I was recently sent a copy of Lily Vanilli's Sweet Tooth book. If you're not familiar with Lily Vanilli, three years ago Lily started selling cakes at a market in East London and since then her cakes have been sold at Harrods, exhibited at the V&A, been served at Elton John's White Tie and Tiara Ball and she's now opened her own bakery. Lily is know for her unique flavour combinations and spectacular designers. Her first cookbook is one of my favourites - Lily Vanilli in A Zombie Ate My Cupcake
Sweet Tooth is packed with over 100 inspirational and easy to follow recipes for cakes, biscuits, tarts, confectionary and even ice-cream. It's divided into chapters (Introduction, Before You Start, Cake, Pastry, Biscuits & Tea Cakes, Meringue, Chocolate Sugar, Ices, Basic Recipes, Suppliers, Glossary, Index) and Lily shares lots of invaluable tips and advice on techniques.
My first impressions of the book were good. I'm a sucker for pretty things and this book is really pretty with it's mint green cover and fluorescent pink edging on its pages. It's got great styling inside and the photography is good too. The recipes are easy to follow and come with a short introduction and background to each.
There were many recipes that stood out to me but some of my favourites are the amazing looking Bitter Chocolate Orange Cake, the Hazelnut and Pineapple Upside Down Cake, Cherry Mountain Peach and Almond Tart, Spiced Apple Custard Tarts and the Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts. Hopefully I'll get time over the next few months to try out some of those! We've got a Bonfire Night shindig coming up soon as those Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts sound just right for a little treat after the BBQ!
Whilst this book is a step on from your average baking book in that the flavour combinations and recipes are a little more developed than a Victoria sponge, there's nothing in this book that should put novice cooks off as everything is explained simply. Saying that, there is a basic sponge in the book but Lily shows us how to make it more interesting with different variations.
This is a really stylish baking book and with Christmas coming up I think it would make a great gift for anyone who loves baking.
Sweet Tooth is published by Canongate Books and is available now with an RRP of £20.