweet tooth, although there is also a chapter on savoury food too. This book is a great addition to any cook's library and will be well used.

Thank you to Ebury Publishing for sending me this book to review.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! I recommend you catch the TV programme if you get a chance - it's wonderful!