The flavours and aromas of baking evoke happy memories of childhood moments and events with family and friends. Baking is a relaxation, a comfort and a pleasure both for the cook and those fortunate enough to sample the results of their labours. However busy you are, slotting in a regular baking session into your schedule will pay dividends.
Baking with love is full of tempting recipes that will inspire you to roll up your sleeves, get out the wooden spoon and start cooking! If you are new to baking, begin with a simple recipe such as a fruit muffin or a quick bread. In no time at all, you'll be happily making a Black Forest Cherry Cake or an impressive pie, loaf or pastry. Start turning the pages of this book and it won't take long to get hooked.
- More than 200 easy-to-follow recipes.
- Breakfast breads and muffins, snacks, teatime treats, light meals and cakes and cookies for celebrations and holidays.
- Advice on techniques, nutritional information and guidance for buying and storing ingredients.
There are Several Important Reasons why you should buy this book.
Reason 1: It has realistic pictures! Who really wants to buy a book where the pictures are so arty that you are too intimidated to try the recipe? Now don't get me wrong, these are beautiful, sometimes stunning pictures, they just don't make me wonder how many hours it took to arrange everything within an inch of it's life. They look like what you might get out of your kitchen if you had a photographer and designer hiding in your pantry.
Reason 2: They tell you what is good about the recipe in some of the top tips. eg for Crunchy Date Bars the top tip says: "Oats are an excellent source of soluble fibre, which can help reduce high blood cholesterol levels. Sunflower seeds are a rich source of vitamin E and provide vitamin B1, niacin, and zinc." Yay! A cookbook that teaches you without making you wade through screeds of typing. Far too few people actually do home baking these days - it is easier to buy it from the supermarket. Of course those products are often highly processed, but it's convenient! Well I mourn the loss of home baking - it is far more nutritionally sound so if Readers Digest can get people baking with tips like that then all the better.
Reason 3: They give you options! Using the aforementioned Crunchy Date Bar recipe - I loathe Dates with a red-hot passion, but under their "Try this, too..." heading you can replace the dates with apricots, and if you like the walnuts for hazelnuts. Sounds good to me!
Reason 4: Logical sections. For once a recipe book has what goes into which category set out logically. This one even has a section for 'special occasions' with a stunning christening cake, as well as 'holiday baking' and the 'better baking' section. Better baking is a fantastic portion of the book. It uses recipes and pictures to really give you an idea of the basics of baking with a step by step guide to some of the more tricky aspects. Handy if you are a newbie at this sort of thing.
Reason 5: The mixture. There are good old classics like shortbread, mixed with the slightly unusual like sunflower cookies. Home grown kiwi staples like pav, alongside middle eastern orange cake. So you have access to what you know and love, plus room to experiment.
I think this book would suit the seasoned baker just as well as the young and untried - it has a little bit for everyone. Would make a fantastic gift.
Whether you love baking already... or have dreams of actually being able to bake something edible... then this is the book for you!
Reader's Digest how-to manuals have been around for years (in my life for sure...) and they have always been clear, well laid out and they always use idiot friendly terms... and this is no different.
Things I like about this book...
- All of the recipes have the temperatures in Celsius and Fahrenheit, the measurements are in both metric and imperial - I blame the American's for those ones!
- If a recipe has more than one part each of those are explained separately and in easy to follow terms.
- The instructions are succinct and follow a logical order.
- The photos are clear and well presented.
- There are alternatives given for a good half of the recipes - different flavours etc...
- Tips are given throughout the book on nutritional areas and how-to's for those tricky recipes.
The range of 'baking' ideas is extraordinary... from Raspberry Torte & Fruity Lemon Cheesecake (which I am sooo making as soon as I have a spare hour or two) to Mediterranean Spiral Loaf & Turkey Empanadas (plus a vast array of other international baking ideas) to the very basics like Shortbread and Pavlova that we all know and love.
And for the beginners or those unsure of certain areas within baking, there is a Better Baking section that gives step by step instructions with pictures and tips for success for a range of different baking areas - like sponges and pastry making.
I would say this is a must have for anyone that likes to cook... not just bake.
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