B is for Books
I have an ever growing collection of books that mainly consist of baking and cookery. I just can’t stop buying them! New titles are released regularly and I can’t help peeking inside shiny new books to see what new recipes are hidden within. I also just love a photo or two of food and cakes in all their glory!
For me, there is so much inspiration from reading cookery books, I love to take recipes and make them my own by tweaking ingredients and creating new flavours and variations in my cooking.
I’ve picked my top 5 favourite books that I have been either using more regularly recently, along with a couple of new books I purchased not to long ago:
The Higgidy Cookbook
This is a great book with lots of recipes for both savoury and sweet pies, tarts, quiches and sides to enjoy with them. I recently adapted a recipe for mini tartlets from this book; I used the pastry and base recipe for the filling and changed the main fillings, for bacon and oregano, to create mini quiches for Easter afternoon tea that my sister hosted at her house. I also made them again later in the week and added smoked salmon and a dill sauce and enjoyed them for lunch. some of the recipes do require a little more time, as when you are making your own pastry, it requires time to rest and chill. I have made a few of the pies and quiches from this book and it’s great for all year round recipes.
Fleur de Force – Glam Guide
I follow Fleurs Vlogs on Youtube and especially enjoy her & her husbands cookery channel: Food with Fleur & Mike. I purchased her book as there is a bit of information on blogging tips, photography and a few recipes for healthy food and drinks. I tried a couple of the recipes; grated courgette salad and the salad jar and they both turned out delicious! It covers a wide range subjects including makeup, fashion, hair, health & fitness and lifestyle. Overall, it’s a lovely book to pick up now and again to have a little read.
Meringue Girls Cookbook
I picked this book up when I was asked to bake meringues for Valentines for Sugar and Crumbs, in a post in January. I used it to gain some ideas and inspiration. It was one of those books I ummed and aaah’d over every time I saw it in the bookshop; mainly due to the fact that I thought do I really need a whole book about meringues?! In the end though, the bright rainbow colours won me over and I purchased it! There is more you can do with meringues than I thought! I have made quite a few pavlova’s over the years and thought I’d nailed the whole meringue making malarkey. But there is a bit more skill in making those pretty meringue kisses than I thought! I’ll definitely be setting some time aside soon to experiment with the recipes from this book!
The Hummingbird Bakery – Life is Sweet
This is another book I was indecisive about purchasing, mainly due to the fact that I already own two of their other books; Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook and Home Sweet Home. Though when I had a flick through, I found some ice-cream recipes and just couldn’t resist! I soon tried the recipe for Grasshopper Pie ice-cream; which is a mint chocolate chip ice-cream with crushed oreo’s…and no, there aren’t any grasshoppers in it! I was drawn to this recipe, as instead of using peppermint extract to flavour the ice-cream, you use peppermint tea bags to infuse the heated custard base and it gives it a pleasant minty flavour…much better than the mint chocolate chip ice-cream I made a few years back, in which I think I may have added far too much peppermint extract and my hubby commented that it was like eating frozen toothpaste…hehe. Overall, this book has some lovely looking recipes which are well balanced with beautiful photo’s of the results of the recipes and I’m looking forward to baking many of the delights from it.
Peggy Porschen – Cakes in Bloom
I love Peggy Porschen’s cakes and already own many of her books; Pretty Party Cakes, Cake Chic and Boutique Baking. They are all beautiful with a few recipes and gorgeous photo’s of cakes to oogle at! I wanted a book that was solely based around step by step tutorials for creating sugar flowers and this is the holy grail of them all. It’s a nice big book as well! Not only does it show step by step instructions for creating the flowers, but shows finished cakes with the flowers adorning them. I followed the orchid tutorial, to create flowers that decorated a birthday cake order last year. Another outstanding book from a very talented cake artist.
I also found out today that Peggy Porschen is releasing yet another book on the 21st May this year; Love Layer Cakes. I may just have to add it to my wishlist!