Hey you guys. Today I’m just sharing a tiny piece about some of my favourite cooking/baking books, just in case any of you are thinking of buying one for a certain someone this Christmas. There’s certainly a good few of my wish list anyways – and some good deals to be found on Amazon too.
The first book I always recommend is Mary Berry’s Baking Bible. This is genuinely one of the best baking books out there in my opinion. Many of the recipes are classics – Victoria Sponges, Swissrolls, Tray-bakes, Biscuits. There are recipes for a more special occasion too though, but I really think this is a great book for a learner baker (which everyone is to some extent). All the instructions are clear and to be honest, they nearly always turn out right if you follow them. The only negative side to this book is that there aren’t enough photographs. You may need to google some of the recipes to see how they should look first. I read my copy of this book CONSTANTLY. It is truly one of the best books I have ever had. There’s a reason everyone knows her name.
This is another brilliant book. When I first bought it, I wasn’t so sure about it. I thought yeahhh, I like cupcakes but like urgh, do I really want a whole book of them? ERRR YES I DO! This book is so so good. The recipes cost a bit to do though, as there are so many different ingredients to both the cupcakes and the icing. The cupcakes can also be transformed into cakes. Some of my favourite ones include, Boston Cream Cupcakes, Vanilla, Chocolate Orange and Red Velvet.
This is the second book from the Hummingbird Bakery.
The first one is actually on Amazon at the moment for £5! See here. The third book is also available on Amazon, it’s not quite as cheap but is still definitely a bargain and is on my list. It has a few more cake recipes too. See here. I’m seriously excited, just hope someone has heard my ..subtle hints.
Bake off fan or whaaaa? I know, I got this book for my 21st birthday and would really say that it’s not a book for a baker who enjoys to do simple things. The majority of the bakes in this book are breads and many of them take 3 hours or more to prove. This is not the book if you want a quick Sunday evening cake. Also, I and a few others I know have found the recipes to be a bit difficult to understand. They take a bit more concentration compared to Mary Berry’s. But, if you love bread then go for it 🙂 I personally loved the Hot Cross Bun recipe and the Ham and Cheese Buns too. There are some real treats in this book, they just take a little longer to do. His newer book Pies and Puds look good, may have to get it and see £9!
Another book on my wish list is Delia’s Cakes. I think I might be a bit young to know much about Delia, I mean I’ve heard Jamie Oliver say her name so surely she can’t be too bad? After doing a little bit of research on her, it appears her books are a bit legendary, and so I decided that this HAS to be mine. This is a reprint of the original, but has really good reviews on Amazon. I do worry about how clean and white the book looks though. A lot of mine never look clean again after I bake with them. This book is only a tenner on Amazon as well so definitely a gift option if your loved one loves cakes. See here.
I got Cake last year for Christmas and must admit (don’t hate meh) that it’s not my favourite book in the world but this is only because she uses a lot of ingredients I just don’t love. However, Rachel Allen does know how to make a special cake and teaches you to do it too! There are some lovely cakes in this book, one of my favourites being the Silver Anniversary Cake with a white chocolate ganache, but some of the cakes are made with 7in tins. Most of you will probably only have 8in ones at home as they are most common. I find it a little annoying that she doesn’t give different quantities for the more popular tins. Also Cake Pops show up in this book and I just can’t get behind them..why can’t people just have cake if they want cake? This book is brilliant for showing you new ideas though and is on Amazon for a fiver. See here. Absolute bargain considering how many recipes this book has! In my opinion though, Bake is a better book and is selling for under a fiver – good god, everybody should be getting baking books this year.
Now, you may think I’m all about the baking but I’m not. I enjoy a good dinner just as much as the next person and think this book would make a really wonderful gift. I got it as a graduation present this year and was delighted with it – even if I did pick it out myself! All the recipes are easily done and would fit in perfectly with any family. This book is brilliant if you want to learn to be a good home cook. Mary Berry is so good because she shows people that to be good doesn’t mean being able to do a mad tonne of recipes, but rather being brilliant at a few and being able to throw a dinner party and show what you can do. The book also has some good desserts. And look, she’s eating a scone on the cover, love it. I found mine in Tk Maxx for €12 – CRAZY GOOD. It’s in Waterstones for €32. Even I can do those sums.
Here is a book that is getting a lot of attention lately. Some cookbooks are about indulging but we can’t always be nomming our way through cake – I know, says the one with the baking blog. This book has lots of easy, everyday recipes that are yum. They also tell you the calories of each meal (even telling you what amount to add on if you add wine into the mix). This book is a good present for anyone who wants to keep healthy. The book is actually on 3 for 2 in Eason’s for Christmas so I’m sure you could pick it up at a reasonable price. Otherwise, its on Amazon for £7.
Another good book I got this year was the Wagamama Cookbook. If you like noodles, you can’t go wrong. I think this would make a lovely gift for a student. I got this one in TK Maxx too, think I payed €9.
I couldn’t post this without mentioning him. I know all my friends think I’m in love with him but they can’t deny, Jamie Oliver knows how to write a cookbook. I have SO many of his books (always room for another though, hint hint) and love them. He is so funny and honestly just tries his best to help people and show them what they can do with food. It’s really hard for me to pick a favourite book but some top ones are Jamie At Home, Jamie’s Italy, Ministry of Food and The Naked Chef. I love his oldest ones because he constantly mentions Jools. I just think it’s so sweet.
Jamie At Home is a book that is never, ever on sale. It’s usually around €34. I got my copy in a second hand book shop in Cork (Vibes and Scribes) and couldn’t believe my luck. Think I ended up paying like €15? (Sorry there Jamie but I’m so poor) I love reading this book because Jamie takes you through the life of many different veggies; how to plant them, cook them, serve them and even who they’re friends are. For fans of Jamie Oliver, you could also buy the DVD boxset to go with it. The chilli episode will always be my favourite, I LOVE when Brian gives Jamie the chilli. I just wish Jamie would go back to doing shows like this. Hate the newer ones in the studios. While Jamie isn’t a baker, he often gives it a go. In his book Jamie’s Great Britain he shows you how to go Arctic Roll from scratch. What more do you want from one man?