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4.0 out of 5 starsGuilt-free doesn't come cheap...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 April 2019
The tagline for this book, "Healthier recipes for a guilt-free treat", is perfectly accurate but very cleverly worded since the 'treats' included here are a bit healthier without actually being particularly healthy - mainly because although they may be guilt-free they're hardly sugar or fat free. It's a beautifully presented book with the design and photography lilac-tinged and retro-looking making for a very appealing and attractive read. If you're someone who already tries to include more natural ingredients in your baking then I doubt that many of these recipes will be particularly new or surprising to you as they mostly rely on tried and tested alternatives to bleached white flour and refined sugar. Hopefully you might already have the alternative flours and sweeteners in your cupboard already too and if you don't then expect a very expensive visit to the local deli or supermarket.
Once you get back from Holland & Barrett with the heavy shopping bag and a much lighter wallet or purse then you can indulge yourself and the family with a wide selection of cakes and biscuits featuring natural ingredients. There are recipes here suitable for everyday treats or special occasion bakes and they're presented with flair and an eye for the unusual. I've been baking with some of these ingredients for years but I will admit there are some presentation ideas here I would never have thought of and so, for me, it's a worthwhile book just for that. If you enjoy baking and want to try something other than endless confections of white sugar and butter then this book does bring together a great selection of ideas and recipes to try and it's lovely to look at. It would make a nice gift - especially if given along with a gift voucher for the nearest deli or wholefood shop because the featured ingredients don't come cheap.
4.0 out of 5 starsA new way to enjoy old favourites
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 March 2019
A new twist on baking.
This is a kind of new age baking book in my opinion, it has returned to using old, traditional flours and grains in its recipes rather than just “plain flour/ self raising flour”, it has recipes that cater for vegans, egg free and other diets such as gluten free. If you were expecting to just go to the cupboard and pull out your old baking staples you will be disappointed, but if you are looking for an alternative to baking with highly processed ingredients you will love this book.
The recipes are explained well and so are easy to follow, each has a small reference on the bottom that tells you at a glance if they are say egg free or gluten free, so you don’t need to read through the ingredients list to check, this is very handy if you have a special requirement. The photography is beautiful, but it only shows you the finished article, I would have like to see some midpoint pictures to reassure me that I hadn’t gone wrong at this point or that point- which is why I have rated it four stars rather than five.
The recipes I have tried have been good, they haven’t looked as pretty as the pictures admittedly but the taste is what counts.
We love this cookbook! It is beautifully presented with high quality photographs for each recipe, so you know what you are aiming for.
The book is divided into four main recipe sections that are themed around seasonal ingredients. A really nice touch is the page of recommended recipes for beginners as well as classics, quick recipes and those for special occasions.
This recipe book comes in really useful if you have guests who have dietary needs with ingredients such as gluten, dairy, lactose, nuts or eggs.
I’ve been through a worthy cooking phase and come out the other side. This is full of all those pretty grains that I used to identify as an archaeology student in their wholemeal form. Looks like the authors rely heavily on Ocado deliveries of Doves Farm flours. Unless you have cashew butter and almond milk as staples in your normsl diet, this mix and match is going to cost awfully dear. There is still buckets of sugar in these recipes, muscovado, honey, maple syrup.....it isn’t any better for you than processed white. Lots of fruits in the recipes that will have their flavour dented by the hefty flavours. Not one for me.