Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Great British Bake Off - How to Bake, Review

I was very pleased to see a second series of the Great British Bake Off this year, having enjoyed the first series a lot and a new book too - The Great British Bake Off: How to Bake: The Perfect Victoria Sponge and other Baking Secrets by Linda Collister published by BBC Books in 2011.

This one is different from last year's book and a lot more of a `tie in' companion to the 2011 series. A good amount of pictures (though not all recipes are photographed by any means), well presented and easy to follow. Chapters are: *Cakes* Biscuits & Teatime Treats * Bread * Pies and Savoury Pastry * Tarts & Sweet Pastry* Patisserie * Puddings & Desserts *Celebration Cakes*.

The first seven chapters have a 'Technical Challenge' by Paul or Mary, and there is also a number of `How to Make the Perfect' recipes. For example, the Biscuits and Teatime Treats chapter has Mary's Brandy Snaps for the technical challenge and the How to Make the Perfect recipe is for Almond Tuiles.

There are also coloured pages from the contestants with their recipes. It doesn't say who each recipe belongs too, but they are certainly easily identifiable as Bake-Off recipes, in the introduction to the book these bake off recipes are described as `the most successful recipes from the bakers'. There is a code to enter online to be able to upload the recipes from the final.

As well as the step by step recipes mentioned above there are a good number of pictures of the finished bakes, they are not all pictured, but there are plenty for me. The layout is good, clean and easy to follow. If I'm being picky, I would say I would have liked to have known who each of the contestants recipes came from. I’ve jotted the names down beside the recipes while watching, but would have liked them to have been credited to their respective contestants in the book as well. It's a good baking book, relevant for a new or inexperienced baker who is looking to learn; but equally so for experienced and keen bakers on the look out for new recipes.

EDIT: This is the day after the bake off final, and the booklet from the publishers (all 27 pages) is an excellent addition to the main book. It gives all the recipes from the final and also tells you who all the bake off recipes in the book are from.

Next on my list to try are:
Mary's Coffee and Walnut Battenburg, Keith’s Earl Grey Cupcakes, Sticky Maple-Apple Traybake, Sticky Chicken Pasties, Warm Cherry Crumble Pie, Jo’s Limoncello and White Chocolate Croquembouche, Stilton, Potato and Caramelised Onion Pie, Jason’s Pina Colada Macaroons, Stem Ginger Shortbreads, Sticky Orange Marmalade Cake, Mary-Anne’s Chocolate Orange Mousse Cake and Holly’s Mint Chocolate Macaroons! ’d be surprised if I don’t get round to a second post from this book in the future!

Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes

The first recipe I tried before it was even on TV was Holly’s cherry bakewell cupcakes, they were very good too, almond-y sponge, lemon icing and a cherry on top. I used old fashioned dyed red cherries, as my Mother and Hubby tell me in no uncertain terms that the natural ones don’t taste the same! Hubby was especially taken with these, and the cake dome was empty very soon. Click here for the recipe.

Cranberry Cooler Macaroons

This one was Jason’s recipe, one of a trio of ‘mocktail’ flavours, or cocktails without the alcohol. Almond shells filled with a sort of cranberry and orange cream fool mixture. I overfilled these because I wanted to serve them as a dessert with *more* filling. They’d be lovely at Christmas when cranberry season is in full swing. Really looking forward to trying his Pina Colada macaroons too.

Rum and Raisin Cheesecake

I reckoned I wasn’t going to bake another cheesecake, as we generally do prefer an unbaked one. However, when I saw Jo make this on the bake off it had to be made! It’s creamy with just the right amount of rum. Click here for the recipe.

Next Review Up: A Month in Marrakesh


Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Well I am absolutely loving the programme.
Your version of Jo's rum and raisin cheesecake does look extremely good and the bakewell cupcakes do too.
I have the book that went with last series. I won't buy this new one as I really can't justify buying any new books but I might get it as gift. Very odd to not credit the contestants - wonder if it might have given away who got through to what round. They should have just kept the book from release until the series was nearly finished.

Nicola said...

I enjoyed reading this post as I am currently obsessed with all things GBBO! I also love this book - I have so many recipes bookmarked - but I agree that the recipes by the contestants should have been credited. Although maybe they thought that might give away spoilers. Anyway, the recipes you made look lovely. Looking forward to the next instalment :-)

Maggie said...

I love the programme and also the books. I too am not a lover of baked cheesecake - but will now have to consider Jo's cheesecake after looking at this on your blogpost.

Kelly-Jane said...

Thanks for your comments, I've having problems commenting at the moment, but am working on it!

C said...

I enjoyed this series so much! I was offered a copy of this book to review and didn't know whether to accept or not, but am so glad I did as there are many, many things in there that I've bookmarked to make. I love your review of it and you've reminded me to do the online bit of the book and see what extras there are! Thanks!

Brownieville Girl said...

Sounds like the book for me!!

Wish I were your next door neighbour, and could pop round for a slice of all your creations!

intxaurtsu said...

Hi!! I'm glad I came across with your blog, I've just come back from a week in London where I got the bake off book. Unfortunatelly, I live in Spain and lots of the recipes in the book require self-raising flour, which isn't easy to find here. Would you know, by any chance how I could substitute it??? Thank you

Kelly-Jane said...

I found this online:

Or do google 'how to make self raising flour' and see which result you like best. Good luck! KJ

missflash said...

The macaroons look amazing, as well as the cheesecake. I have the GBBO book too and there are some fantastic bakes, that turn out ok, as long as the recipe is followed to the latter. The cheesecake looks great too, tempted to bake, even though I'm not a big cheesecake fan.

viagra online said...

oh damn it! that looks delicious, I wish I was not diagnosed with Diabetes because I would be making those Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes and eat them all :(