Thursday, 12 May 2011

Cookbooks Galore: The Next Chapter

Following on from my recent posts reviewing some cookbooks (you can find them here and here) I have been sent a couple of more to review for you.  We all know how I love a cookbook - always a pleasure, never a chore!

Gorgeous & Gruesome Cakes for Children 
by Debbie Brown

Debbie Brown is a highly respected and experienced cake decorator who runs workshops and cake decorating classes all over the world.  She certainly knows her stuff when it comes to cake decorating.  

This a well presented book with lovely clear pictures.  The book starts with the basic recipes you will need from a basic sponge to a slime lime cake!

The slime lime cake!

Each recipe comes with a list detailing what tins you would need and also the quantities of ingredients.   There's basic techniques for covering the cakes, a list of equipment you might need and some extremely handy templates at the back of the book.

The ideas in this book make for interesting and eye-catching party cakes - the dotty dog is supercute but my personal favourite is the cloud castle and one day if I am ever feeling brave I may actually attempt this!

Cloud castle cake

There's a great alien cake and an alien egg cake that my boy would love. I guess these are meant to be on the gruesome side.

Alien egg cake!

I like that for each cake with the list of ingredients that you will need for covering it there is a list of the tools you might need, right down to the size and brand of nozzle or piping tube you might need. You don't get this with all books.

There are some great ideas in this book. I'd say it's not really a book for a complete novice however the instructions are clear enough for anyone who is feeling confident enough to have a go!


Harvest Vegetarian 
by Adam de Ath

I'm not a vegetarian but I do like vegetarian food. I also have a couple of vegetarian friends and family members so am always on the lookout for more interesting foods that I can cook up for them.

Harvest Vegetarian is actually a restaurant in Sydney.  Adam de Ath is a fully qualified chef and teacher of commercial cookery as well as the owner and chef at the restaurant which he has run for over 14 years.  Due to the fact that the restaurant is in Australia one of the first things you will notice is the use of "zucchini" and "egg plant" and simple word being spelt differently like "fetta" rather than feta.  The book also uses cups as measurements however rather pleasingly, it also displays the measurements in grams.  Books that only use cups are a bit of a bugbear of mine so I was pleased to note this.

There's some gorgeous sounding recipes like the fetta parcels and the warm tomato tart with three cheeses - I'll definitely be trying that as it's one of my favourite things.

And there are some more interesting type meals like chickpea and roasted roof vegetable gratin, carrot crepes with rosemary and tomato jam and a twice baked goat's cheese souffle.  There is also a very good section on desserts and I love the sound of the hot chocolate praline souffle.

It's a great book for vegetarians and also gives me some great ideas for feeding the veggies in my life!

High Tea at The Victoria Room
by Jill Jones-Evans & Joe Gambacorta

The Victoria Room looks like my kind of place. It's a gorgeously decorated dining establishment in Sydney where you can have afternoon, or high tea as they call it.  The book is beautifully presented and certainly gives me a good impression of the kind of treatment you might receive should you ever get the opportunity to visit!

The book is split into sections and starts with an introduction, history and etiquette of high tea and details on how to make the perfect cup of tea and coffee before launching into the recipes.

I have a serious love of afternoon tea and this book does not disappoint, actually it made me quite giddy!  There's some seriously lush recipes in this book.  I was quite taken with the sound of the cucumber, minted radish & creme fraiche sandwiches, as well as the rare roast beef with chive & horseradish cream.  There was a whole section on scones from the basic recipe to, what I am sure would be my favourite, cherry & almond, and then onto slightly more unusual ones like lemon, pistachio & currants.

There is of course the ubiquitous cupcake section - a staple in most cookbook these days but there were some slightly more interesting ideas here like chai with lemon mascarpone.

The book is filled with everything you need for the perfect high tea - muffins, cakes, slices, conserves and even a few cheeky cocktails.

I adore this book. It's elegant and sophisticated and I am already trying to think of an excuse to host an afternoon tea very soon!

You can check out these, and many other books on the New Holland Publishers website.
love & kisses
Mrs M x

1 comment:

  1. Love the cloud castle cake, i'm sure every little girl would love that.

    Sadie x


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